HGTV Green Home 2012: Front Yard Pictures

Although following in the form of classic Southern farmhouses, HGTV Green Home 2012 accommodates the modern family.

The exterior facade of HGTV Green Home 2012 mirrors that of the Southern vernacular farmhouse. The classic front porch is cantilevered in this modern interpretation and windows take on added importance.

Locally sourced sandstone is stacked to resemble a traditional farmhouse foundation. A bioswale, designed to draw rainwater away from the foundation, terminates in a rain pond in the front yard.

The winner of the HGTV Green Home 2012 Giveaway will receive an all-new 2012 GMC® Terrain®, a crossover SUV that maximizes fuel efficiency.

Fragrant and visually appealing gardenia shrubs flank the front steps that lead to a crushed-gravel pathway. Shade-loving species, including mahonia and abelia, find a home underneath the front porch.

To avoid a steep staircase ascending from street level, the front door opens to the home's "terrace" floor. A staircase just inside the foyer directs visitors to the main floor.

Serving as a foil to more rustic stone cladding, a stainless steel front door hints at the home's contemporary interior design. Horizontal frosted panes echo orientation of glass installed throughout the home.

The steel and composite decking porch, with galvanized pipe and cable railing, connects living spaces to active community areas. The outdoor space leads to a weatherproof gathering room, complete with its own direct-vent fireplace.

Eco-friendly fiber cement siding replicates the look of wooden lap siding. Energy Star-rated windows, inset to lend visual interest, block damaging ultraviolet rays and solar heat gain.

Southern farmhouse details include an Energy Star-rated, 5-V crimp sheet steel roof, chosen for its durability, longevity and ability to reflect sunlight.

Sliding French doors connect the front porch to the Georgia room, a weatherproof, unconditioned space that provides additional seating and space for gatherings.

Architect Steve Kemp designed the front porch as a space to engage with the community. French doors open to an interior space where one can enjoy dinner, watch TV or people watch.

Considering location and other adjacent home styles is imperative when designing a truly green home, says Steve. "For style to be green, it has to be timeless, rooted in history and at the same time very fresh, so you don't feel that it's lost its sense in five years," he says.