The Cottle Home, a 3200 sf luxury home in the heart of Silicon Valley, is the first Certified Net Zero Energy new home in California and will produce all the energy required by its occupants to live and stay comfortable from solar energy systems mounted on its roof. This is possible because the building has been designed in cooperation with the US Dept. of Energy's Building America program dedicated to high performance building science and technology, and the home design meets the international Passive House standard which is so energy efficient that the building can be heated with a hair dryer.
Explore this web site and the One Sky Homes web site for more information about the Cottle Net Zero Energy home project and high performance building.
We are building our foundation walls using Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF) which are rigid plastic foam (EPS - Expanded Polystryrene) forms that hold concrete in place during curing. The ICFs remain in place to serve as thermal insulation for the concrete foundation walls. These ICFs are made by Greenblock and have an R-value of about 22.
In our earthquake prone region of Northern California, building codes are incredibly strict and complex. This particular site has a high content of sand and the building codes require that we take the foundation piers to a depth of 11'.
The piers support the load of the building and prevent the foundation from settling.
Our goal for the deconstruction of the building envelope is to transfer the least amount of building by-products to the landfill as possible. This goal informs the way we organize the on-site sorting of materials.
Metal ductwork, satellite dish, metal windows, gutters - anything metal from the site is collected here.
The traditional way to demolish a building is to bring in the 'Cat' to smash and crash its way through the structure ending up with a huge mixed debris pile that is transferred to dumpsters and trucked to the landfill.
Many times hazardous waste gets thrown into the mix and there is a real danger of ground and water contamination at the landfill.
The 'best practices' and sustainable alternative to demolition is "Deconstruction". The goal of deconstruction is to take apart the structure in such a way that most of the original building materials can be reused or recycled in some way. The landfill is the last resort and is only used for a very small percentage of building materials which could not be reused or recycled. In the first stage of the deconstruction, reusable and recyclable materials are stripped from the building and sold, donated, reused or reintegrated into the project. In the second stage the envelope is is deconstructed and sorted into piles (i.e. concrete, wood, metal and glass).
At the absolute core of sustainability is the reuse of materials whenever possible. The first stage of green site deconstruction is to strip the existing stucture of any reuasable and recyclable materials.