Top green home designs in the West

Via SUNSET MagazineWhile we may not be ready to take the plunge into living in a recycled airplane, these top green home designs still give us plenty of ideas and inspiration.
Sustainable Treetop Home: This home in Mill Valley, California was built on a small hillside lot which made for a challenging vertical floor plan. To compensate for lack of yard space, the home has as many outdoor rooms as it does indoor. On top of being breathtakingly beautiful, the 2,100-square-foot house was named the first LEED for Homes Platinum home in Marin County in 2010. Resources include radiant heat flooring, reclaimed wood beams and wool carpeting. Take a tour.
Self-sufficient Home: this angular, contemporary home employs alternative construction techniques and solar technologies. Thick walls of rammed earth use straw bales as low-cost insulation. Salvaged lumber was turned into beams, flooring, and interior siding. Kitchen counters incorporate recycled glass. Solar-heated water circulates in a radiant-heat floor that is further warmed by winter sun. In summer, the roof overhang shades windows, while thick, highly insulated walls keep it from overheating. Photovoltaic panels on the roof and on a trellis make the house largely independent from the utility power grid.
San Francisco Idea House: this unusual home in San Francisco is packed with ideas for living in style while being earth-friendly, too. From reclaimed-wood floors to salvaged fencing outdoors, the design makes smart use of green materials. Take a tour.To read more, click here. ###Source: Sunset Magazine