Cathy O’Neill’s cozy white home blends into its neighborhood in Sonoma, Calif. Yet it’s still distinctive in one way. It’s so energy-efficient that its mechanical system can fit into a linen closet.
It’s one of only a dozen homes in the United States, and the first retrofitted one, to be certified by the Passive House Institute, which sets a strict green building standard.
“My favorite thing about my house is that even though it is unbelievably green, it doesn’t look like one of those geeky architecture experiments,” says O’Neill, 57, a retired hedge-fund partner. Rather, she says, it’s a “comfortable farmhouse with a modern twist.”
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