The goal; a new two-level home that could score as high as reasonable in the Build It Green “GreenPoint Rated System”. The design objectives; sustainability, privacy, respectful and Eichler-inspired. The owners de-constructed their existing house when they realized that any single-story design meeting their needs would completely eliminate their back yard. They directed Klopf Architecture to design a net-zero energy, two-level home to be a contemporary interpretation of Eichler in style yet keep their single story neighborhood happy. They wanted to maintain their privacy but also wanted a design that was open and light-filled.
The solution; directed openness, low profile and net-zero energy. The site, a cul-de-sac lot which was the not large enough for a single-story home that would fit the needs of these owners who both work from home. They wanted this to be their “final” residence so Klopf needed to design a larger-than-normal home to suit their lifestyle needs. Instead of adding a second story (and annoying the neighbors) they opted for a partially-submerged lower level that Klopf designed furthest from a basement as possible (with a pulled-back floor plate, a light-filled “atrium” and a lower level light well). To preserve privacy and bring in light while minimizing unwanted solar heat gain and provide connection to nature, the design team oriented a large window wall north to the back yard while sloping the ceiling of the great room up to increase the light and connection to nature. The sloping roof also provided a surface suitable for mounting the 13.4 kW PV system compared to other building faces that have smaller, punched windows that maximize privacy. The owners were very concerned about the environment, specifically about energy and resource efficiency. They directed Klopf to use materials that would last as long as possible while avoiding “food for termites” and design a high-performance sustainable home.
In conjunction with the Mechanical Engineer they designed a net-zero energy home featuring insulated concrete forms (ICFs), structural insulated panels (SIPs), high-performance windows, cementitious siding, and an 13.4 kW solar Photovoltaic (PV) system sized to cover all the energy use in the house. The new open and light-filled house offers a connection to nature while maintaining privacy. Natural gas would not be used in the home with the possible exception of a backyard BBQ.
Klopf Architecture brings the outside in. Our firm creates warm, modern designs that admit natural light and allow openness to nature. Our design approach weighs many factors to create custom designs with just the right level of connection to the outside world: clients’ goals and lifestyle, site orientation, views, climate, and neighborhood context. Our primary goal is to create spaces people love to inhabit. Specializing in new warm, modern net-zero energy houses, we are widely recognized for our work remodeling and adding to mid-century modern and Eichler homes.
We believe in bringing these wonderful homes back to life for another generation to love, or creating new, green modern homes that provide the same level of warmth and connection to nature that follow a similar philosophy. In business for more than 12 years, Klopf Architecture has created designs for four new, modern green or net-zero energy homes and more than 65 mid-century modern home remodels additions.Architects: Klopf Architecture
Project name: Net-Zero Energy House Photography: Mariko Reed