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Green dovetails grand

Sustainable living is about respecting our planet, but living lightly on the land doesn't mean living small. This relaxed CA home is driven by green-thinking at every turn. Luxury, however, shares the front seat...

Designed by Malcolm Davis Architecture (MDa)

From the architects:

Malcolm Davis Architecture (MDa) found inspiration in the surrounding landscape when designing this sustainable residence in Northern California. Embodying a casual, indoor-outdoor California lifestyle with its Zen-like presence and modern architectural style, the house, which is set amongst redwood and oak trees, resembles a modern-day villa.


Sustainable strategies were considered in the early planning stages of the residence. For example, instead of demolishing the original residence, the design team and homeowners opted to carefully dismantle it in order to salvage lumber and other materials, some of which were repurposed into the final design. 

MDa incorporated time-proven passive solar concepts to maximum effect, including southern exposures, thermal mass, cross ventilation for natural cooling and carefully calibrated solar shading along the generous southern overhangs. 

Other sustainable features include grey water harvesting, whereby the bathing and laundry water are stored and repurposed to flush toilets and irrigate the landscape, as well as photovoltaic panels that produce electricity and solar thermal plans that preheat the domestic and pool water.

Another important design move was to preserve a hundred-year-old, above ground concrete cistern, a remnant of the site’s agrarian history. The result was that the residence earned a total of 115 green points using the regional GreenPoint Rated Checklist certification system.

From a design perspective, the house, while distinctly modern in style, pulls forms and materials from 80 years of contemporary Northern California architecture. 

Harkening back to the property’s history as a walnut grove, MDa worked with Bernard Trainor Landscape Design to retain the existing redwood and oak trees, as well as to cultivate an olive grove at the lower half of the site. 

The olive grove and lack of a perimeter fence around the property make the property and neighbouring parcels feel more expansive as they “borrow” a sense of spaciousness from one another.

Credit list

Architect
Malcolm Davis Architecture
Landscape design
Bernard Trainor Landscape Design
Interior fit-out
Quinn Morgan Design
Native landscaping
Ground Studio Landscape Architecture

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Bruce Damonte Photography

03 May, 2020