We started with a piece of property that had been relatively untouched by humans. We carefully selected the property using US Dept. of Agriculture soil maps, flood plain maps, aerial photographs and plant surveys. Our site contains an abundance of native trees, plants, grasses, and wildflowers. We preserved most of the site in its natural state and practice organic gardening principles to encourage biodiversity and wildlife. To read more about this process go to Four Cedars - The Land. The name Four Cedars comes from four large Eastern Red Cedar trees that form a diamond shape pattern near the house site.
We designed the house with four major goals: energy-efficiency, environmental friendliness, and low maintenance, and cost effectiveness. We chose a passive solar design with active solar water heating. To learn more about efficient house design review my presentation, then review the details of our specific design at The Westbrook House and see the results reflected in our low utility bills in the Utility Data section.