MODERN SUSTAINABLE HOME: The Beitcher Residence
The gorgeously green Beitcher Residence is a paragon of sustainable California architecture, showcasing a design partnership between eco-conscious client and forward-thinking architect. Designed by W3 Architects out of Venice, California, the Beitcher Residence blends the client’s functional requirements with a variety of sustainable design strategies including passive solar design, state-of-the-art solar electric and solar thermal technologies. Nicknamed “The Integrated Solar House for Los Angeles,” the Beitcher Residence makes full use of the mild climate and the year round sun in the City of Angels.
The Beitcher Residence integrates green technologies including direct gain passive solar heating in the form of Trombe walls made of 8″ CMU block walls and earth berms. Passive cooling and ventilation of the house are achieved through a two story thermal chimney which takes hot air up and out. Floor to ceiling windows, sometimes two stories in expanse, bring in maximum natural light into the residence, minimizing the need to turn on any light fixtures during the day.
W3 Architects also incorporated the latest state-of-the-art solar technologies including an active solar thermal water heating system that heats the domestic hot water, in-floor radiant heating, the pool, and the spa. Energy use is offset through an installation of 5.0 KW solar electric photo voltaic system that helps power the low voltage lighting system integrated throughout the house.
Renewable materials are also incorporated, including some of our favorite materials. Bamboo, often seen as flooring, was put to use as a ceiling material (shown below) throughout the main level of the house. Palm wood was used as flooring through the second story. All the cabinets throughout the house are made of Strawboard capped off by Cesar stone countertops, and post-industrial denim insulation is hidden within the wall cavities throughout the house.
The Beitcher Residence harnesses the power of the sun in a variety of different ways and proves that the right team, sustainable architect and eco-friendly client, can bring about a home that is sustainably extraordinary in a very ordinary way.
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