Most people think that living in an energy-efficient home means they have to sacrifice their dreams of owning a big house with a pool but that is a myth and Faulkner Architects is here to bust it beautifully! We all know that client requests will include the stars and the moon, but the architects here actually made it happen – every room faced towards the Sierra Nevada Mountains per the request! What makes this even better is that Viewfinder House improved energy efficiency by 14.5% when compared to similar structures.
Located in Truckee, California, the 7,200 square feet lavish house comes with a pool and offers a look into what environmentally-friendly architecture is really like. Two rectangular boxes form the core of the structure and the space is connected through multiple covered porches. The lower level is contoured to match the property line, but the upper level is rotated so that you can soak in the panoramic Pacific Crest mountain views. The materials removed from the pool and house excavation were saved and used for the nearby terraced landscaping to reduce construction waste while repurposing it meaningfully for the surroundings.
The team used steel for the base so that the house could hold up against deep winter snow. The exterior has a rain screen of red cedar which protects it from the street without blocking natural light. There are many passive design elements that create shade to promote energy efficiency throughout the home like the roof overhang that protects the glass doors from weather and solar gain inside the home. It also is equipped with high-efficiency boilers to conserve energy and work in conjunction with effective radiantly heated floors. Even the back of the lower level takes advantage of earth sheltering to organically insulate the home and facilitates natural ventilation through the large windows and careful door placement.
Faulkner Architects’ team emphasized using enhanced-efficiency glazing and insulation for a tight construction envelope based on a press release. These combined efforts and design details helped the house to improve the energy efficiency well above the already strict California energy code. The Viewfinder House is a step in the right direction for the architecture industry as we move towards a more sustainable lifestyle!
Designer: Faulkner Architects