The Nichols chose durable, time-tested materials as part of their green design scheme. Here are some highlights:
• Slate floors provide good thermal transfer for radiant floor heating. In summer, the floor helps hold “coolth.”
• Local, vertical-grain Douglas fir used for the trim; Larch tongue-and-groove for ceiling.
• Solar tubes (solar skylights) provide natural daylighting to the master bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen.
• Toto Aquia Dual Max toilets reduce water use with two flushing levels—0.9 gallons for liquids; 1.6 gallons for solids.
• Low-flow showerheads.
• A TRD1000 septic treatment system treats the sewage with ultraviolet light and aeration, producing a potable outflow—this was necessary since the home is built on solid bedrock with no place for a septic leach field.
• HardiePlank cement-board siding, which has an expected lifespan of more than 50 years, was used as exterior cladding on the first floor of the house. The siding on the upper floor of the house, which will receive less wear and tear, is prepainted cedar shingles.
• The home’s roofing is standing-seam metal, with an expected life of more than 30 years. It provides a collection surface for rainwater to use for plants, car washing, etc. A 1,250-gallon underground storage tank catches rainwater, which can be pumped up to irrigate the living roof and other plants.
• A living roof over the garage—with a 60-mil EPDM liner covered with 6 inches of soil and planted with sod—provides the Nichols with lawn space.