Project Background

The Vowels’ residence is a uniquely-sited rural project that sits in a nearly six-acre forest. The site includes the main house and an accessory building. This project is an example of how green home improvements can be successfully implemented in rural areas. It has only been in the last two years that the owners have added most of the “green” elements to their home and property. After attending a Built Green conference two years ago, the owners found ways to infuse green design elements with their Universal Design strategies. Their project received a 3-Star rating from Built Green™.

Lessons Learned and Points of Reflection

  • Mike didn’t feel like they had to make any “major” changes to “go green.” He feels like some of the “green” enhancements were for common sense home improvements that needed to be made anyway.
  • Many new features of their home involved second-use materials, so they actually saved a lot of money.
  • Higher upfront costs of some features, like the solar powered water heating and foam insulation, will payoff in the long term, and even save them money.
  • In assessing the cost of their remodel, the Vowels also took into account the affects of the living space on quality of life and health— which are really priceless qualities.



















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