During a recent Eugene, Ore., Home Builders Tour, The Sage, a small and ultra-sustainable demonstration home, showed attendees how green living and attractive design can go hand in hand.

The house, at the time the highest-scoring LEED-certified residence west of the Rockies, features an ultra-tight building envelope created with double 2x4 stud walls, separate plates to eliminate thermal bridging, Demilec Agribalance spray-foam insulation for R-32 walls and R-45 vaulted ceilings, a 16-SEER Trane high-efficiency heat pump, and all ductwork located within the insulated envelope. As a result, the house is 12 times tighter than Energy Star requirements.

In addition, a solar hot water system and a 2.1-kW PV system provide 40% to 50% of the home’s energy needs.

The 5,000-square-foot infill site features drought-tolerant plants and a 1,000-gallon rainwater catchment system for irrigation.

Sustainable and local materials are present throughout, including reclaimed wood flooring, cork flooring, and recycled-content Squak Mountain Stone countertops. Accent siding on the exterior was crafted with remilled redwood benches that were reclaimed from a local outdoor amphitheater.

While modern, modest, and minimalist in aesthetic, the judges liked how the house feels much bigger than it really is, saying, “It’s a nice little place with an impressive design and great HERS score.”

Windows: WeatherVane / Siding: Reclaimed redwood / Roofing: CertainTeed / Insulation: Demilec / Appliances: KitchenAid / Countertops: Paperstone; Squak Mountain Stone / Bath Faucets, Showerheads: Danze / Toilets: Kohler / Flooring: Pioneer Millworks; Sustainable Flooring / Paint: Sherwin-Williams / HVAC: Trane; Renewaire

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