San Francisco-based Klopf Architecture designed a light-filled home in Cupertino, California that establishes a strong connection to nature while maintaining privacy. The zero energy house, which received high scores from the Build It Green “GreenPoint Rated” system, uses solar energy and superior materials and systems to meet all of its energy requirements.
The owners, who work from home, wanted a space that would be large enough to suit their lifestyle needs without exceeding the height of neighboring houses. The architects decided to design it as a two-level home with a partially-submerged lower level. The ground floor is pulled back from the borders of the plot and features an atrium that brings natural light into the most secluded parts of the space. A large window wall on the north side allows for optimal lighting while preserving privacy.
Solar panels mounted to the sloping roof combined with natural gas and high-performance materials facilitate optimal energy consumption and cover all of the home’s energy needs. The net-zero energy house features insulated concrete forms (ICFs), structural insulated panels (SIPs), and high-performance windows that minimize unwanted solar gain.
The house is a contemporary interpretation of Eichler homes, which feature glass walls, post-and-beam construction, and open floorplans. The Eichler style developed under the influence of Mies van der Rohe and Frank Loyd Wright was adjusted to the site’s specific conditions and maintains the perfect balance between openness and optimal levels of privacy.