Green architecture – 1301 Preston Way, Venice, CA
If you’re in the market for a green, solar-powered home in California, you might just check out this contemporary house in Venice. The 290 square meters (3,115 square feet) home has four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and a private courtyard accessible through expansive folding doors. Located at 1301 Preston Way, the new and contemporary home is contending for LEED Platinum certification
The cement they used has approximately 25% fly ash mixed into it. The fly ash is a byproduct of coal burning used in power plants. They decided to color the concrete and introduced the color Mesa Buff into the mix, because the ground floor of the Preston House is polished concrete. Protecto Wrap was used between the lumber and the cement. This product is used as a deterrent against ground moisture and pests coming up through the concrete and into the wood, and thereby reduces the likelihood of mold issues at the foundation.
The manufacturing process for Timberstrand utilizes a high percentage, approximately 75%, of the tree, a much greater yield than the more common lumber and this can make use of younger crops of harvested trees. Timberstrand lumber utilizes a non-toxic resin and incorporates a borate compound in its manufacturing which protects the wood from termite damage.
Hardy frames have been integrated strategically throughout the house. The Hardy frames are made of recycled steel and are engineered to allow a greater stability, the use of more windows, and optimum sheer strength. Hardy frames also eliminate the need for sheer paneling on the exterior, where they used Densglass – a fiberglass covered gypsum board which also reduced the reliance on forested wood products.
Damp Cellulose Insulation was sprayed into the wall cavities to provide an R19 insulation, and when finished with interior drywall they achieved R20. The material is made primarily of recycled newspaper and is borate treated as a pest retardant. In addition to the pest retardancy, the cellulose has a high fire retardancy that slows the spread of fire and the ability to block out sound. With double pane windows and this insulation, sounds from outdoors are remarkably reduced.
They used metal roofing because it is a durable long lasting recyclable material. Made from interlocking panels, the metal has a special coating on as well as an insulation membrane under the roof. The coating reflects solar heat so that it does not overheat the roof and thus reduces any potential heat build up in the attic. The roof has 26 Schüco photovoltaic which provide 630kWh/month. The roof also has 3 Thermal Solar Panels that produce enough heated water to satisfy 94% the needs of a family of four. These panels should provide plenty of hot water for regular daily use, and in conjunction with the boiler it should effectively cycle the heated water through the radiant floor heating systems during the coldest days.
Selection of high quality low flow plumbing fixtures, dual flush toilets, and rainwater runoff from the roof and drainage systems are used in order to lessen the water consumption. The rainwater is directed into the RainStore3 chambers. These storage chambers are wrapped in a permeable cloth that allows the water into the chamber where it is then released back into the ground recharging the aquifer.
The energy consumption is lowered by usage of low voltage halogen, florescent lights and LED lighting. The florescent bulbs gave a very white light but they modified the glass fixtures and made the light more natural. The main floor is a polished colored concrete and stranded bamboo was used for the staircase and the second floor. Imported sustainably produced porcelain from Italy was used as flooring for the bathrooms and small glass tile was used for bathroom walls. Cesarstone counter tops were used in the kitchen and bathrooms. Paints, bonding agents, and stains were all low VOC.
You can read more details about the project here.