Getting Started

Our Green House Products Not Used Green Building Sites Green Products Completed Zelonedom Search



Find an Architect

Find a Green Builder

Find a Landscape

Interior Design & the Final  

      Look of Zelonedom

The Foundation

The Floor Slab

Drywall & Paint


Fresh, Healthy Indoor Air


Heating System -- Radiant
Energy Use: It's More than

     Heating Our Home

Electricity and Appliances


Framing-Walls & Wood

Framing - The Roof

Greenhouse for Heat &

      Food Production

Insulation ... Make it Tight

Initial Landscape Work

Initial Site Work

Landscaping During

Paint & Drywall

Pervious Concrete Driveway


Recycling Construction
Waste ...Zero Waste

Septic Systems ... Nothing
Very Green Here

Solar Electric System

Solar Water Feature

Water Proofing the Walls
Mold Discussion

Plumbing & Saving Water


Series of Pictures of How the House/Site Looks During Construction


Chris and daughter Jo popping
the cork to christening the site.

It goes without saying that if you want to build a house, you need to find a site.  Define the criteria and spend time to explore the options.  What can you afford, what type of view is important to you, how close or far away from a town is acceptable, what's the school district like, and how big does it need to be to fit your needs. (It helps to go to home and garden shows and ask questions about products.) 


Ideally, the site for a green home needs to be in urban area with access to public transit.  Our preference was to maximize the view, so we are around 15 minutes from downtown Olympia and 10 minutes to the commercial area of West Olympia. 

Our site has a great view of Mount Rainier and enough land to develop a garden and landscape plan.  Because we are empty nesters, we did not want a huge, mini-mansion but we did want a home large enough to entertain, particularly have a fundraiser or two for our favorite causes.

Next, decide what type of house you want.  Write it down on paper.  Do you need 3 or 4 bedrooms, etc... What style do you prefer, and what is your budget. Our Design Brief is attached as a Home Design Brief.pdf (78 Kb).  With the brief, we included pictures of our lot and of our key possessions (artwork and antiques). 

As you go through these pages, you will come across people involved with our home construction project ... it takes an industry to build a house.  There is a special place 'down below' for those who waste your time ... talk but do not deliver or back out at the last minute.  Either we did not get them excited about our project or they simply did not want us as clients.  In either case, we are amazed by those who spent time working with us only to drop the ball when the time to act arrived. 

There is a special place in heaven for those who fit you in to get the job done when you are left wrapped around a rock in the middle of the river without a line to shore.   

One major consideration is the covenants that may apply to  a building site.  We had to go through an architectural committee of neighbors, we could not have a metal roof, we had to use certain materials, install front lawn irrigation (we will have no front lawn), and be a minimum of 2,300 ft2 for a one story and 2,600 ft2 for a two story house.  While covenants keep you from putting up a double wide, they can be a problem. Neighborhood associations act like mini-governments and often place unreasonable road blocks to living green, such as preventing outdoor clothes lines/dryers.  

Our neighbors were reasonable and did not object to our plans.


We welcome your comments on this site.
You can email Christine Garst at
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