With a wealth of resources, sourcing local materials in LA a fairly easy feat. So when one LA family set out to build their dream home atop the Hollywood Hills, they wanted to be certain to use as many local materials as they could in order to reduce the home's carbon footprint. The Skyline Residence was designed by Belzberg Architects, who drafted up a long linear home that uses the site as guidance in order to reduce earthwork. Solar passive design, shade screens, and natural ventilation keep the home cool, while an outdoor patio and movie screen over the garage encourage the home's inhabitents to spend lots of time outdoors.
The 5,800 sq ft house is composed of two buildings – the main house and a guest house, which is separated by a driveway and garage. Like two puzzle pieces pulled apart, the void left between them acts as an architectural element. A rooftop deck sits on the garage and provides space for outdoor gatherings. The opposing wall of the guesthouse serves as a projection screen to watch movies on at night.
Situated at the top of a ridgeline, the home enjoys spectacular views over the valley as well as a ton of sun. To take advantage of both without adding too much to the cooling demands, Belzberg Architects designed the home with deep eaves to shade the interior but allow daylighting. A long corridor along the south glazing buffers the bedrooms and a shade screen made from Extira, a low-formaldehyde emitting composite lumber, filters the light. Operable windows and hinged doors take advantage of the prevailing winds on the ridge to naturally ventilate the home.
Locally sourced materials and manufactured products like low-e glazing, steel, CMU blocks, and indigenous aggregates were used. Excavated earth during construction was reincorporated into the site rather than shipping it off and wood framing and flooring from a nearby construction site was reused as well. By using materials from the site, nearby or just from the LA area, the owner was able to cut down on the embodied energy of transportation and reduce his carbon footprint.