2 of 6
The house was designed around passive solar principles to take advantage of one of the state's most abundant resources: sunlight. Solar panels on the roof soak up the sun's energy to generate hot water, while strategically placed windows and awnings minimize sunlight in the summer and maximize it in the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky. As a result, the entire space is so bright that Heather hardly ever needs to turn on a lamp during the day (in fact, much of the O at Home photo shoot was conducted without supplemental lighting).
"In Texas, keeping the sun and heat out of the home is our big thing," Heather says. To that end, the awnings on the south-facing back of the house control the amount of sun that filters through the windows.
Outside, a 3,000-gallon tank catches rainwater, which is used to flush the toilets and water the lawn.