Mother Earth Living

The Remainder House: A Reclaimed Wood House on Bowen Island in British Columbia

Motivated by twin passions for Bowen Island's natural beauty and the distinctive qualities of reclaimed wood, architect Don Gurney builds a small home on a remainder lot.

An elongated patio serves as the home’s entryway. In the summer, friends and family gather for meals at long tables and benches set outside.
Photo By Linda Svendsen
This home sits lightly on the land. Not a single tree was cut on the small wooded lot. Even the roots of an old-growth Douglas fir (at left) were spared. Instead of digging a belowground foundation that would have disturbed the roots, a ground-level grade beam supports that end of the house.
Photo By Linda Svendsen
The house is just over 900 square feet, but plenty of daylight, high ceilings with exposed beams, and multiple levels make the home seem larger. A glass partition between the dining area and living room defines the spaces without blocking light or views. Copper panels screen the bedroom loft from view. The green partition conceals laundry and storage. A ladder leads to the loft.
Photo By Linda Svendsen
Weathered Douglas fir reclaimed from an abandoned warehouse adds character to this distinctive home. The living room, as seen from the bedroom loft, is wrapped on the south and east sides by glass, letting in dappled sunlight. High clerestory windows allow daylight to penetrate deep into the loft.
Photo By Linda Svendsen
Designed to harmonize with the landscape and respect neighbors’ views and light, the curved copper roof barely rises above street level.
Photo By Linda Svendsen
"Good Green Homes" offers ideas, inspiration and real-world advice on creating a green home, from choosing a right-sized home to taking charge of the energy we use to selecting products that will keep our homes healthy.

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