If you are going to have a second home, at least it should be as green and sustainable as can be. Cottage Life Magazine has produced a useful green cottaging guide, much of which is available online. Susan Nerberg's article "The Conserving Cottage" is full of very good points. "The greenest thing you can do for nature is to leave it alone," says Trevor McIvor, an architect with a keen interest in sustainable design. "When this is not an option — as in building a cottage — minimize the disruption." Making the cottage fit the topography — not the other way around — saves the -parcel from blasting and extensive grading and landscaping. It also spares existing trees and other vegetation, which provide habitat for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.
Tips on heating and cooling (stressing the passive) are useful, as is the discussion about septic systems and renewable energy, pointing out that A well-designed structure can eliminate many of the problems cottagers try to overcome with technology (think air conditioning or space heating), and minimize the electricity need in the first place. Graham Smith of Altius Architects concludes: ""The bottom line,is that conservation by design is still the first and best option to consider." Great drawings by Greg Latimer and Amanda Reed, of Levitt Goodman Architects. ::Cottage Life