It is not the prettiest house to ever grace the pages of the New York Times home section, but perhaps that is why it is so interesting, it is such a switch from the usual swish. Larry Weingarten designed it to be cheap to run and maintenance free: "Didn't Thoreau question whether the man owned the lawn mower or the mower owned the man?" Mr. Weingarten said on a late-spring afternoon, paraphrasing slightly.
Anyone can do the simple things (cladding is Hardishake, decking is Trex, handrails are galvanized pipe, size is a modest 1800 square feet) but it also has photovoltaics for lights and the computer, and a gravity fed solar hot water radiant heating system with a thousand gallon tank in the basement. If you get thirsty, he uses vodka as the antifreeze because it is more efficient and non-toxic. (compared to industrial antifreeze anyways.)
What a pleasure to see such a modest and affordable off-grid home in the ::New York Times