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So What's The Natural Balance House?

Everyone's abuzz about the Natural Balance House in Friday Harbor, which is hosting tours every Saturday this month. The P-I did a big feature on it, Mother Nature Network's in a tizzy, and it's got its own website. So what's the big deal anyway?

The house was planned and built over the past decade (the lot was purchased in 2000) with what seems like as many green features as humanly possible, and it's on track to be the first LEED Platinum house in the San Juans, which isn't unimpressive since there are less than 200 of them in the world (Washington's got a few more in Seattle, Shoreline, and Olympia). Here's a list of the coolest tricked-out nature-friendly features:

· Permeable walkways and driveways
· A green roof (which prevents heat loss and optimizes energy efficiency)
· Geothermal in-floor heating
· Solar hot water heating
· Rain water harvesting for 100% of the domestic water
· Salvaged wood framing and cabinets

The owners have created sweet Flickr gallery of the building process from start to finish, so anyone looking to kill time should take note.

· Real Estate Spotlight [P-I]
· Evergreen homes: Natural Balance House [MNN]
· Natural Balance House