The Brooks Residence | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: Homes v3 - LEED 2008

The Brooks Residence

539 Brooks Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90291
United States

LEED Platinum 2012

Developing a watershed approach to managing water on a single-family home site

Congratulations to Isabelle Duvivier, Brooks Residence as the recipient of the 2012 LEED for Homes award in Outstanding Single Family Project

Duvivier was inspired to push the limits to create one of the top 10 green homes in California and top 25 in the US according to the US Green Building Council. She transformed a dilapidated 100-year-old home into a state-of-the-art model. Her solution was holistic. Every part of the house from building materials to energy and water-use were examined for maximum efficiency. What resulted is a LEED Platinum house and the 2012 Outstanding Home Award from the national United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and an Innovation Award from the USGBC-LA. Experimental opportunities such as graywater application, 95% native plants, collection cisterns for irrigation, net-zero energy and material reuse were used.


One of the project’s greatest achievements is controlling how and where water is distributed and reused. 100% of storm water is collected on site in either in cisterns to be reused later or in swales to allow for infiltration. A graywater system irrigates riparian trees. The gardens create a haven for local wildlife, a spot for orchards and farming. The heat island effect is reduced through landscaping and minimized hardscape. All water systems are visually prominent to provide opportunities for discussion and learning.


To improve energy performance, this net-zero, passive solar home relies on lots of natural lighting, carefully placed windows, solar tubes and skylights, as well as natural ventilation eliminating the need for air conditioning. Combined with high-efficiency appliances and Energy Star lighting (95% LED lights), the home is 53% more efficient than Title 24 State of California’s Energy Requirements. A 4 kW solar array produces a power surplus ten months of the year.


To reduce need for source material and reduce waste, materials are used in an ultra-efficient manner. The stair treads, door jambs and bookshelves are made from laminated 100-year-old 2x4s, reclaimed wood from walls that were removed. The existing Douglas fir floors were restored. To reduce material sent off to a landfill, the old cellulose insulation was composted on site and no soil was removed from the property. In total, 85% of construction waste was reused instead of going to the landfill. The old wooden lath was repurposed into a treehouse and conference room table.

The home has been visited by thousands during construction and since completion two years ago. The project is spawning a neighborhood-wide green infrastructure movement and has been widely published including in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and Green Source magazine

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Project details
1,689 sf
Gut Renovation/Single Family
7 Jun 2012
Walk Score®