We'll give credit to LPA, Inc Architecture for exploring a wide variety of green solutions for what could have been just another expensive, stylish (and huge) coastal home. The Chestnut House located down in Newport Beach uses both passive and active green solutions that help to moderate the interior temperatures of the 4 bedroom, 4 bath home (it also helps to be located in temperate, sunny Newport Beach) and provides half of it's own power requirements via the sun. Take a peek inside below...
The 2-story living room isn't just a dramatic space to hobnob, but also designed to lift hot air upward and out with the aid of a house fan. The skylight above allows for warm sun to heat the space on cooler days.
A 5.3 kilowatt solar system harnesses the Southern California sun to power the majority of the home's energy needs while a majority of the flooring inside the Chestnut House is composed of recycled glass and aggregates, directly aiding the passive cooling and heating action. The exterior yard has been planted with low water flora which also provide a passive cooling feature, thanks to the shade they provide.
Now if we could only get these sort of excellent green design solutions to trickle down to modestly priced homes, and hopefully even one day, lower income housing. The Chestnut House is an excellent template for future architects to draw upon when designing homes to take advantage of Southern California's Mediterranean climate and year around sunlight, and take some of the burden off our city's energy strain.