Friday, July 9, 2010

La Jolla Home Gets Gut-Remodel for LEED Silver

by Kristianne Watts, Allied ASID, LEED AP
KW Designs

The inspiration behind the complete remodel on Chelsea Avenue in the Bird Rock area of La Jolla, CA was to take advantage of the panoramic views of the La Jolla coast by adding a rooftop. In updating the home, the goal was to create a coastal, modern, yet simple feel by combining natural elements with novel design strategies. As the design for this modern home became more innovative with features and technology, it made sense to register this project with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as a Gut-Remodel in LEED for Homes; we expect to receive at least a Silver certification for this remodel.

We wished to maximize the space in this 1800 square foot home, so some of our design strategies included using full-height pocketing doors with laminated glass and zero reveal, wall-hung cabinetry for bathrooms, and simple finishes like ceramic tile, glass mosaics, and concrete countertops. This home has a modern look but incorporates natural materials to bring in the beautiful surroundings.

Another important objective was low maintenance and durability, which was achieved by specifying ceramic flooring throughout home, avoiding wood trim, and using aluminum-coated modern windows and doors.

We recycled any material that could be deconstructed, such as concrete, aluminum, and wood. New materials that were introduced, like the concrete countertops and glass mosaics, have 40%-60% recycled content. The existing cabinetry was repurposed at another beach house and the old doors and windows were taken to donation centers. The energy-efficient cooking appliances were reused in the kitchen, which made sense and saved from ordering new appliances. Another innovative design strategy was the smart home technology that controls all lighting, shades, security, landscaping, and media, making this home easy to operate even when away.

Some challenges with this project came with structural issues and water damage that were progressively getting worse, which led to extra measures in durability with water-proofing, pest control, and insulation. Another issue that had to be addressed was the raised landscape, which was over-irrigated and was causing problems on the structure and affecting the interior air quality. To resolve these problems, the ground was leveled and sloped away from the home to minimize run off. Permeable pavers were also added to cut down on the amount of turf.

This project was all about the details, both structural and aesthetic. The designer, Kristianne Watts of KW Designs, and the builder, Paul Spadone of Streamline Development, used a team approach to bring this modern beach style home to life while keeping the personal preferences of homeowner in mind and minimizing impacts on the environment. 

To see more photos of this project, please visit Streamline Development's website at: