Architect Whitney Powers' clients in Charleston, South Carolina wanted a large, sustainable home, and they wanted to incorporate as many recycled materials as possible - and that's exactly what they got. This stunning home features three distinct sections that are heated and cooled separately and that form a collective U around the swimming pool. Snuggled between the Atlantic coast and a maritime forest, it is surprisingly low impact despite its 5,000 square foot bulk. Sculpted into the landscape, the spare bedroom has a vegetative roof, harvests rainwater, is naturally lit and ventilated, and all of the wood is either reclaimed or composed of highly recycled materials. But that doesn't even begin to describe the care that went into making this home a viable long term project. Although diverging from Charleston's colonial history, the house is nonetheless warm, cozy, and a classic study in classy but sustainable residential architecture.
Probably the most distinctive feature of this home is the ubiquitous use of wood paneling. While this may seem wasteful, most of it is either highly recycled or reclaimed wood. The board paneling was taken from an old barn! The landscape made flat-roofing and a green roof, which absorbs runoff, possible. A cistern harvests rainwater that is then used to irrigate the property, while windows, including clerestory ones, provide plenty of daylighting and natural ventilation.
A lot of what makes this home sustainable, however, is not visible, including geothermal HVAC, energy efficient lighting, water-saving plumbing, and paint that won’t give off harmful vapors. The main house, the guest house, and the master bedroom and study are heated and cooled separately keeping what could be an energy guzzler (at 5,000 square feet) significantly more efficient.