Gallery: California Desert Home Uses Passive Ventilation Techniques

Photo by David Harrison

Building a home in the desert is certainly a test of green building innovation — because in a climate where resources are limited, how do you build to ensure comfort and longevity? Architect Lloyd Russell offers a beautiful solution with his Austin Residence near Palm Springs, California. Besides its construction out of recycled materials, Russell gave serious consideration to the mechanics of passive ventilation the home during the hot summer months. He was also sensitive to the culture of the surrounding California desert when developing the home’s look-and-feel, creating a contemporary home reminiscent of an old West outpost that captures the essence of desert living.

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  1. niels July 6, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    this is a technique that’s being used in African countries for over 50 or more years and it appears to work very well. A very decent natural ventilation is achieved this way and on top of this the roof also works to strengthen the spacial feel of the place so it’s win-win to me.

  2. Shropshire Architect July 6, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Looks great. I like the idea of the ‘metal barn’ with modern house underneath.

  3. Yuka Yoneda July 3, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Hi cocodear. The metal works to reflect heat away from the home. Here is a good article, if you’d like to know more.

    Hope that helps!

  4. cocodear July 3, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    How does that metal canopy, especially the part over the roof or top of the house, keep the air below it cooler? Doesn’t metal conduct heat? Is the wind/air in the desert really cooler, especially when it’s really hot?

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