Passionate about the environment, our clients asked us to renovate and expand their existing home to meet Passive House energy standards, while embracing the indoor/outdoor lifestyle they loved. The resulting design reflects not only their shared values, but their artistic and scientific personalities.
La Dolce Vita
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Having spent time in Northern Italy, our clients admire not only its traditional architecture and rural elegance, but the sense of indoor/outdoor living that translates so well to the Sonoma Valley.
The house is oriented to take advantage of views of an adjacent nature preserve, while facing away from anticipated development. The couple hoped to capture the color palette and craftsmanship they had seen on their travels. Earth-toned plaster, stone walls and hand-hewn beams form a palette that is rustic but refined. Covered outdoor patios, arched openings and hand-crafted wood and ironwork are reminiscent of the Northern Italian lifestyle.
The entry’s stone vestibule continues into the interior to form inviting nooks on either side. Reclaimed, hand-distressed wooden beams over the main living space celebrate the large volume of the great room, while dropped ceilings reinforce intimacy in the nooks.
To achieve passive house level performance, we used super-insulation under the wooden floor and a specialized energy recovery ventilator customized to distribute auxiliary heat and cooling throughout the home’s two wings. Pushing the envelope, we worked directly with the manufacturers to create passive-rated doors with an arched design – a first for the company. A springtime energy bill of just $17.00 to power the main residence, the guest house and pool, and charge the owner’s Tesla, is evidence of the house’s energy efficiency.
Passive House Consulting
Graham Irwin, Essential Habitat
Roche + Roche
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