Located in Bird Rock, La Jolla’s entry on this year’s one-day tour is a multi-million dollar waterfront home still under construction, with sustainability at the very centerpiece of its elegant modern design.
The Green Home Tour is sponsored by the San Diego Green Building Council, an environmental nonprofit dedicated to providing education, outreach and advocacy focused on green building.
A ‘green’ building is one whose design, construction or operation reduces or eliminates negative impacts, creates positive environmental impacts and preserves natural resources. Green buildings efficiently use water and renewable solar energy employing re-use and recycling strategies while utilizing non-toxic and sustainable building materials.
Elizabeth Carmichael of ECOHouse Architecture was the architect on the La Jolla project, in collaboration with Blue Heron Build + Design.
“It’s going to have rooftop Photovoltaic (solar) panels that act as a shade structure that you can see the system actually working from underneath in the dining area,” said Carmichael. “There is also a recycled, stainless steel luxury spa.”
Carmichael said the new La Jolla dwelling is a “smart” home.
“You’ll be able to control everything in the home automatically from your phone or tablet,” she said adding the home’s sustainable features include LED lighting, motion sensors and substantial re-use of recycled building materials.
Additionally, Carmichael said the home is outfitted with Energy Star appliances and water heaters, as well as employing passive cooling with drought-tolerant, pest-resilient landscaping.
The architect, who focuses on sustainable design, said it typically costs about 3 percent more to build sustainably. But Carmichael added that is more than made up for in the long term.
“It (sustainability) definitely pays itself back,” she said. “You get a far better return on it, including savings on your energy bills.”
Bryon Stafford, a board member for the San Diego Green Building Council, said the Green Home Tour’s purpose is to acquaint those unfamiliar with it about “sustainable building at the local level.”
Stafford said entries on this year’s tour include dwellings employing sustainable practices, such as re-use of gray water or rainwater harvesting, in their yards.
Homes are selectively chosen, added Stafford. “We don’t want homes that just have solar panels on the tour,” he said. “We want homes with green features or sustainable practices.”
Said Stafford, “We’re not advertising to get people to buy these homes. We’re trying to get the word out about sustainability.”
Of sustainable building, Stafford said, “There are many ways to build green, and you don’t add much to the cost. It’s just doing things a little bit better than the industry standard. This is not rocket science. It’s using different products that will last longer.”
The popular one-day event will showcase homes in the communities of South Park, Normal Heights, Pacific Beach, Point Loma, La Jolla, Encinitas, Vista, Lakeside and Campo.
On the self-guided tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., attendees may visit as many of the homes as they like, meet with industry professionals and homeowners, and learn more about the latest green home design, construction and upgrade options.
Tickets are on sale now for $15 per person. Discounts are available for San Diego Green Building Council members ($10) and students ($5, with I.D.). Children under 16 are free and must be accompanied by an adult.
For an updated lineup of home sites, project descriptions and photos, visit sdgreenhomestour.org.