Morgan says the key isn't necessarily a big budget, but the mind-set of the building team. "It's not hard to get the rating, but it takes commitment," he says. "These were committed homeowners, which is most important, and they found an architect, a builder, and subcontractors who were all also committed." Architect David Webber and veteran green builder Bill Moore addressed every detail of the product choices and building methods with Michele and Michael, sticking to the basic tenets of green architecture and design at every turn.
The maxims they held to are easy enough to follow for any homeowner who wants to think ultra-green and create a house worthy of the ultimate accolade. Here's a look at the thinking that guided them.