David Edwards, the owner of this house, is a contractor who specializes in remodeling houses using green principles. He designed a second story to double the square footage of the 1950s ranch house, applying the same “value engineering” he uses for his clients.

The judges applauded his use of certified and salvaged wood. Also of significance is that he reused or recycled 90% of the waste from the deconstruction of the project. Materials that were reused include the oak flooring, metal roof, framing lumber, roof trusses, interior and exterior doors, cabinets, countertops, and plumbing fixtures. The recycled materials include stucco, concrete, drywall, wood, copper wire, and metal ducting. Edwards spent two years collecting materials — including windows, interior and exterior doors, and all the structural beams in the addition — from local salvage yards and designed the house to maximize use of these materials.

The first-floor walls and floor are sprayed with polyurethane foam, which, together with the structural insulated panel walls on the second floor, results in a tightly built house. Edwards installed an energy-efficient hot water heater and appliances; the lights in the bathrooms have occupancy sensors and fans with timers; and the house is also pre-plumbed for a grey water system to use water from the showers, non-kitchen sinks, and clothes washer for irrigating the landscape.

Category: Green remodeling, over $250,000
Location: Santa Clara, Calif.
Contractor/designer: David Edwards, Earth Bound Homes, Santa Clara, Calif.