Hello, and welcome to 3Palms,
This web site is all about the building of my new Platinum LEED certiﬁed, and Passive House in Ventura County, California.
I’m fortunate to have assembled a great team of professionals to build my family’s ”green” beach house. Architecture, design, engineering, construction, etc. In this column over the next year, my team and I will present details of the project from our speciﬁc points of view. We will describe the concerns, ideas, and limitations that went into the decisions we made. What green aspects were implemented, and what compromises were made and why.
Building right on the Paciﬁc Ocean creates its own challenges – and we’re only beginning. Style and material selection are key to sustainable building. Part of the ecofriendly philosophy is to reduce the amount of upkeep a home requires to maintain it at a functional level. But function without form is no fun at all. Just visit any of the Soviet block countries of the past and see what depressing buildings the USSR constructed.
My wife, Robin and I want to combine both form and function, and show the world that sustainable living doesn’t mean that there’s no indoor plumbing or that it will impinge on a modern lifestyle. We have qualiﬁed for the highest level of “green” building in the country, and will strive to achieve the highest level of style and comfort too. We know we will have succeeded if our guests ask incredulously, “This is a green home”?
You too will get the chance to follow our journey. A “live” web cam is soon to be mounted at the site to follow our progress. Log on anytime to see the very latest addition to the project. Short videos will be provided to see speciﬁc building details. Articles by team members will be cataloged so you will be able to look up what has been written in previous weeks. Sponsor’s product lines will be provided for your perusal. Material details will also be available. And that’s not all…
A television show about the building of our green beach house has just started production! Details will be announced on this web site very soon, so stay tuned.
Whether you’re a professional or novice (like me) in the world of green building, I think you’ll ﬁnd this site interesting because you control what you want to know more about. Our home will have many fascinating features; photovoltaic solar panels, water heating solar panels, SIPs wall systems, radiant heated ﬂoors, no VOC paints and stains, rain water collection, recycled materials, LED lighting, Energy Star appliances, and much much more.
Even the naming of the home 3Palms illustrates our eco-friendly attitude. We wanted to preserve the three mature Mexican Fan Palms that were on the property for a long time. Unfortunately, one palm had to be sacriﬁced to allow necessary support caissons, but we will ﬁnd a location for another palm to prevent us from renaming it to 2Palms. That palm will be a transplant from another location.
I invite you to visit the web site often and come along with us on this adventure. 3Palms will be the ﬁrst Platinum LEED/Passive House in Ventura county, and one of only a handful in the country!
Thanks for reading this inaugural article on 3Palms. Now, let’s get started.
All the best,