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Fall Arch Tour Fest: Climate Change Case Study House #1
October 29, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT$20 – $55
Photo Credit: Jordan Wyatt, AIA
Fall Arch Tour Fest: Climate Change Case Study House #1 @ 11am
Additional information regarding the tour and check-in process will be emailed directly to registrants 24 hours before the event.
Tour Organizer: Jordan Wyatt
Our recently completed fire rebuild home from the Woolsey Fire is an insightful approach for building resilient homes prepared for increasingly turbulent climate conditions, leveraging Passive House design and construction principles. A timely case study in light of the recent Maui wildfires, Hurricane Hilary and broader climate events of 2023. Regarding our design approach to make the home more fire resistant, much of it centered on fortifying the building envelope.
In our earliest discussions with LA County Fire Department, weeks after the Woolsey Fire was contained, we learned that many homes burned due to two factors:
- projectiles from high winds breaking regular glass (non tempered or laminated) windows, allowing embers in and burning homes from the inside out (there’s evidence that suggests this is how our client’s home was lost).
- vented roofs allowing embers into the roof / ceiling cavity and burning homes.
Our core strategy to reduce ember infiltration was to strengthen the building envelope by making it as durable, fire-resistant and air-tight as possible. We approached this the following ways:
- Tempered glazing for all windows and doors to resist high heat exposure and threat of projectiles in high wind conditions.
- Unvented roof assembly, using exterior-side rigid insulation, and wrapping it with a Class-A fire-rated liquid-applied roofing membrane, giving it high heat strength and increased air-tightness.
- Completing our air-tight building envelope using a fluid-applied air barrier system for all exterior walls, penetrations, and fenestration flashings.
We also clad the building envelope (and over the roof system) with ipe cladding, which has a high fire-resistance compared to most other organic cladding materials.
In making the building as air-tight as possible, it was a natural solution to also incorporate many of the complementary building systems we would typically design into a Passive House, like low energy heat pump HVAC and balanced ventilation from energy recovery ventilation (ERV). We would plan to address these components that are critical to the overall system of any air-tight building.
Architect: Y8 STUDIO, Inc.
General Contractor: Nico Designs, Inc.
Structural Engineer: T&S Structural, Inc.
Landscape Architect: Blake Jopling Landscape Architecture
Building Envelope Engineer: RDH Building Science, Inc.
Energy Consultant: Morton Green Building
Geotechnical Engineer: Rybak Geotechnical, Inc.
Civil Engineer: Ahsirt Engineering, Inc.
Land Surveyor: Chris Nelson & Associates, Inc.
Millwork Consultants: Ace Fabrications, Inc. and Taffera Fine Building & Finishes, Inc.
Free street parking available for visitors.
Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation of a Changing Climate (specifically wildfire resilience)
Energy Efficiency and Positive Energy Design
Indoor Air Quality
Materials and Assemblies
Resilience to Natural and Human Impacts