A Zero Energy Home in Santa Cruz Becomes The Perfect Home For A Family With Many Children

by in Architecture

Feldman Architecture redesigned "The Santa Cruz Haus", a home that celebrates the green technologies and that's also highly economically sustainable.

The clients are very much into sustainable living and green family homes. That's why they decided to use their own home as a prototype to not only test ideas but to also promote and educate other people.

For this particular project, the selection of the plot was extremely important. It became easy to connect to the neighborhood services and the shopping areas. There also exists the opportunity to develop a new dwelling unit. 

The neighborhood in Santa Cruz in which the residence it's located is characterized by craftsmen homes and the façade was meant to blend with the surroundings. Moreover, it offers a glimpse of the modern home beyond the oversized windows at the entry porch.

The house was designed for an active family of five with both parents working regularly from home. 

The main floor is primarily occupied by a great room with kitchen, dining, and living areas flowing out onto the generous backyard through a large oversized sliding glass door. A double sided eco-fuel fireplace between the living room and the outdoor courtyard further reinforces the concept of indoor/outdoor living. 

The garage has an electric vehicle plug-in station and provides plenty of storage for the family’s beach cruiser bicycles that allow them to get as soon as possible to the stunning beach nearby. 

The position of the garage provides an enclosure for the backyard which is used throughout the year given the mild weather in Santa Cruz. The entry and adjoining room provide plenty of built-in cabinetry to accommodate a variety of storage needed for the family’s active lifestyle. 

A practical open steel and wood stair leads to the 2nd level where a generous gallery of custom built-in toy storage and bookshelves welcomes you. 

On the opposite side of this storage gallery, there are three kids’ bedrooms, each one with their own play loft and views of the backyard and beach beyond. A small guest suite sits at the back of the lot for more privacy and is connected to the main house by a trellised patio.

The impressive Santa Cruz Haus earned a LEED Platinum certification and has been declared a Zero Net Energy Home. 

The 21.8-kw photovoltaic system supports space heating and domestic hot water demands using only electricity generated on-site and is supported by a super-efficient air source heat pump. 

The house takes advantage of a rainwater system specially designed for indoor and outdoor use and a greywater system for irrigation - both are the first projects of this type in Santa Cruz. 

Many of the materials used on the project are sustainably and locally sourced, including the tanoak flooring and the hand-made tiles. The design team took extremely care to limit the impact on the environment, using advanced framing techniques while diverting 97% of the construction and demolition waste.

Photography: Paul Dyer


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