Pursuing Platinum in Palo Alto

One of the three houses in the San Francisco Bay Area that is current pursuing LEED for Homes Platinum certification is the Christensen Pierret Family house, located at 2180 Bryant Street in Palo Alto.

Sign in front of 2180 Bryant Street in Palo Alto, listing the pursuit of LEED for Homes Platinum certification and the design team members.

Sign in front of 2180 Bryant Street in Palo Alto, listing the pursuit of LEED for Homes Platinum certification and the design team members.

From our research, we believe there are five single family homes in the SF Bay Area that are at the LEED for Homes Platinum level.  Two of these houses have been completed and are certified Platinum, and three are in planning or in the construction phase.

Certified Platinum

Pursuing Platinum Certification

Yesterday, when Bryan met with Steve Jackel, they discussed homes pursuing Platinum certification and Steve mentioned that he had just been to 2180 Bryant Street in Palo Alto.  Steve said that he could introduce Bryan to the general contractor, Paul Moffat (Pete Moffat Construction, Inc.), and his on-site superintendent, Jim Clark.

That happened quickly and Bryan was on site today before 2:00 pm.

Public Awareness

In the LEED for Homes Project Checklist, there are eight credit categories, one of which is Awareness & Education.  Across the eight categories, there are 136 points available that, depending on the number earned, will determine the certification level.  There are three points available in the Awareness & Education category, one of which is for Public Awareness.

Public Awareness includes holding public open houses, publishing a web site, generating newspaper articles, and displaying LEED for Homes signage.

Generally speaking, anyone pursuing LEED Platinum certification will be receptive to showing their home to others.  We hosted our first public open house on January 31, 2009.

Touring 2180 Bryant Street

Bryan was able to review the construction underway at 2180 Bryant Street and was totally impressed with everything that was planned and being built there.  The photos below show key features of this house that we found especially interesting.

Signage from public tour highlighting key features of the house, which is a showcase for Sustainable Sites.

Signage from public tour highlighting key features of the house, which is a showcase for Sustainable Sites.

We had not seen a graywater reuse system before, and how that plumbing system was connected to the cistern.  This house has a complete graywater reuse system, collecting water from multiple sources and storing it in two cisterns.

One of two cisterns to hold rainwater and grey water.

One of two cisterns to hold rainwater for irrigation.

This photo shows the two plumbing systems (black water in black pipe and grey water is purple pipe), domestic hot water (insulated), cold water (copper pipe), with structural elements, such as the steel beam supporting a pandeck (supporting the concrete floor)

This photo shows the two plumbing systems (black pipe for black water and purple pipe for graywater), domestic hot water (insulated pipe), cold water (copper pipe) with structural elements, such as the steel beam under the pan deck (supporting the concrete floor).

Of particular relevance to our design, was the collection of vent pipes to remove them from view.  This is a critical detail for our ‘less is more’ design where we want to minimize elements from view, in our house and on our roof.  Vent pipes from the plumbing system must exhaust on the roof, so collecting those vent pipes is important in eliminating the number of vent pipes penetrating the roof.

Vent pipes in a false chimney, just under the roof on the second floor.

Vent pipes in a false chimney, just under the roof on the second floor.

Connecting plumbing vents in the walls, showing the 70% slag concrete floor.

Connecting plumbing vents in the walls, showing the 70% slag concrete floor.

Steel around the perimeter of the house preventing water and termites from the interior.

Steel around the perimeter of the house preventing water and termites from the interior.

Holddowns for double shearwall.

Two hold downs for a double shear wall.

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