LEED Gold Eco-friendly Live/Work Townhomes in Sebastopol, CA

by , 04/15/08
filed under: Architecture

LEED Gold, Sustainable Building, Livable Communities, Green Building, water remediation

IBIS’ (Intelligent building = Integrated + Sustainable) latest live/work town homes in Sonoma County, California lends sustainable style to the county’s largest gray water bio-remediation system while securing LEED Gold. The Florence Lofts Project is a 12 unit development that integrates a myriad of environmentally friendly practices into welcoming, livable spaces furthering the IBIS ideology that sustainability can yield a stylish way of life.

LEED Gold, Sustainable Building, Livable Communities, Green Building, water remediationubis1.jpg

Energy needs are met with solar power, but Florence Lofts’ sustainable program is also found throughout the details of each structure. Bamboo floors make beautiful use of rapidly renewable materials. Post consumer recycled content is found in countertops, made by PaperStone. Concrete floors with hydronic radiant heat provide excellent thermal comfort. FSC certified wood was used throughout and more than 80% of the structural steel used to frame the homes are recycled.

The impressive gray water recycling system is the first approved for large scale use in Sonoma County using recycled water from bathing, washing and laundry to providing 100% of the water needed for landscape irrigation. Given water shortages in Northern California, the estimated savings of up to 150,000 gallons of water per year go along way to conservation. In addition, rainfall and storm water brought on-site are cleanse naturally through a bioremediation system, reducing the pollutants and toxins that these two sources bring to streams and rivers and all paved surfaces throughout the project are permeable recharging the natural water table in the area.

Founding Partner and Architect of IBIS, Steven Sheldon notes that “All materials were chosen from a collective consciousness perspective that balances financially sound and environmentally friendly decisions.” The Florence Live/Work Development is a prime example of a sustainable, livable community – a great place to live, work, and play within walking distance of the necessary amenities desired by any resident.


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  1. Janet Donaldson January 30, 2015 at 11:12 am

    are there any of these lofts with two bedrooms and two bathrooms? Can I see pictures? Thanks

  2. perfectcirclecarpenter May 26, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Reusing water is not stealing. Yet in Utah it can be a crime to catch rain water… water that would have soaked into soil and watertable. Why would it be a crime? Because there water is a commodity. I have to ask, who is paying me if I pee on the ground. None of us soak in any more water than we pee, minus evaporation that would have happened anyway. The recycling of the water doubles the duty. But if you have a full water treatment facility such as an Earthship you are taking no more water than you are returning, because that black water gets cleaned up, and returns to the ground. Septic systems… not so much… their drainage fills waterways with decomposing organics as primary pollution and feeding algae out of balance as secondary pollution, killing normal aquatic life and therefore destroying the value of waterways… essentially using up much more water than was seemingly used on site. There is an obvious solution for areas that are too snobby to use the Earthships well thought out design… using incinolets will eliminate blackwater altogether. Incinolets on average use less energy than composting toilets (which must keep waste organisms warm). Greywater feeding into a planter system ensures that organics are not swept into waterways. The effect is that waterways are preserved, thus saving water.
    Now, if someone could just mention this to the people near Malibu, who are spending oodles on personal chemical treatment plants attached to their septic to try to keep their waterways clean (and are failing because the actual majority of their organics are coming from their lawn fertilization products).

  3. zafera April 17, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    I don’t know where Sebastopol is but I want to live here.

  4. lewis April 17, 2008 at 6:49 am

    If you have a grey water recycling system, sure you save some energy by doing the recycling yourself, but you are just stealing the water from the water table anyway right?

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