<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=412028463155687&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Skip to content

Forest Green Home

These clients originally came to us to remodel their kitchen. However, after seeing what was possible with a new home, they decided they would rather sell their home and build new. They found a special lot in a forested cul-de-sac that overlooked a steep ravine. Made to be their last home, Meadowlark helped to bring to life their vision of one-floor living in a sustainable, ultra-energy efficient home with an easy open floor plan.


The owners wanted a home that would “look like it grew out of the ground." Organic and earthy, the design should feature the beauty of the outdoors in every room. The home would have native prairie and forest views, but also needed a sheltered area to protect the owners' more delicate and delectable plants from the local wildlife. The home was to have an open floor plan with a first floor master suite, while the basement contained extra living/sleeping space for visits from kids and grandkids. The home should be a model of sustainability.

The Team

Design & Architecture: Meadowlark Design+Build

Project Management: Meadowlark Design+Build

Photography:  John Carlson


Schematic Design

The best views were the the north and east but the southern sun needed to be captured to radiate throughout the house. The high ceilings and open floor plan made for a light and breezy feeling in the main living area, while the views of outside created a green backdrop. More intimate spaces in the home have lower ceilings to create a sense of peace and place.

  • A Usonian roof with high windows harvests the southern sun all the way to the back of the home
  • An internal courtyard was developed to allow the owners to tend to and enjoy their more delicate plants
  • The rear deck and exterior screen porch were placed to maximize indoor/outdoor living
  • Natural and earthy exterior materials make the home feel like an extension of the forest around it

Design Development

Geothermal energy would heat and cool the home. As the design unfolded, it became evident that the home would have a lot of corners and areas of differential ceiling heights. Efficiency of the home's walls and roof, so critical to heating with geothermal energy, would be compromised unless we addressed heat loss by both convection and conduction. As the interior takes shape, we are beginning to address material selections.

  • We determined the best construction method is a thermally-wrapped envelope with a combination of mineral wood and spray foam for bulk insulation.
  • We used the Owens-Corning Energy Complete air sealing system, creating gaskets throughout the home that effectively defeat air leakage from inside to out.
  • Interior material selections create a rich palette of earthy colors
  • Hand-troweled plaster breaks up the ceiling plane and hides the critical light from the southern windows.

The Results

The home is full of visual delights and functions perfectly for two people – and also for larger gatherings. With no thresholds, wide hallways and only one step into the home, it is stylish and ready for future comfort when mobility is limited. The home’s organic form and earthy materials complement the surroundings and the native landscape. The home is as comfortable as it is energy efficient.

Do you have a home building or remodeling project you're thinking about?

Let's Talk