Santa Fe Splendor: Eco-House Plans

Building a healthy home.


| January/February 2005



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The view from the dining room to the living room shows thickened adobe walls with hard-troweled plaster, slate and honed flagstone floors, carved woodwork, and crafted stone and glass work.


Designed by architect Paula Baker-Laporte—a nationally recognized and respected leader in the healthy home movement—and built by Prull and Associates, this home was created on a beautiful but challenging site with 360-degree views overlooking Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the surrounding mountains. Some of the design difficulties included a twenty-foot drop in grade from the high end of the building to the low end and strict height and style restrictions dictated by city code and covenants.

The home has eight different levels to accommodate the site but would work well on a flat site without the various level changes. A small guest home is integrated into the plan, with a private entry from the entry courtyard and another door leading to the interior of the main house.

The home is surrounded by a series of outdoor spaces. A landscaped courtyard leads to an entry portal. A service courtyard off the utility room opens onto a vegetable garden. An outdoor area off the dining room contains a built-in barbecue and a dining table. This space leads down a few steps onto a covered view portal off the living room. A private trellis-covered portal leads off the master bath and exercise room to a hot-tub area with a mountain view to the south and city and mountain views to the west. A “reflexology” pebbled walkway is planned for this outdoor area.

The owners’ concerns about health dictated their choices for decorating their new home. They used organic fabrics for window dressing and the upholstery on their locally crafted custom furniture. Only nontoxic cleaning products are used. These are important decisions, because all of the efforts of the architect and builder would be for naught if the homeowner were to use toxic furnishings, cleaning products, and pesticides.

What makes this home healthy?





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