From backyard chicken coops and homegrown rainwater harvesting to energy-efficient building codes and sod roofs sprouting wind turbines, Portland, Oregon, wears its sustainability street cred proudly. But as much as locals are happy to get innovatively earth-friendly, they’re often stuck in the architectural past, clinging tightly to Douglas fir roots and craftsman moldings. Portland-based architect Ben Waechter and his wife, Realtor Daria Crymes, set out to show that well-integrated modern design is as much a part of sustainable community building as are the latest, greatest green products. To prove it, they designed and built the Z-Haus.
This originally appeared in Z for Two