The landscape builds on the existing native sagebrush, adding complimentary climate-appropriate species, permaculture gardens, and wildlife habitat irrigated with greywater. All plumbing fixtures are low flow, further reducing the home's potable-water consumption.
This home, called the "Eastern Sierra House", is the winner of the AIA COTE award for a residential home. It was designed by Arkin Tilt Architects. Sited some 20 miles south of Carson City, it was designed to showcase a variety of green building practices. The house is virtually energy independent: careful shading, high insulation values, and thermal mass, aided by flushing from cool night air, prevent overheating in the summer. Solar hot-water panels located at the edge of the terrace feed a deep-sand-bed hydronic heating system and provide domestic hot water. A grid-intertied photovoltaic system meets the home's electricity needs.Using a variety of natural, efficient, and durable materials—primarily strawbale with an earthen finish, metal roofing, and slatted cement-board siding—the home's finishes harmonize with the landscape. The home also features structural insulated panels, insulated concrete forms, FSC-certified wood, and an impressive collection of salvaged materials.