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Green living

A retractable cover can shade the patio and the living room on hot days. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
Bill Doering stands beneath a hall skylight, added in the $283,000 whole-house renovation. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
The couple installed an energy-efficient on-demand water heater. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
Bill Doering, with his son, Lucas, works in the kitchen, which includes cabinet boxes made from hay-based board and cabinet doors milled from a neighbor’s acacia trees. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)