San Francisco-based William Duff Architects is known for integrating sustainability into high design - and their Wheeler Residence in Menlo Park exemplifies this practice. This 4,845-square-foot four-bedroom single family home is a modern masterpiece. The Wheeler Residence was designed using a proportioning system based on the Fibonacci sequence - rooms and spaces within the home gradually increase in size based on this mathematical system, and cabinetry, windows, and doors follow the same sequence.
As William Duff Architects explain, they “developed a project that blends elegant, innovative architecture with green building strategies to create inspiring spaces carefully crafted for everyday living”. The client also had a mission to integrate an environmentally conscious strategy into every architectural design decision. An existing home was on the property and William Duff Architects began their sustainable approach by reusing many of the products in the old home. Spaces were designed to be naturally lit by daylight and naturally ventilated by eliminating unnecessary interior walls and also installing clerestory windows around the ceiling. Also, a natural palette of economical and sustainable materials was integrated throughout the home. Cor-Ten steel, stained concrete, and resin panels also have a low life-cycle cost and helped to minimize the need for maintenance.
The home was finished with an extremely efficient passive and active mechanical system. Passive ventilation strategies even eliminated the need for mechanical cooling. Hydronic floor heating was installed to create consistent interior comfort levels through a simple and efficient system. A rooftop electric photovoltaic power system reduced the need for fossil fuel energy, while solar hot water also helped to reduce heating needs. In the end the project exceeded the 2005 Title 24 energy standards by 38%.