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Green architecture – Costa Mesa Green Home

By Damir Beciri
One Comment10 January 2011

costa-mesa-green-home-1The Costa Mesa Green Home at 1811 Gisler Avenue was awarded LEED Platinum certification almost a year ago, but it is a great example of sustainable architecture in a traditional shell. Except for an array of photovoltaic panels on southern facing roof, you wouldn’t know this home was green, because it is designed to be a modern interpretation of the California Craftsman Style.

Architect David Gangloff, AIA, CGBP of Ladera Ranch designed this home for an intergenerational, large family. The 455 square meter (4,900 square foot) residence has 6 bedrooms, 6-1/2 baths, an office and a kid’s family room. Luckily, the lot’s street frontage was wide enough so that the existing 3-car garage did not brutally take over the front elevation of the house. The home was built by Gonterman Construction – a company with expertise in building luxury homes.

Folding window walls open on both sides of the great room to create seamless flow between these three activity centers. Four kid bedrooms, each with their own small bath, surround a family room in its own wing. A guest suite and office occupy another wing. The master bedroom and kitchen face the rear yard, each with its own semi-enclosed porch.

The old house located on that lot was used for fire fighter training before deconstruction. The materials from the old house located at the lot ware recycled and donated to Habitat for Humanity. The home is oriented on an east-west access for solar opportunities, thus reducing heating and cooling energy use and facilitates placement of rooftop solar systems. The rooftop solar system provides 90% of all electric needs or 3.6 kW.

In order to save water, the house has a greywater storage tank and filter to reuse water from showers, sinks in toilets and for irrigation. Overall irrigation use demand reduced by 60% by grouping plants into hydrozones and installing a high-efficiency irrigation system including only low-flow sprinklers, drip and bubbler technologies, and smart controllers. Additional water savings are achieved by high efficiency plumbing fixtures, dual flush toilets, low-flow showerheads and aerated lavatory faucets. Installed tankless water heaters on exterior walls near the points of use saves up to 50% of gas use energy and conserves water, speeds hot water delivery.

The implemented stormwater best management practices (BMP’s) and erosion control during construction prevent sediment and pollutants from entering storm drains, and minimize long-term environmental damage to the lot. The house went through extreme care to stop water, air, radon and insect infiltration. Its longevity is prolonged by durable materials chosen to minimize replacement waste and cost.

Blown-in cellulose (or two-part soy-based polyurethane spray-in-place foam) insulation was used to seal the exterior walls and the attic. Used environmentally preferable products that contain materials made from recycled content, reclaimed material, rapidly renewable material, locally produced material, FSC-Certified woods, and/or meet low emission standards. Energy Star appliances and lightning were used in order to lower the energy consumption.

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    This is quite the house, the interior design and exterior building construction look flawless. I like how utilizing green energy practices does not take away from the overall look of the house. The pictures above really make this house look nice. I enjoy reading about green building practices, which is why I use McGraw Hill’s California Construction site. It has a ton of valuable information on construction news throughout California. While I do some work for McGraw Hill, I have used them as a construction resource long before we started working together. If you are like me, and enjoy staying current on construction news in California, check out the website.

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