Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Scott Heeschen had many ‘green’ goals in mind. Together we took the approach to review, select and apply best practices recommended by Build it Green, LEED, the emerging Passive House standard and more. Certification was less important than practical design, application, detailing, and building well for effective results. 

In comparison:

- One Passive House metric is to meet the specific heating energy requirement of 4.75 k Btu/sf/yr.  Passive House Modeling for Scott's: 4.24 k Btu/sf/yr. 
- Green Point Rating is one defacto standard for many cities around the Bay Area. Palo Alto requires a minimum of 70 points up to 150 points depending on the size of the residence. Green Point Rating for Scott's: 239+
- LEED rating would fall just short of platinum because, among other reasons, the front door and the garage door are not fsc certified.

It can be said, in some ways, to design in sustainability was easier than the care required to build in sustainability. The Passive House standard, in particular, requires reducing air infiltration (or its opposite - air moving out of the home)  to an amount much lower than American and local practices are used to achieving. A committed builder eager to attend to details is highly recommended. 

The key builder for the Heeschen Residence:

Santa Cruz Green Builders  

See more about the Heeschen home in Campbell on our website.

Monday, October 10, 2011

THE FINAL TOUCH / Palo Alto - Part 2

Here is the second of two proposed entry gate concepts for a residence we designed in Palo Alto. The home was built in 2005. This gate or a fresh design will be installed sometime in the near future. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Renee’s home is an early sixties ranch. Quite nice for it’s era, but it is time. A major re design of the public spaces, particularly the kitchen, is the focus of this phase. Make the public areas larger, more open, more connected. Enhance the great view. Add a family room.  Make the kitchen bigger, actually efficient and in lovely French Country style.  And, if possible find a way to have a real front door. Now you go around the back of the house past the master bedroom.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

HEESCHEN RESIDENCE / Campbell - Before and After

Sometimes it is instructive to see the transformation. For an idea of what can be done . . . . 



See more about the Heeschen home in Campbell on the website.