Backyard cottages are all the rage and David Baker of David Baker + Partners Architect recently completed his Zero Cottage—a super-sustainable auxiliary dwelling unit. Built on top of an existing workshop, the two story cottage has already achieved LEED Platinum certification (in addition to receiving 203 points through GreenPointRated), and it's also targeting Passive House certification. The Zero Cottage was built using recycled materials, and it features a green rooftop garden and a unique rainscreen made from metal tiles and charred timber.
Zero Cottage is located in the backyard of of an urban lot in the Mission District fronted by StoreFrontLab, a community-focused cultural initiative that gives the historic commercial space a new public purpose run by David Baker and his partner, Yosh Asato. Built on top of an existing workshop, the 712 sq ft cottage features an efficient two-level plan that makes the most of the modest space. Windows are sited for daylighting, privacy and to frame views of the city, while a skylight in the roof draws light into the bedroom below. Custom furniture and cabinetry were built by associates of David Baker using recycled and reclaimed materials including floors made from salvaged wood.
The cottage has a tight and efficient envelope with triple glazed windows, a high level of insulation, and a HRV that eliminates the need for conventional heating. On the exterior is a unique rainscreen created by recycled and new metal tiles using a system designed and prototyped by Dbarchitect. A 3 kW photovoltaic system on the roof provides more than enough power for the cottage and doubles as an entry stair canopy. Then the roof is vegetated with a container garden fashioned from used Ducati tires by David Fletcher of Fletcher Studio. Zero Cottage can be rented out through AirBnB and is expected soon to have its Passive House certification along with its other impressive credintials.