Thefoggy Northern California coastline can sometimes put a damper on your spirit, but given the a chance to inhabit a house like the Montara House, you’d be sure to find a pick-me-up no matter what the weather conditions. Located on the coast just south of San Francisco on a steep sloped site, the concrete home maximizes natural daylight inside the home and provides a comfortable and warm environment to escape the fog. And though designed by San Francisco-based Anderson Anderson Architecture, the resident family were actually the builders of this eco-home, which includes an impressive pv and solar water heating system.

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To minimize costs and carbon footprint, the home was built from just two materials – concrete and sustainably harvested Peruvian Redwood. While concrete has its pluses and minuses as a sustainable material, by using this as the main construction material cast on site, the owner was able to simplify construction considerably. Foot-thick concrete walls were cast monolithically with rigid foam insulation placed between two reinforced layers, while the redwood was imported and milled onsite to create the paneling, ceilings, windows and doors.

Windows and skylights were strategically placed to draw in the temperate sun through the fog, and glass walls were installed around outdoor living areas to create a more comfortable environment and provide a buffer zone for the house. A photovoltaic system and solar hot water system sits concealed on the roof to provide both electricity and hot water to the home.