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O’Neil Passive House

Architect / Firm: Lail Design Group

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Lail Design Group



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First Certified Passive House in California
First Certified Passive House Retrofit in North America
Registered LEED for Homes(tracking platinum rating)

The original house was an awkward configuration of two nondescript structures linked by a breezeway. There was no street-side entry or insulation.

Today a large, covered porch creates a warmly inviting entry and shades the home from summer sun. Triple pane windows in a clean, traditional style promote passive solar gain. The super-sealed front door is painted a welcoming green (low voc, of course) a quiet nod to Catherine’s Scottish heritage.

A blanket of insulation rests between the concrete slab and an exquisite, wide-planked, reclaimed wood floor. The effect is an airtight surface that “gives” to the foot like a gymnasium floor.

The most striking feature, when you enter the home is the absolute quiet, a function of the ventilation system, insulation and super-sealed joints. The denatured ethanol fireplace in the living room requires no chimney.

Where the breezeway stood, sunlight floods through a wall-spanning, sliding glass-door and illuminates a sleek new kitchen which separates public and private spaces.

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