by , 08/07/06

Sunset Idea House, Idea House, green building, sustainable architecture

One calendar year seems like a decade when considering the evolution of green building. So compared to last year’s Sunset Magazine Idea House, the 2006 Celebration Idea House represents years of innovation, just completed and currently sitting in the Sunset Magazine parking lot on a steel-pier foundation in Menlo Park, California.

The use of pre-cut Insulspan insulation panels for the exterior walls and sloped roofs makes on-site construction super efficient, as well as dramatically improving the home’s energy-efficiency (up to 300%), and offering better resistance to earthquake, fire, and insects than typical wood framed homes.

Sunset House, Reclaimed Teak, Concrete

Inside the Celebration House, many of the ideas featured in our Inhabitat Green Building 101 series have been put to use, as well as several products previously featured here. For example, architect Henry Siegel managed to maximize indoor daylight with a dog trot dividing the public living spaces from the private. In the master bath, reclaimed and recycled teak have been used for the countertops. The fireplace, finished in a warm honey color to keep the room light, is made from a concrete that has been mixed with rice hulls. The dining room features an expandable table made from recycled bamboo, which can seat up to 10 guests. And the guest bathroom and all shower surrounds are made from Renewed Materials’ Alkemi product line.

Sunset House, Bamboo Table, Expandable Bamboo Table

The precut panel assembly of the Idea House will lend itself well to the eventually relocation of the house from its temporary parking lot site to a permanent address a few miles away, where the 2,400-square foot interior will nearly double in size from when placed over its 2,000-square-foot basement.

Coming in at about $225 per square foot, this ain’t affordable housing, but while it’s on display, a tour is cheap. As the name implies, it’s meant to supply homeowners with ideas about how to incorporate more innovation into their own homes. Taken piecemeal, many of them aren’t costly, and like all green features, have the added benefit of long-term savings.

Sunset House

+ Via: Miami Herald
+ 2005 Sunset Idea Houses
+ Inhabitat Green Building 101
+ Sunset Magazine

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  1. Mike January 3, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    $225 a foot? Are you joking?

  2. Karen Tupper January 1, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    Interested in sofa and chair design with light green cushions. Is there a way I can receive manufacture information?

  3. Gary R. August 16, 2006 at 4:30 pm

    We have been using the SIPs that Insulspan supplied on this project and while the cost seems ‘expensive’ the truth is that its hard to build anything that is ‘custom’ for much less and not have some of the basic ammenities that people ‘must have…’ Our clients find that the quality of the structures that are built with SIPs are superior to conventional stick-framing and are so highly energy efficient that in most cases, their cost of utilities and particularly heating and cooling have decreased by as much as 85%! We know that design is a big factor in ‘costing’ out a project so usually we suggest stock plans that we can modify and that can bring the costs down considerably –

  4. Richie August 10, 2006 at 5:52 am


    It’s amazing what people will pay $225 a square foot for ! Are we talking $540,000 here ($225 x 2,400 = $540,000 ?) This design leaves me cold and it’s expensive as well.

    Richie K

  5. Evelyn August 10, 2006 at 3:03 am

    We’ve received a few requests from people interested in touring the Sunset’s Celebration Idea House. We are sad to announce that the house has been moved to its permanent address and vacated the parking lot of Sunset Magazine.

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