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Kathy's Diamond
(# 410)
Images Description Credits
Completion NA
Square Footage 1060
Specific Use of Building Residence
Project Location United States
This project began with Kathy, a single woman who set about repairing and improving an inherited 820 s.f. house built in 1928. Nestled among mature Sycamore and Oak trees along the Silverado Creek, it is in an idyllic, rural environment. However, age and the ravages of weather had taken their toll on the house.

Intent on rescuing her home, Kathy engaged the services of questionable “contractors” to: 1. Remodel the bath ($35k). 2. Do remedial work on the roof, floor and wall framing, foundation, electrical, doors and windows, and the exterior siding. Unfortunately, when Code Enforcement arrived they issued a Notice of Violation. $70k was paid, for incomplete and non-code compliant work. None of the “contractors” had advised her about the need for building permits.

Architectural and structural plans were generated addressing the cited issues for code compliance, and cost estimates were solicited which totaled $235k. The total outlay, including funds already expended and the sum required to resolve code violations came to $340,000.

The current design was proposed as a superior and less expensive alternative. The north, south and west walls of this open plan are positioned where once the previous house stood. The east wall was allowed to roam eastward. Living spaces flow effortlessly in an open pattern to exterior spaces. The bedroom is tucked away from view. To the north, an existing stone patio is retained beneath the mature Sycamore trees.

An existing garage along the creek was removed and relocated below the house, allowing the large south deck to oversee the mature Oak trees and the meandering Silverado Creek. Large integral planters are positioned at each point of Kathy’s “diamonds,” anchoring the structure to the largely undisturbed terrain. Broad overhangs mimic the outstretched branches of the mature Oak and Sycamore trees.

Strategically placed doors, windows and operable clerestories facilitate the natural movement of air.

The EDGE CCS Building System was chosen for this project. This is a revolutionary composite system that uses Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and engineered Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC). Both materials have been used for decades in a variety of applications. In this instance, it is used as a panelized system encompassing floors and walls. Roof and soffits, complete with rough electrical and plumbing, are constructed at the factory and assembled in the field. Once the foundation is in place, the projected shell completion time for this 1,060 s.f. home is three weeks.

Other benefits of the EDGE system are: • Insulation, R-5/inch • Tested to Hurricane Category 5 conditions • Earthquake (7+ on Richter scale) • Vapor Proof • Mold Resistant • 100% recyclable • Rodent Resistant • Nonflammable (Invaluable for fire prone canyon hazards) • STC Rating 52 • No CO2s or VOCs • Less than 1% waste.

Cost of the foundation and shell: $95,000.

A PV Solar System, energy efficient doors, windows, lighting and a Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating System round out the unique features of the home.

Our budgetary goal of $250,000 appears to be within reach.


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