what evokes a New England summer more
than a screened porch overlooking a meadow
at the edge of the woods? Barefoot children,
who have been actively involved in the
building of their home, complete the picture.
and a cord or so of wood in a year; the house
produces nearly all the electricity it needs.
The average American family has a carbon
footprint of more than 20 tons a year; this clan
now produces a quarter of that.
Having a swimming pool seems at odds
with building a house whose stated goal is living simply. Yet Tipton and LaRoque wanted
their kids to have fun. As their dad noted,
“Construction of the pool cost a whole lot less
than flying the four of us somewhere for a
vacation.” Besides, the pool acts a “solar dump
zone” in the summer — the family recently
added a third rack of solar tubes, which gave
them significantly more heat and hot water
last winter, but that means a surplus of heat
in the warm months. Ever the
careful energy auditor, Tipton
proudly points out, “Even with
the pool, our house costs us
96 cents a day to run. That is our complete
The house is small, but satisfies its owners’ desire for ecologically responsible family
living in an intimate relationship to the earth.
Says Tipton, “It perfectly meets how we want
to live our lives.” ;
QUALIT Y • INTEGRIT Y • VALUE
Custom Home Building | Renovations & Additions | Historical Renovations
Landscaping & Site Work | Renewable Energy
26 New St., Cambridge, MA 02138