previous
  • Play the Inspector Game!
    Play the Inspector Game!
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Electrical Articles & Videos
    Electrical Articles & Videos
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • Remodeling in Action
    Remodeling in Action
  • 12 Remodeling Secrets
    12 Remodeling Secrets
  • Buyer's Guide to Insulation
    Buyer's Guide to Insulation
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Shorten a Prehung Door
    Shorten a Prehung Door
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • How to Install Housewrap Solo
    How to Install Housewrap Solo
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • The Hobbit House and More
    The Hobbit House and More
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • The Passive House Build
    The Passive House Build
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Video: Build a curved step
    Video: Build a curved step
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
next
Pin It

Living Lightly on the Whole Lot

In a dense urban neighborhood, this remodeled bungalow goes green with recycled materials, solar energy, gray water, and room for the owners’ day jobs

The house was gutted when they bought it, but author and architect Geoffrey Holton and his wife appreciated the clean slate. They were determined to transform the drafty Berkeley bungalow into an urban oasis where they could take advantage of gardens for growing food, rainwater for irrigation, and sunshine for electricity. They also wanted to lessen their reliance on cars by making room for their jobs right on the property. The result is a sustainable compound with photovoltaic and water-heating collectors; a home office; a woodshop and pottery studio; and fruit, veggie, and herb gardens cultivated via rainwater collectors and a gray-water system that utilizes an old hot tub. Inside the house, recycled and whimsical touches abound, including vanity counters made from obsolete porcelain toilets and stair railings made with bike wheels.

Living Lightly on the Whole Lot

Become a Fine Homebuilding Member

to view this article and over a thousand more

Learn More