Activist Medora Woods picked up an incredible piece of property on the North Shore of Lake Superior.  With a small cabin existing on site, Woods hired Minneapolis architect Sarah Nettleton to completely rebuild it in a way that would reflect her commitment to the environment.  The team would dub it The Tofte Project and use it as a means to educate individuals interested in building green.  An interactive website was created, addressing each area that contributed to its eco-splendor… I highly recommend getting lost in the site HERE (after you’re done reading my little ditty, of course!).

A mere 945 sq ft, the Tofte Project made a substantial effort in minimizing both long and short-term impacts on its site… Over 95% of construction waste was either reused or recycled.

Also, the majority of the cabin’s energy needs are met with on-site solar and wind generators, and a ground source heat pump (geothermal).  Framing lumber is FSC certified or recycled and its unique roof is made from 75% recycled content while lasting three times longer than an asphalt shingle option.

The interior features pine that is locally sourced and formaldehyde free, low-VOC finishes.  Highly efficient appliances are used throughout the kitchen.  Also, plenty of strategically placed south facing windows flood the interior with natural daylight while improving ventilation.


All-in-all, an incredible effort on the part of everyone involved… Again, I highly encourage checking out the Tofte Project site for yourself.  I’ll save you from scrolling back to the top… the link again HERE.


About Joshua Foss

Joshua is a leading voice for transformational change. He is the editor of Metro Hippie, co-founder and director of development of the Ecala Group, and adjunct faculty at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He is also an ambassador for the Living Building Challenge and is a frequent speaker at national conferences, trade shows and summits.