Green Construction

Winner of the 2008 Town of Atherton Green Building Award.

Tightly Sealed Building Envelope


The walls are framed with SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) which consist of thick foam sandwiched between 2 layers of OSB.  SIPs provide energy efficiency compared to traditional stick framing with batt insulation with greater r-values and minimal air leakage.


Concrete walls in the basement poured with ICFs (Insulating Concrete Forms) which remain in place for the life of the wall.  ICFs provide greater r-value, minimize air leakage and help sound control.

Spray Foam

Closed cell spray foam rather than batt insulation is used at the stick-framed roof for greater r-value and to minimize air leakage.  Spray foam is also used at rim joists, window openings and any other penetrations.

Energy Efficiency

All HVAC equipment is 90% efficient.

Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating

Comfortable and efficient way of distributing heat in the home.

HVAC in conditioned space

All HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning) equipment is located in conditioned space.

Triple glazed windows

The energy efficiency of triple glazed windows may not be cost recuperative in California, but this family lives next to a train station, so the triple glazed windows on the second floor were also for sound attenuation.


A radiant barrier installed under the roofing material to minimize radiant heat gain in the summer and radiant heat loss in the winter.

Induction Cooktop

Energy efficient, speedy heating and

Indoor Air Quality


Because the house is tightly sealed, HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) is used to provide fresh air in a controlled manner.

HEPA air filtration

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter for the inside of the home which studies have shown to be 2 – 5 more polluted than outside.

Low VOC paint

Interior paints are low or no VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paints which produce fewer polluting toxins.

Recycled / Responsible Materials


All townships now require some percentage of recycling, but deconstruction goes further.  Usable materials and fixtures are salvaged and either used again during construction or sold locally.  There is a large tax benefit, so although it costs more money up front and takes a little more time, you can actually come out cash positive.

Fly Ash

Fly Ash is a residue from coal-fired power plants that is added to Portland cement rather than being dumped to landfill.

Rubber Floor

Rubber floor in the laundry room is durable, sound absorbing and made from recycled tires.

Metal roof

Besides being long lasting and made from recyclable material, the metal roof on this house has a high solar reflectancy index creating a “cool roof.”


Cabinets, doors and moldings are a beautiful stain-grade sustainably grown Lyptus.

Recycling Tubes

Custom designed tubes behind the kitchen sink lead to recycling cans outside the kitchen window.



Rather than exterior paint, we used Rhinoshield which is a long lasting spray-on ceramic coating.

Water Efficiency

Dual Flush Toilets

Allows the user to flush .9 or 1.6 gallons, depending on the need.

Green Certification

  • Green Certification
  • Green Certification
  • Green Certification
  • Green Certification