Readers' Choice: Casa Neverlandia

This remodeled Austin, Texas, home is as green as it is unique.

| May/June 2009

  • With many operable windows and plenty of decorative baubles, the kitchen is sunny, breezy and fun.
    Photography By Paul Bardagjy
  • An eco-remodel brings a storybook home to life.
    Photography By Paul Bardagjy

A colorful, undulating fantasyland outfitted with solar panels, rainwater collection, fire poles, an elevated footbridge, talk tubes, nooks and hideaways, this remodeled Austin, Texas, home is as green as it is unique. The home uses only about 200 kilowatt hours of electricity a month with the assistance of its solar panels. Numerous windows and doors invite breezes, eliminating the need for air conditioning. Gas space heaters and an efficient fireplace replace central heat.

“The way we live is a little old-fashioned, but in the past—before central air and heating—everyone made do by adjusting their lifestyle and their clothing.” – homeowner James Talbot

Three things we love about this house:
1. Many of the remodeling materials were salvaged from brickyards, steelyards and reuse stores, or were donated by friends and family.
2. Thick plaster walls provide insulation. An air space between the ceiling and the roof deck, along with a reflective barrier, funnels warm air up and out of the house through a ridge vent.
3. A lookout tower houses the home’s 16 solar panels, offering a cool place to sleep on the hottest summer nights and a beautiful view of downtown Austin.

Read the original Casa Neverlandia article.

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