Archive for the ‘External References’ Category

Receiving Coverage in Green Architecture and Building Report

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

We received some excellent coverage today by Mignon O’Young in her blog, Green Architecture and Building Report.

Mignon is a licensed architect in the State of California and she currently lives in Switzerland.  Mignon has a blog that covers sustainable design.  During a visit to California on December 20, 2010, she met with Bryan at the job site and he gave her a full tour.  A very full tour.

She covered our project in her blog entry, A Green Transformation of Eichler House Model MS-134.  Mignon has phenomenal ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos posted of our yellow cedar shakes.

We will be inviting Mignon back to see the house when it is completed.

Bryan standing on the lower flat roof on a cold December 20, 2010 (photo credit Mignon OYoung).

Bryan standing on the lower flat roof on a cold December 20, 2010 (photo credit Mignon O'Young).

Making the ‘Year in Review’ for the Los Gatos Weekly Times

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Bryan received an SMS message from Wendy Reyna this morning that stated, ‘You’re in the Los Gatos paper again!”

The photo from March 16, 2010 story on our project was included in the Year in Review that the Los Gatos Weekly Times published today.

Way cool … 

Cover of the December 28, 2010 Los Gatos Weekly Times.

Cover of the December 28, 2010 Los Gatos Weekly Times.

First page of the Year in Review ...

First page of the Year in Review ...

Photo on page 28 of the December 28, 2010 Los Gatos Weekly Times.

 

Monte Sereno homeowners Bryan and Jo-Anne Mekechuk dug a basement to have more room for their children and visiting relatives.  In the process, they decided to turn their 1969 Eichler into a green showpiece, adding a rainwater collection cistern and 48 solar panels.  They are also reusing many of the original building materials and are trying to stay true to Eichler’s vision to ‘Bring the Outside In.’

Hosting Mignon O’Young’s Visit

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Mignon O’Young is a licensed architect in the State of California that now lives in Switzerland.  Mignon has a blog, Green Architecture and Building Report, where she covers sustainable design, worldwide.

Mignon contacted us in October 2010 because she was interested in touring our site and seeing what we were doing.  Since she was back in the San Francisco Bay Area for the holidays, she scheduled a visit to our site today.

Bryan took Mignon through the project and showed her as much detail as she could handle.  Maybe a bit more than that …

Mignon liked the project and said that she would cover it in one of her upcoming blog entries.

Bryan and Mignon agreed to stay in touch.

Mignon OYoung, who writes Green Architecture and Building Report, on our roof as part of her tour of the site.
Mignon O’Young, who writes Green Architecture and Building Report, on our roof as part of her tour of the site.
Mingon OYoung, taking a picture of Bryan.  Perhaps her photo will appear in her Green Architecture and Buidling Report blog some day ...

Mignon O'Young, taking a picture of Bryan. Perhaps her photo will appear in her Green Architecture and Buidling Report blog some day ...

Getting Ink in the San Jose Mercury News

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

It was Los Gatos Little League Day today and we were there with Nik and Kate for the opening ceremonies (Nik is playing AAA on the Red Sox and Kate is playing Machine Pitch with the Orioles). 

After the ceremonies, Jo-Anne walked with Nik and Kate a few blocks to Starbucks to burn some energy and get some coffee.  Our neighbor, Kel Marchbank, was there and said, ‘Saw you guys in the San Jose Mercury News today.’

Way, way cool …

San Jose Mercury News, April 4, 2010

San Jose Mercury News, April 4, 2010

How Eichler’s ‘California Modern’ is going green
By Judy Peterson
Bay Area News Group

When real estate developer Joseph Eichler started building homes in Northern California in 1950, he targeted middle-class home buyers who appreciated the houses’ light and airy architecture that eventually became known as California Modern. With skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out onto gardens, patios and pools, the houses reflected Eichler’s vision was to “Bring the Outside In.”

Fast forward to the 1960s, when Eichler set his sights on Monte Sereno, building a 16-house subdivision on Via Sereno, off Winchester Boulevard. One of those Eichlers is being rebuilt to reflect what could well be called California Green. The new California style is sustainable, healthier homes, with many homeowners trying to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

Homeowners Bryan and Jo-Anne Mekechuk bought their 1969 Eichler in 1997. At the time, they had no children. Now they have two, plus they needed room for visiting grandparents. So, it was time to remodel.

At first, the couple considered adding a second story.

“A second floor on an Eichler is not appropriate,” Mekechuk says.

Instead, they took the house apart board by board and dug a basement. Even so, Mekechuk says the home will remain true to Eichler’s vision.

“We kept all the design,” Mekechuk said. “The footprint of the house is identical. For example, the garage door is in the same place.”

Well, almost identical. Besides the basement, 18 square feet was added and three windows were moved. But two windows at the front of the home are identical and Eichler’s trademark atrium will be rebuilt.

Mekechuk is reusing 100 percent of the original home’s redwood boarding, while adding structural insulated panels-styrofoam insulation sandwiched between plywood. Mekechuk gets LEED points for that. The LEED rating system gives homeowners points that, when added up, can determine if a house is LEED certified or if it is certified as silver, gold or platinum. Mekechuk is shooting for platinum.

The Mekechuks also get points for holding educational open houses.

