One couple built their forever home on a Colorado hillside—while preserving the land that drew them there
Dave and Laurie Reed fell in love with Steamboat Springs, CO years ago and decided they’d eventually like to live in Steamboat full time. “It seemed smart to build a home that would become our forever house,” says Dave, a software developer. But the couple was troubled by the implications of building a second home. “The only way we could conscientiously do it was to build a house that was environmentally aware.”
As they planned the home, a target emerged: to have their electricity use be net zero, meaning the amount of electricity used each year roughly equals the amount of renewable electricity created at the house. Solar panels got the Reeds to the magic number. But Laurie, an architect turned art teacher, didn’t stop there. On her list of musts: a metal roof (to eliminate the pollution an asphalt roof would add); soy and denim insulation; and reclaimed materials, inside and out.