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16 smart ideas for a green remodel

What we used to call “green” design is now just common sense. Take it from a contractor who called on his eco savvy to update his own home

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Smart design
Thomas J. Story

Smart design

Of course, green design was a given when he and his wife, Margot Beall, started remodeling the San Francisco Edwardian they share with their kids. It needed a kitchen update, a family room, and a more open layout. "I wanted to be able to cook in the kitchen while watching the kids in the backyard and family room," says Beall. "I envisioned them doing homework at the breakfast table."

But first, they had to make room for it. An 11½-foot addition to the back of the house let them lengthen the galley kitchen. They also gained a modest family room that opens directly to the backyard, and a master suite with a deck and rooftop garden on the top level. Behind the scenes, King reworked the home’s infrastructure for maximum energy efficiency.

Even better than the extra square footage is the sense of openness. Airtight and long-lasting aluminum-clad windows now span the back façade, providing views of the yard from almost anywhere on the lower level. Now that’s genius.

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