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Build It Green. Build It Beautiful.

Yes, “green” can be done and it will be beautiful!

Saturday, Feb. 28, an open house on Marion Ave. in Palo Alto showed the way to how building green pays off in more ways than you can imagine.


The home’s architect and builder, who pulled off an impressive feat of “green-ness” without sacrificing beauty or comfort.


Designed by architect Tali Hardonag and built by Chris Donatelli, the house has 92 Green Points with more pending.  As a point of reference, the Palo Alto building code only requires 50 points.

The owners wanted more than the minimum.  Eleanor, one of the owners, put it simply, “Wendy and I wanted to do the best we could for the earth.”

So how does one collect that many Green Points? 

According to the architect, some of it is very simple and obvious:

  1. Add insulation to hot water pipes

  2. Install energy star appliances

  3. Put out a sign to let the neighbors know this is a Green project.

The other Green Points come from making choices.  What appeals to the owners, what is the budget, what makes sense for the site.  For this project that meant:

  1. The use of recycled fly ash in the concrete

  2. Durable and fire-resistant roofing materials

  3. High efficiency toilets and plumbing fixtures


Home owners Wendy and Eleanor, showing off their new home.


  1. Advanced ventilation practices

  2. Low-VOC paints

  3. Energy efficient lighting and controls

  4. Solar hot water heating

  5. Solar photovoltaic and much more.

But it is more than the points.  The end result is a beautiful home that is well built, comfortable and good for the health of the owners and the planet.

Well done, Eleanor, Wendy, Tali and Chris.

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P.O. Box 539, Los Altos, CA. 94023-0539