The Greene Green Home


Where: Fairview, NC

Designer: Stephen Beili/ Studio Dionisi

Builder: Greg McGuffey/ Earthtone Builders

Price Tag: $265,000.00

Square Footage: 1400/ in addition, approximately. 500 sq. ft. of decks and patio

Construction Type: 2x6 stick frame, post and beam with load-supporting knee brackets


Robert Greene didn’t begin his home building adventure with green or Asian in mind, but ended up with a small footprint NC Healthy Built Japanese tree house. The term ‘green’ became a huge theme: built environmentally green, partially green in color, it took a good bit of green to build and it is actually the Greene residence!

Robert says, “My builder directed it in the green direction. If I had thought I was going green to begin with, I would have felt overwhelmed at all the information that I didn’t know. Now, I recommend the process to everyone. It’s not as challenging as it may seem when beginning.”


Greg McGuffey, builder and owner of Earthtone Builders adds, “Not every aspect of this house is completely sustainable. No matter what kind of home is created, it consumes resources and energy. The use of quality materials and fasteners, along with proper design and construction ensure these resources won’t be short-lived. Quality leaves room for custom-built features and excellent artistic endeavors, which this house if full of. I helped him keep the eye on green and even helped to choose some features, such as the brackets, that became the house’s signature.”

Robert says, “I sell screws and fasteners and was expecting to use a regular, square bracket, but I got surprised with custom designed brackets that changed the entire feel of the house. The curvy, Japanese-looking bracket with ‘swoops’ on both ends gave it a certain character that wasn’t anticipated when we designed it. It set a tone to the house. But my favorite part is the bathroom: a six-foot by six-foot shower room with the door and one wall made of bamboo woven between two panes of plexiglass. Another design decision that ended up giving the home an unexpected Asian feel.”

The three-story, 1400-square-foot home has roughly 450-square-feet of living space on each floor. “We don’t need a lot of space” says Robert, “Zeb — my four legged man’s best friend — is the real owner of the house. He oversaw the entire process and even got his own custom door!”


Top Green Points:

Efficiency: Non-toxic organic oil wood finishes, high performance Icynene insulation for energy efficiency, super efficient appliances, low-e double insulated windows, HVAC system, on-demand tankless water heater to conserve energy

Low Toxicity: Non-toxic stains, low VOC paints, sustainably-grown and harvested wood flooring, non-toxic solvent-free construction adhesives

Environmental: Small footprint, 480-square-foot/minimal land disturbance, proper erosion control and maintaining of existing drainages, re-use of wood from site clearing, recycled all possible construction waste

Credentials: NC Healthy Built Home

Copyright© 2006 by New Life Journal Magazine (print). All rights reserved. For permission to reprint contact Tena Moore.