Countryside Passive House
This all-electric certified Passive House sits on a 10-acre parcel in Cachagua, a rural area of Carmel Valley, California. The 2,277-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath residence was built next to an observatory, the initial draw for the owners who are avid star gazers. The hues of the home’s interior are intentionally neutral, focusing attention on the dramatic natural surroundings. The great room and adjacent bedroom feature pitched ceilings accented with dark wood beam trestles, lending a sense of expansiveness and elegance. Built-in cabinetry and shelving take maximum advantage of the space.
Given that it is located in a Wildland—Urban Interface zone, Trex® deck and railing materials, a metal roof and special finishes were added to the exterior to decrease flammability. This helped protect the home during a 2020 wildfire. A state-of-the-art heat recovery ventilation system (HRV) is designed to prevent infiltration of smoke to the interior.
Thanks to the highly efficient HRV, and the application of advanced insulation and air sealing techniques, the energy demand for space conditioning is about 90 percent less than a traditionally built structure. The remainder of the home’s energy needs are provided by a solar array. Windows were strategically placed to capitalize on the mountain and valley views as well as naturally control heat gain from the sun.
The observatory, once the sole building on the property, now includes a two car garage and a cozy room for relaxing until the stars make their appearance. While the home was under construction and interior walls still uncovered, it was used to demonstrate Passive House techniques and technologies and related benefits. Click here for a virtual tour.