One step inside Misty and Ray Rivoli’s home and it’s obvious that building green wasn’t the only thing on their minds. Stunning tawny-brown concrete floors march forth. Natural light spills over handsome furnishings.  A robin’s-egg blue master suite hums with serenity. It’s obvious that the North Portland home benefits from Ray’s skills as a craftsman and environmental builder as well as Misty’s eye for design to fill dual roles – green and gorgeous. But what’s not obvious it its relatively modest price tag – especially because eco building is often equated with higher prices.

“My goal for me personally, for me as a designer, was to build an environmentally friendly house, but I wanted it to be beautiful,” says Misty.  My filters were LEED, the price, and the aesthetic.”

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, sets stiff environmental and energy conservation standards, then certifies homes according to the level of success. The Rivoli’s are seeking gold status, the second-highest. And the cost hasn’t broken the bank.  Ray estimates that they spent $470,000 for everything – the lot, the materials and their time.

-Bridget A. Otto