Collection by Diana Budds

Building Green in Albany


This year, Build it Green celebrates the completion of its 10,000th GreenPoint rated home. Through the Greenpoint system, Build it Green awards points for energy efficiency, resource conservation, indoor air quality, water conservation and community consideration in new projects as well as renovations. I recently toured a renovation in Albany, California, that fetched a whopping score of 231 out of 300 possible points. While every design gesture was carefully thought out to maximize its green potential, the home is remarkably comfortable and liveable and it doesn't feel like like a theoretical or conceptual exercise—everything just makes sense. Click through the slideshow for a look at the residence and the measures homeowner and architect Ian MacLeod undertook.

The home is situated on a quiet residential street in Albany, California.
Most of the homes in the area are single-story bungalows built in the 1920s and 1930s.
In the planning stages, Ian took a model of his home to the Pacific Energy Center's Heliodon, a system that simulates...
The interior is brightly illuminated via the numerous low-e glazed windows by Marvin.
Here's the space opposite the living room. On most days, no artificial light is needed to brighten the interiors.
Creating a well-insulated envelope was another key design feature.
One of the main additions to the home was the rooftop solar hot water and 2.1 kW energy system, shown here from the...
The bathroom features recycled countertops by IceStone.
The rating process costs about $1,500 for a single-family home, which pays for itself in long-term energy and water...
"Working with GreenPoint's system and the rater helped us learn a lot about sustainable design and if I had to do it...
A living screen of bamboo provides additional privacy between neighbors.
Ian built raised beds for flowers and vegetables and installed a drip irrigation system.
Composting on-site also counts toward the GreenPoint rating.