Tehama 2 in Carmel-by-the-Sea by Studio Schicketanz is a net-zero home built using reclaimed wood and local stone. We caught up with Mary Ann Schicketanz to talk about some of the more sustainable features to this project and her studio.

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long gabled home surrounded by trees

In an effort to incorporate the agricultural, architectural tradition of the coastal area, the home was designed in response to the owner’s desire for a traditional environment without artificiality. The main wooden structure is supported by a solid, plaster base, a contrast meant to mirror the ground and the sky. There are PV panels incorporated into the roof of the guest wing, and the generated energy is stored in Tesla Powerwalls. Schicketanz gives us a closer look into all of the sustainable efforts that went into this project.

Related: Modern farmhouse targets net-zero energy in Vermont

large gravel courtyard in front of wood home with gabled roof

Inhabitat: Your firm designed the first LEED-certified project in Big Sur and the first LEED-certified project in Carmel. Why is sustainability so important to you?

Schicketanz: “I believe the future of our planet will depend on everyone, in each industry sector, to work toward a lifecycle economy. We need to stop digging up or pumping up raw materials for production and building. Ultimately, this leads to waste and pollutes the planet after we are done consuming. While we are working toward a healthier world, building LEED-certified is a start.”

living area with stone floors, exposed wood ceiling beams, navy sofa and dark wood table

Inhabitat: What about taking environmental impact into account during construction?

Schicketanz: “The biggest issue we face is construction waste, and it is terribly hard to move our industry toward a little-to-no-waste process.”

large glass doors opening to a covered stone patio

Inhabitat: Can you tell us about some of the more sustainable and eco-friendly features to Tehama 2?

Schicketanz: “We used reclaimed wood and materials for the ceiling as well as human-made materials such as concrete floor tiles throughout instead of stone pavers. In this particular job we were striving for, and achieved, a Net Zero rating, which even included charging stations for two electric vehicles.”

kitchen with wood island and gray cabinets

Inhabitat: Are there any aesthetic features to the house that you are especially proud of?

Schicketanz: “Yes, we developed an asymmetrical all-timber structure (inspired by the vernacular architecture of Carmel Valley) allowing for a very deep porch without losing any views toward the Santa Lucia Mountain Range.”

stone patio with wire chairs

Inhabitat: What did you find most rewarding about this particular project?

Schicketanz: “I love how the structure is integrated and interlocks into the landscape.”

aerial view of long gabled home with solar panels

Inhabitat: Why should people invest in a Net Zero home?

Schicketanz: “Aside from being extremely good for the environment, another obvious reason is that after a very short time, homeowners no longer have any costs to operate their homes.”

+ Studio Schicketanz

Photography by Tim Griffith Photography via Studio Schicketanz