A family of eight can rack up a serious carbon footprint if they're not careful, which is why a San Francisco couple commissioned CCS Architecture to incorporate as many sustainable techniques as possible into their Aptos Retreat in California. In addition to wrapping the two main buildings in reclaimed barn wood and weathered Corten steel, the designers established a solar thermal system that fulfills the home's various heating requirements. Further reducing energy use, tall high performance windows not only encourage daylighting, but also optimize views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Cruz Mountains.
Set on an enviable 20 acre land parcel, the property consists of two primary buildings. Somewhat similar to the Distort House, which has a split volume, the main house and barn overlap at their roofs to create a covered outdoor shelter. Both are wrapped in beautiful reclaimed barn wood and rusted Corten steel, which has a high recycled content.
The 2,800 square foot main house has two triple sets of 8×10 foot sliding glazed windows that make it unnecessary to use electricity during the day, and finally, the solar thermal system keeps the family pool, hot water, and hydronic radiant floor nice and warm without sending the electricity bill through the roof!