Anyone who has built a house can tell you that after move-in there are surprises waiting around many corners.

Here at Beacon Springs, the surprises – or perhaps confirmation of hopes is more accurate – have been delightful:

  • Watching the wildlife return: a flock of turkeys; deer, including four ”regulars” this summer with majestic antlers; a pair of red-tail hawks in our tallest trees; coyotes with their eerie and breathtaking calls in the night, summoning each other home after the hunt; millions of eggs then tadpoles then frogs and toads with their evening songs; a heron stopping for a few weeks on his treks north and south; crows parading their bravado and their intelligence as they gather and roost and forage on our land; barn swallows and robins and cardinals and so many others, settling and raising their young here . . .
  • Enjoying the quiet of a home heated by the sun and by silent in-floor radiant heat. (And yes, if it’s a sunny winter day, with temperatures even in the single digits, we do crack the windows open in the afternoon to bring in cool, fresh air!)
  • Basking in the always-present cooling breezes through the house in the summer: The tower works! The Venturi effect and the stack effect created by the tower pull air through the south-facing windows, even on still days, more or less eliminating the need ever for our air conditioning system.
  • Confirming that our years of careful thought and design have paid off, as we experience all the spaces in the house exactly as expected. It helps that Tom excels at envisioning three-dimensional space, and that he and architect Michael so thoroughly enjoyed their design discussions and listened so well to each other.
  • Seeing our energy and water systems perform as planned. Our rainwater harvesting system provides a substantial supply for irrigating new plantings. Our solar panels generated around 20,000 kWh of electricity in our audit year (October 2016–October 2017), while we used around 16,000 kWh, thus sending 4,000 or so back to the grid. Net zero energy: yes!
  • Concluding the LEED audit process, and achieving LEED Platinum certification.

We’re delighted to be here, living in harmony with and enhancing the surrounding ecosystem. Our hope is that future owners also, over the course of several centuries, will find it equally idyllic, health-inducing, inspiring and peaceful.

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