french drain around exterior of house
Photo: Stephen Karlisch
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Harness Natural Resources

On the back of the roof, not visible from the street, south-facing solar panels will create as much as 40 percent of the power used in the house. Rainwater that runs off the roof into gutters will be collected in a tank to supply all the irrigation for the yard, which itself features native plants suited to the dry local conditions. And should there be an occasional downpour that the collection system can't handle, there's a French drain around the house to divert the water.

Roof from Galvalume; rainwater collection by Innovative Water Solutions; French drain by J-M Manufacturing
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