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Old School Green Design: Keep the Trees!

One of my biggest pet peeves with some house construction practices is that the careless waste of crops and dirt that may happen. Trees can be cut down and topsoil removed by the lot. When new homeowners move in, they could suddenly find themselves with shadeless exterior spaces and small useful dirt to plant in. What a tragedy!

Luckily, many architects, builders and designers are well aware of the Earth and use all the advantages of an existing site such as existing trees and other crops. Below are some beautiful examples of houses where trees were permitted to stay nearby, offering a beautiful natural environment for the homeowners.

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Robert Young Architects

This tree is almost a piece of sculpture in how it frames this cleanly-designed house. The house’s boxiness plays the wavy nature of the branches, and the entryway receives a nice arched botanical ceiling.

Ana Williamson Architect

Could not it be a shame if the gorgeous, massive trees had been cut down before this home was built? The height of this tree canopy is a beautiful contrast to the reduced, linear design of the house and provide a wonderful, shady spot for an outdoor space.

OTTE Architecture

Here is a beautiful house where lots of trees stand in near proximity to the back of the home. The sunroom nevertheless receives lots of lighting, however, the trees offer you a feeling of protection, a sensible windbreak and give the house a feeling of being nestled in.

Masterson Studio

It’s likely some trees were removed for the construction of the house, but thankfully, the chainsaw stopped when it came to this beautiful row of pine trees located from the house. They offer you a perfect frame — a sweet small pocket of space for the house to nestle into. The green of the trees contrasts with the lighter tones of the house, grounding the space. The row of trees also gives a welcome end break for the house at this high altitude.

Grainda Builders, Inc..

Trees frame the entrance to the home, supplying an allée into the back door that will only get better as the plants and trees fill in.

Dick Clark + Associates

Imagine how crude this facade would seem without this beautiful tree? Constructing a deck to encircle an existing tree is a classic strategy to make liveable space without forfeiting shade and beauty.

Cary Bernstein Architect

Constructing a deck directly up into the edge of a treeline is another means to integrate nature in your design. These plantings produce a visual and physical boundary at the edge of the decking — a perfect solution!

Robert Young Architects

Whether you’ve got a modern residence, a conventional Colonial or a rustic cottage in the woods, trees are always welcome. A couple of well- placed trees provide a house a feeling of location, a link to the environment and welcome shade and wind protection. If you are building your home, be sure to have a look at the existing trees until you dig, and also tell your architect to guard the trees!

More: See How Designers Construct Around Trees

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