Two dwellings in the Peninsula and one in Pacific Beach are among 10 sustainable homes to be showcased in the eighth annual self-guided Green Homes Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22 sponsored by the San Diego Green Build Council.
The home tour brings together hundreds of members to celebrate best practices in green building and design, while showcasing the innovative work of some of the industry’s top professionals.
The diverse projects include sustainably-constructed or remodeled single-family residences, urban multifamily developments and many projects that are GreenPoint Rated or LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified.
Attendees may visit as many of the homes as they like, meet with industry professionals and homeowners, and learn more about the latest green home design, construction and upgrade options. Each eco-friendly project features innovative, high-performance design features, including impact areas such as energy and water conservation, building materials, indoor air quality, landscaping and sustainable building sites.
SDGBC is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to providing education, outreach and advocacy focused on green building in San Diego.
Green homes include:
– LeCase Ecovillage (835 Tourmaline St., Pacific Beach) – Five residences on two urban lots designed to facilitate a more environmentally conscious communal lifestyle, with a community garden using permaculture techniques, rainwater catchment system, rapidly renewable cork flooring, recycled denim insulation, whole-house ventilation systems and a vegetated roof.
– 3 on Abbott (2185 Abbott St., Ocean Beach) – Unique three-unit residential project was efficiently pre-fabricated (factory-built) for safe, quick and efficient construction and significantly reduced building material waste. Building features include engineered bamboo flooring, ultra-low VOC content, rapidly renewable materials, tankless water heaters, daylighting and natural cross-ventilation, Energy Star appliances and xeriscape landscaping.
– O’Brien residence (4424 Algeciras St., Ocean Beach) – This GreenPoint Rated home underwent a whole-house remodel and addition and features a high-efficiency furnace and water heater, energy-efficient windows, advanced waterproofing systems, solar power system, low-water landscape, drip irrigation and extensive use of sustainable and recycled materials.
Three on Abbot was a first-time development effort by Pedro Tavares of RS Tavares Associates Inc. and his parents, whose small firm designs and engineers prefabricated projects.
“Manufactured in and shipped from Corona, Calif., these homes were built under extremely rigid constraints imposed by local zoning,” said Tavares.
“They are about 840 square feet each, a block from Dog Beach. They are very unique in terms of modular structures in that they contain balloon-framed loft spaces, a large roof deck with panoramic views of the water and Portuguese cobblestone to create the Copacabana Boardwalk pattern on the driveways.”
Tavares added most of his project’s green features “are just common sense” — engineered bamboo flooring, rapidly renewable material, tankless heat pump water heaters,
Daylighting and cross ventilation, Energy Star appliances and xeriscaped landscaping.
Suzi O’Brien, interior designer/owner, EcoLux Interiors, speaking about her home tour project at 4424 Algeciras St. in Sunset Cliffs, said doing sustainable architecture is increasingly getting less and less expensive.
“It used to be very much more expensive, but nowadays, not so much, if you put in things that are going to save energy like solar panels and systems that reuse water from your shower to use in your garden,” O’Brien said. “Stuff like that saves water over the long haul.”
Regarding LeCase EcoVillage, on Tourmaline Street, owner Daniela Carpano, said, “It’s more than just a green building, it is green life. It’s not limited to features of the home. We installed a ‘cool’ roof that absorbs heat and stays much cooler. You are very comfortable without any need of A/C.”
LeCase EcoVillage is two adjacent lots with four buildings on it with four families sharing garden and common spaces.
“Green features are in the garden with rain harvesting creating a sustainable environment: That’s the whole mission,” said Carpano.
Tour cost for San Diego Green Building Council members is $10 and non-members is $15. Students are $5 (with I.D.) and children under 18 are free. Tickets are available now at usgbc-sd.org/event-2547926.