Rustic Yet Contemporary Del Mar Beach Cottage
West Meets East
TOO BAD THE WORLD AUTO INDUSTRY couldn’t take stylin’ tips from the new wave of green-conscious homebuilders. If eco-friendly cars had the same design creativity as the modern energy-efficient homes of today, we’d all be living on a greener planet.
Case in point: In the Republic of Del Mar, a slickly designed new home — just steps from the Pacific Ocean — has earned big points as a platinum-grade (highest) LEED-certified home. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the highest standard homebuilders can achieve in creating energy-efficient residences according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s sustainability guidelines.
Designed and built by Laura Parker’s Del Mar Restoration, with architectural coordination by Bokal & Sneed Architects and the savvy backing of homeowner Jim O’Brien, this West meets East project, completed in June, has all the bells and whistles of modernity while adhering to an eco-friendly bottom line.
Modest in size (2,600 square feet) while big in good looks, this California beach cottage is the epitome of indoor-outdoor living. Yes, that’s a garage door that opens into the living room.
What we have here is the juxtaposition of old rural barn rustic with sleek city living.
From its efficient xeriscaping to the use of sustainable building materials throughout, this home is a primer in how to be green.
“Green” features include: 1.60kw solar-electric photo-voltaic system; radiant floor heating; grey-water system for water reuse in the home and landscape; HRV ventilation system; solar chimney to provide natural air ventilation from ocean breezes; thermal-mass fireplace to provide cooling and heating naturally; low-VOC building materials; ARXX ICF (insulated concrete form) wall system in basement; HardiePlank shiplap siding with 30-year warranty; high-performance Jeld Wen windows and doors; low-flow plumbing fixtures; Energy Star-rated appliances; SFI-certified wood for framing; non-toxic sodium-borate-treated framing for termite control; drought-tolerant landscaping with a cistern to catch rainwater for irrigation. Plus the home was radon tested and designed to perform more than 50-percent better than the Title 24 Energy Standard requirements.
“I’m overjoyed at being able to build a home with as many state-of-the art eco-friendly concepts and products,” says Parker, an East Coast advertising executive, who eight years ago earned her contractor’s license. She hopes that “this project will be the best Platinum LEED certified home in Southern California.”
Homes: By Thomas Shess Photography by Martin Mann