Project Green Home

Palo Alto, CA United States

Arkin Tilt Architects, Red Co., Integral Impact


Project Description

Award Winners

Merit Award


Arkin Tilt Architects finessed one of the trickiest livability issues of a Passive House, and the judges applauded. “This is a Passive House that actually has windows,” one said. “I could see it fitting into a lot of different neighborhoods.”

The simple envelope helps to ensure a tight air seal; but to maximize sunlight, the house changes sectionally as you move through it. A south-facing clerestory over the two-story central living space makes the most of the limited openings. Balancing that light source on the north are three operable skylights above the stairwell and a window at the landing, which also create a thermal chimney effect.

This house is chock-full of resource-sipping innovations, two of which were permitting firsts for Palo Alto: a kitchen sink greywater system and urine-diverting toilets. Additional measures such as an air-to-water heat pump that heats domestic water and radiant floors, heat recovery from the shower drains, and rainwater collection made the house a local landmark that’s been toured by more than 800 people.


Project Details

Project Green Home
Shared by:
Project Team:
    Arkin Tilt Architects, Architect.
  • Builder: Red Co. 
  • Verifier: Integral Impact 
Project Scope:
Project Type:
Room Or Space:
Project Status:
Year Completed:
Project Size:
    2,500 sq ft
Construction Cost:
Certifications and Designations:

Specified Products

Energy: Sorpetaler R-7 Aluminum-Clad Triple-Pane Windows And Doors / 5-kW PV Array / Radiant-Heated Thermal Mass Concrete Slab Floor / 2x8 Walls With Blown Fiberglass Insulation | Venmar HRV / Daikin Altherma Air-To-Water Heat Pump

Resources: Salvaged Douglas Fir Stair Treads And Second Floor / 50% Fly-Ash Concrete / Salvaged Exterior Trim

IAQ: Concrete Floors Stained With Iron Sulfate (Plant Fertilizer) And Sealed With Triangle Coatings White Mountain Crystal Seal / Low-VOC Paints And Stains / Operable Windows And Skylights

Water: Whole-House Greywater System / Caroma Low-Flow Toilets With Integral Sink / EcoFlush Toilets Divert Urine To The Greywater System / Edible And Native Landscaping / Greywater Irrigation System



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