Small Malibu Escape is Green and Fire-Resistant

Small Malibu Escape is Green and Fire-Resistant

Trent Johnson
Sep 24, 2009

This small retreat is nestled in the fire prone Hills of Los Angeles and was designed to be both fire resistant and reasonably low impact. The 700-square-foot residence is designed with modern details and some surprising green features ...

The structure's exterior is covered in interlocking corrugated Rheinzink panels, which are noncombustible and the same color as the hills, allowing the home to practically disappear into the landscape. Beneath that is a layer of fire-resistant gypsum board and eco-friendly cellulose insulation (made from recycled newsprint).

The owners/architects Nick Roberts and Cory Buckner have experienced a home fire first hand. In 1993, their home in Thousand Oaks, CA, burned to the ground in the Green Meadow brush fire. After relocating three carloads of possessions to Buckner's parents' home 30 minutes away, a week later that home burned to the ground as well.

The new weekend escape was designed not only to be sustainable, but also fire resistant. Exterior colors blend into the landscape and recycled and renewable materials are used throughout the home.

Fire resistant features include:


  • Fire-rated composition roof
  • Nonflammable recycled newsprint eco-friendly cellulose insulation
  • Fire-resistant gypsum board
  • Noncombustible zinc-allow "siding"
  • Perforated steel screen, serving as a radiant heat shield.

Original article by Barbara Thornburg.
All photos by Ken Hively, the Los Angeles Times.

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