The entry

The house, roughly U-shaped, occupies a lot that slopes down from the street.

Architect Kevin Patrick O'Brien recalls, "The challenge - and the fun - was to adapt a traditional design for contemporary indoor-outdoor living."

Terraces, porches, and verandas are key features, especially away from the street. Landscape architect Ron Allison used water, built-in seating, and an arbor to give each space a feeling appropriate to the hot-summer climate.

"There's a rose garden at the Bourn Cottage," he says, "so we created a small heritage rose walk here too."

Features throughout the house ENERGY SAVVY

COOLING AND HEATING BY ZONE work by programmable digital thermostats, which allow for maximum efficiency: Cool or warm air is delivered only where it is needed.

ENERGY-EFFICIENT WINDOWS perform well thanks to low-e coatings and argon gas between the glass panes.

CEILING FANS circulate cool air in summer and warm air in winter.

MATERIAL SAVVY

INSULATION SYSTEM is designed to combat water, moisture, and air infiltration.

FIBER-CEMENT SIDING is durable without using wood.

WEATHER-RESISTANT DECKING made of recycled materials doesn't require sealing.

CONCRETE TILE ROOFING adds roof longevity without an energy-intensive production process.