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The Caterpillar House is a Modern Rammed Earth Ranch House in California
The Caterpillar House is a modern eco ranch house located in the Santa Lucia Preserve, a private development with 20,000 acres of preserved land outside of Carmel. The owners loved ranch houses and wanted theirs to exhibit modern traits as well as sustainable strategies. Feldman Architecture met their request with an eco-friendly home that features low and horizontal massing, an open plan with a strong connection between indoor and outdoor spaces, and main living areas which center informally on the kitchen.
Excavated earth from the site was used to build the rammed earth walls that gently curve in response to the site’s contours and also act as a thermal mass, regulating temperatures from day to night. A large overhanging roof protects the home from direct heat gain, while large south-facing windows collect natural light. Additional sunshades on the porch allow the owners to expand and contract the shade as needed and other passive strategies like cross ventilation aid in keeping the indoor climate under control. Three cisterns sit near the site and store rainwater for use around the house. Finally, integrated photovoltaic panels generate all the power necessary for the home.
The Caterpillar House is the first LEED Platinum custom home on the central California coast and has garnered a number of design awards since its completion in 2011.
Images ©Joe Fletcher
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