New book by best-selling author/environmentalist Paul Hawken uses Haw River House to illustrate key element of his visionary treatise

October 30, 2021 § Leave a comment

Photo of the Paradise-Zimmerman house that Hawken uses in the Energy chapter (page 207) of Regeneration. Photos by Tzu Chen Photography

The modern net-zero Paradis-Zimmerman “Haw River House,” designed by Chapel Hill, NC architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is featured in Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation, a new book by Paul Hawken. The renowned environmentalist chose Arielle’s award-winning house for his chapter on energy.

“The Haw River House is a 2800-square-foot home in North Carolina,” the caption to the photo states. “Its rooftop solar array provides all of its electricity.  Insulation, passive house design, energy-recovery ventilators, and solar reflective shades improve energy efficiency and help maintain a constant temperature. A geothermal heat pump handles the rest of the heating and cooling needs. It is also water independent; a small well supports a rainwater collection and purification system that, when full, can provide water for 230 days.”

Unfortunately, the author misunderstood this water collection system. As Arielle explains, a massive, custom-designed gutter leads to downspouts on each end of the house. There, the butterfly roof funnels 100 percent of the rainwater that falls on the roof into two 5000-gallon above-ground cisterns. When full, the cisterns can provide the house with water for 230 days without rainfall.

Despite the misrepresentation of her rooftop water collection system, Arielle says she is deeply honored to have one of her residential projects featured in Hawken’s newest title.

The Haw River House, located in Chatham County, NC, is part of Arielle’s consistently growing portfolio of modern net-zero residences. Green Building & Design showcased this house and other examples of Arielle’s work in its May 2020 edition online and in print.  (To learn more about the Haw River House and see more photos, click here,)

About the book:  According to the book’s publicity, Regeneration is “a radically new understanding of and practical approach to climate change... [It] offers a visionary new approach to climate change, one that weaves justice, climate, biodiversity, equity, and human dignity into a seamless tapestry of action, policy, and transformation that can end the climate crisis in one generation. It is the first book to describe and define the burgeoning regeneration movement spreading rapidly throughout the world… Regeneration is the inspiring and necessary guide to inform the rapidly spreading climate movement.”

About the author:  Paul Hawken has written eight books published in over 50 countries in 32 languages. Five of his books have been national and New York Times bestsellers, including Drawdown, which focuses on global warming. He has been a guest on nearly every major news talk show in the U.S. and his writings have appeared in a host of national publications, including the Harvard Business Review. (For Paul Hawken’s more extensive biography, visit

Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation (Penguin Books, publisher) is available on Amazon.


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