Exciting New Project Underway in Pebble Beach, California
Named 17 Mile Haus, the project will demonstrate a viable method of sustainable, energy-efficient, low-carbon-footprint building for any construction project.Our clients’ primary goals for the energy-efficient home project include maximum energy efficiency, a low carbon footprint and minimal impact on the wooded property. The design incorporates a high-efficiency building shell and all-electric mechanical systems and appliances, foregoing any power generation from fossil fuels. A solar photovoltaic array with battery backup is an integral part of the home’s energy plan.
For the design of this home, we drew inspiration from both the legacy of Monterey Modernism and the distinctive features of the property. These influences carry through to the three buildings on the property: A 2,938-square-foot primary residence, detached studio/guest house and detached garage.We honored our clients’ request for natural materials that would age gracefully and blend with the landscape. The palette of exterior materials further references this region’s modernist icons, mirroring their use of natural wood siding as the primary cladding material.
The driveway will be left unpaved so its edges can merge naturally into the existing landscape. Plantings will be minimal, and placed near downspouts to allow rainwater filtration. No irrigation will be installed.
This home is designed to meet the rigorous performance targets of the International Passive House Standard to achieve Passive House Plus certification. In January 2022, PHribbon—a plug-in enhancement tool to the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP)—was released to allow assessment of the project’s upfront embodied carbon. This means we’re able to assess both operational and embodied carbon* using a single energy model. Our team will be sharing this data to help develop references for what is possible in the Monterey Bay region. Primary innovations that will be employed to ensure maximum energy-efficiency, comfort, quiet and water conservation include:
- Air sealing: We’re aiming for < 0.6 air changes per hour (ACH) for the blower door test, compared to 3 ACH required by current baseline code. Five times better than code requires, it serves to control moisture and air quality and maintain a steady indoor temperature.
- High-performance insulation: The roof and floor will be insulated to higher levels than code and tested to ensure effective installation.
- Elimination of thermal bridges: This minimizes condensation and mold potential, and helps manage indoor comfort and temperature. Tactics to achieve this include advanced framing and careful coordination of structural detailing to reduce penetrations.
- Water conservation features: These include an on-demand hot water recirculation pump to reduce water waste; a gray water filtration system; and an onsite water catchment system that uses plants to filter roof runoff.
- Advanced (all electric) mechanical systems: We’re deploying highly-efficient mechanical ventilation throughout in combination with air source heat pumps.
Carmel Building & Design helped the clients select the architect for this ambitious energy-efficient home project. We recommended Bronwyn Barry of Passive House BB, one of the country’s most influential architects in the field of leading-edge, energy-efficient homes with minimal carbon footprint. Bronwyn is co-founder of Passive House California and Passive House Network (PHN). She continues to serve on the PHN board as Policy Lead. Bronwyn served as Board President during the formative years of both organizations. She has contributed to various policy-related efforts to promote outcomes-based energy and building codes, including contributions to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s framework guidelines for energy efficiency in buildings. She was nominated a Senior Fellow by the New Buildings Institute in 2020 and serves as an advisor to their board. She continues to serve on the Technical Advisory Committee for the International Passive House Institute’s annual conference.Leading the Carmel Building & Design team are Rob Nicely, president, partner and project manager and Eddie Ortiz, the jobsite supervisor overseeing construction. Stay tuned for more on the exciting 17 Mile Haus project as we move toward an anticipated completion in early 2024. In the meantime, feel free to contact us using our convenient form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Embodied carbon vs. operational carbon
The embodied carbon (EC) of an object refers to the net greenhouse gas emissions arising from all aspects of making it, including extracting the raw materials, research, design, fabrication, manufacture, transport, use/operation, maintenance and disposal. The operational carbon (OC) of an object refers to the carbon produced by operating the object (appliances and mechanical systems, for example). Here, EC and OC are discussed in the context of the built environment, but can apply to anything.