Green architecture – Walton Residence, California
Located at 1521 Neptune Ave, Encinitas, California, the Walton Residence recently received LEED Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council. The exquisite and luxurious, yet clean-lined home which is sited on a previously developed lot across the street from the beach in beautiful Leucadia, received a total of 108 out of a possible 136 LEED points for its sustainable features.
Designed by Wave Crest, the 3-story 497 square-meter (5,347 square-foot) home was built on a place of previously developed lot where an existing home became dilapidated. It features 4 bedrooms and an additional bedroom detached guest house for a total of 521 square meters (5,617 square feet) of living space.
Although there are some con’s about LEED certification, the fact is that structures built to fit the requirements for LEED certification lower the need for resources and it also means that buildings built in this manner are more durable than a non-certified home. Due to its size, the Walton Residence had to achieve additional 15 points over a standard LEED size home.
Planning and team meetings began well before the first shovel hit the dirt and continued weekly throughout the construction. Functionality and cost/reward analysis were a strict requirement of the homeowner. The two primary goals were to achieve as high a rating as possible, make the home durable and less prone to repairs, while keeping a tight rein on the budget.
The home features 5.9 kW of PV solar panels which provide around 52.9% of the annual electricity requirements. In order to further lower the annual bills of the home, other energy efficiency efforts include low-e argon windows, blown in cellulose insulation with advanced Eco Seal air sealing, tankless water heaters, 95% high efficiency gas furnaces, sealed ductwork, Energy Star appliances and Lutron Homeworks low-volt lighting controls. The new home has been modeled to perform 53.8% better than California’s already stringent Title-24 Energy Code.
The landscaping for the Walton Residence was done by Adams Design Associates, and it features vegetated roofs and surfaces covered with native plants. A 6,435-litre (1,700-gallon) cistern is used to collect rain water for landscaping irrigation on site.
Air quality and durability of finishes is increased with usage of 100% low or zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, sealants and adhesives have been used throughout the house for improved indoor air quality.
Durable components used include Azek composite exterior facia and trim that will not decay from ocean air exposure, sodium borate treated lumber and eaves that prevent termite infestation, Loewen kynar coated aluminum exterior clad wood windows and doors, and Trex composite decking for the rooftop sun deck.