Are you a homeowner interested in top-of-the-line green technology but not the uber-modern aesthetic that often accompanies it? Award-winning green builder Don Ferrier understands. 
One of Ferrier’s latest accomplishments, the Zero Energy Casita in Fort Worth, Texas, wouldn’t look too out of place on a Hollywood back lot used for western films with its reclaimed wood siding taken from deconstructed barns, generous front porch with salvaged cedar posts, and overarching rustic aesthetic.

Enlisted by clients who wanted a second residence "to look like it's been there 150 years" Ferrier says that the Zero Energy Casita “meshes cutting edge technologies with turn of the century aesthetics.” All the home needs now is a dinner bell hanging out front, a rocking chairs for the porch, and a post to tie up a horse.

Old time-y charms aside, the Bundy, Young, Sims & Potter-designed Zero Energy Casita’s green features are the main event. Most notable is a sleek 3.7 kW SkyStream residential wind turbine that provides electricity to the 1,051-square foot casita (not everything is bigger in Texas). If the turbine generates an inadequate amount of juice, the home taps into the local power grid; if excess power is generated, it feeds back into the grid.

The passive solar oriented home also takes advantage of a 30-foot oak tree and 20-foot tall shrubs to provide natural shade during sweltering Texas summers. And, as mentioned, much of the home’s countrified aesthetic (and green cred) comes from the reuse of salvaged wood for the siding, flooring, and beams.
Inside, the home boasts EnergyStar appliances, a super-efficient HVAC system, dual-flush toilets, low-VOC finishes, adhesives, and countertops, water-conserving fixtures, and a programmable thermostat. Outside, there’s xeriscaping and a rain catchment system for irrigation. All scrap lumber, sheetrock, and wallboard used in construction were mulched on site and incorporated into the landscaping.
Obviously there's a whole lot of green packed into this one little house. Want to learn more? Head over to the Zero Energy Casita website for more photos and info about the home’s numerous green specs. And if you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth area you can tour — admission is free — the Zero Energy Casita this weekend (June 11-13) from 11 am to 7 pm. Click here for directions.

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