But it is the guts of the house itself that will determine if they reach their platinum goal. That’s why a cistern was dug to capture rainwater that will irrigate drought-tolerant plants. Polished concrete floors are a key element as well.

“It’s easy to keep concrete clean, plus it doesn’t trap dust and dander,” Bryan Mekechuk says. The concrete floors are composed of 70 percent slag. “Slag is a byproduct of steel production. Slag usually goes to the landfill,” he adds.

The house will be heated and cooled by a geothermal system.

“Geothermal takes warm water out of the ground and uses it to heat the house through tubing in the concrete floors,” Mekechuk says. “Cooling is the reverse of that.”

Mekechuk also plans to put 48 solar panels on the roof.

“Monte Sereno is really pulling out all the stops to encourage this kind of project,” Mayor Don Perry said at a recent open house. “We’ve waived all permit fees for solar panels. We’re really proud of this project.”

Mekechuk expects his new “Eichler Green” to be completed by late October.

© San Jose Mercury News.

Appearing in the Los Gatos Weekly Times

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Judy Peterson, lead writer for the Los Gatos Weekly Times, came to our second Collaborative Informational Session on Wednesday, March 10 and interviewed a number of people.  George Sakkestad came with Judy and took photos of the event.

The Los Gatos Weekly Times just published Judy’s story today (the text of the article appears below).

Way cool.

Attending Monte Sereno’s City Council Meeting

Bryan attended the City Council meeting and took the opportunity to address City Council regarding the sign ordinance.

His comments were noted in the minutes of the meeting.

March 16, 2010 edition of the Los Gatos Weekly Times.

March 16, 2010 edition of the Los Gatos Weekly Times.

.

Eichler ‘California Modern’ is goin’ green
Couple is updating their 1969 home
By Judy Peterson

When real estate developer Joseph Eichler started building homes in Northern California in 1950, he targeted middle class home buyers who appreciated the houses’ light and airy architecture that eventually came to be known as California Modern. With skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out onto gardens, patios and pools, Eichler’s vision was to “Bring the Outside In.”

Fast forward to the late 1960s, when Eichler set his sights on Monte Sereno, building a 16-house subdivision on Via Sereno, just off Winchester Boulevard. Today, one of those Eichlers is being re-built to reflect what could well be called California Green. That’s because the new California style is to build sustainable, healthier homes, with many homeowners trying to achieve LEED certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Homeowners Bryan and Jo-Anne Mekechuk bought their 1969 Eichler in 1997. At the time, they had no children. Now they have two, plus they needed room for visiting grandparents. So, it was time to plunge into the money pit that is known as home remodeling.

“We’re building this house to live in for the next 15 years,” Bryan Mekechuk said.

At first, the couple considered adding a second story.

“A second floor on an Eichler is not appropriate,” Mekechuk said.

Instead, they took the house apart board by board and dug a basement. Even so, Mekechuk says the home will remain true to Eichler’s vision.

“We kept all the design,” Mekechuk said. “The footprint of the house is identical. For example, the garage door is in the same place.”

Well, almost identical. Besides the basement, 18 square feet was added and three windows were moved. But two windows at the front of the home are identical and Eichler’s trademark atrium will be rebuilt. Mekechuk was able to reuse 100 percent of the original home’s redwood boarding, while adding structural insulated panels-styrofoam insulation sandwiched between plywood. Mekechuk gets LEED points for that. The LEED rating system gives homeowners points that, when added up, can determine if a house is LEED certified or if it is certified as silver, gold or platinum. Mekechuk is shooting for platinum.

Mekechuk also gets points for holding educational open houses.

But it is the guts of the house itself that will determine if he reaches his platinum goal. That’s why a cistern was dug to capture rainwater that will irrigate drought-tolerant plants. Polished concrete floors are a key element as well. “It’s easy to keep concrete clean, plus it doesn’t trap dust and dander,” Mekechuk said. The concrete floors are composed of 70 percent slag. “Slag is a byproduct of steel production. Slag usually goes to the landfill,” Mekechuk said.

The house will be heated and cooled by a geothermal system.

“Geothermal takes warm water out of the ground and uses it to heat the house through tubing in the concrete floors,” Mekechuk said. “Cooling is the reverse of that.”

Mekechuk also plans to put 48 solar panels on the roof.

“Monte Sereno is really pulling out all the stops to encourage this kind of project,” Mayor Don Perry said at a recent open house. “We’ve waived all permit fees for solar panels. We’re really proud of this project.”

Vice Mayor Lana Malloy was also on hand, pointing out that the city once tried to get Via Sereno designated as a “street of historic significance,” but in Monte Sereno homes must be at least 60 years old before they’re considered historic.

Even if they’re not technically historic, Eichlers set the tone for post-war development in California. Mekechuk expects his new “Eichler Green” to be completed by late October.

To follow Mekechuk’s progress, visit www.eichlervision.com.

© Los Gatos Weekly Times, Silicon Valley Community Newspapers.

Registering with the U.S. Green Building Council for LEED Certification

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

We intend to obtain LEED for Homes Platinum certification and today we registered on the U.S. Green Building Council web site.

With our registration accepted, we have explicitly stated our goal.

The gauntlet has been cast …