Palos Verdes Estates, CA
This residence is designed for a young family of four who currently reside in a small ranch style home on the existing property in this stylistically conservative bedroom community. Their wish is for a modern house that can better accommodate their growing family in a thoughtful and sustainable manner on a rolling 80' x 150' lot.
The U shaped floorplan contains 3,000 SF (+500 SF Garage) of naturally ventilated interior living space including 4 bedrooms, 3 ½ bathrooms and a large open Living/Dining/Kitchen area with vaulted ceilings reaching 15' high. Taking advantage of the views north across the entire LA Basin, the Living Room's 27' of sliding glass doors open up to allow the interior and exterior space to seamlessly blend together.
Operable windows are utilized in conjunction with the sliding glass doors to take maximum advantage of the continuous prevailing breezes thus eliminating the need for air conditioning. Additionally, an ingenious system of floor vents with integral thermostatically operated fans draws cool air from the partially subterranean lower level to assist with cooling requirements. An electrically operable 16' long ridge skylight placed at the peak of the roof over the stairwell helps to create a thermal chimney enhancing natural stack ventilation. Whole house radiant in-floor heating efficiently heats the residence during the cooler months. A 26' long light well along the subterranean south wall assures an abundance of natural daylight to the lower level spaces.
A 4.6 kW solar array on the roof will provide power for the home and provisions are being made for an electric car charging station in the garage. Extensive additional sustainable strategies are being incorporated including low VOC finishes, vacancy sensing light switches, dual flush toilets, recycled content materials, cork flooring, formaldehyde free cabinetry, tankless water heaters, “cool roof” roofing shingles and thorough energy performance modeling which has resulted in the home exceeding California's rigorous Title 24 energy standards by 26.4%.
The exterior is an exercise in modern craftsman restraint. The community's stringent design review board and extremely involved Planning Commission led to an approach of reductivist forms, elegant materials and refined detailing including narrow gauge vertical douglas fir siding, rectangular copper gutters, simply sloped roofs, and smooth plaster surfaces.
This project is seeking a LEED Silver certification.