LEED BD+C: Homes v2008
The Brooks Residence
LEED Platinum 2012
"LEED was like an invisible best friend who had more power than me and made my subcontractors take my requests seriously." - Isabelle Duvivier, Architect.
Congratulations to Isabelle Duvivier, Brooks Residence as the recipient of the 2012 LEED for Homes award in Outstanding Single Family Project
The owner and architect of this LEED Platinum house in Venice, California, I have lived in this community for most of my life. I love its diversity, density, and urban vibe – and that I can ride my bike everywhere, including to my office and my son’s school. Three years ago, my husband and I purchased this 100-year-old Craftsman, located in a culturally diverse neighborhood that holds rich African American history. After purchasing the home from a family who had lived here for five generations, we wanted to honor its history, so we decided to remodel and expand, rather than build new. The 1,700-square-foot remodel involved gutting and opening up the existing first-floor house; we also added a second-floor master suite. The finished house hosts two baths and three bedrooms, one of which is in what used to be the attic.
Our overarching goal was to reduce the home’s footprint through water, energy, and material efficiency. Beyond that, we challenged ourselves to regenerate the planet by restoring habitat for birds, bees, and butterflies, and creating educational opportunities for our friends, clients, and neighbors. The backyard is a formalized version of a natural world where native plants are aesthetically pleasing and serve a function, conserving water and providing sustenance for native animals.
To improve energy performance, this passive solar house has carefully-placed windows, solar tubes, and skylights. All new walls are 2×6 and we installed insulation per Quality Installation of Insulation guidelines. The home features high-efficiency appliances, ENERGY STAR lighting (95% LED lights), and a 4-kW solar array that produces a power surplus 10 months of the year. Overall energy strategies resulted in 53% greater efficiency than Title 24.
We used materials in an ultra-efficient manner to reduce the need for source material and to reduce waste. The stair treads, doorjambs, and bookshelves were made from laminated 100-year-old 2x4s reclaimed from the few walls that were removed. We restored the existing Douglas fir floors and composted old cellulose insulation on-site. No soil was removed from the property, creating a sculptural “hill” in the back yard. We selected high recycled content products, including exterior siding, bathroom tiles, concrete countertops, insulation, and foundation. 76% of construction waste was diverted from landfill.
To reduce water use, two cisterns collect 800 gallons of rainwater. One cistern is used to water a fruit orchard; the other is open and used as fish habitat and a water source for the cut-flower garden. A large swale in the backyard collects more than 850 gallons of rainwater. A greywater recycling system pumps water to riparian trees and a banana crescent. The landscaping is composed of 91% California native plants, which are naturally drought-tolerant and provide habitat for native species, and 84% of the site is permeable.