Midcentury For the Next Century


This special project is an extensive renovation of Better Homes And Gardens’ “The House You Asked For” of 1953. While the California Case Study-inspired architecture was an interesting break from 1950’s boxes, its extensive single-pane glass, internal roof drains, and slab construction were leading to structural deterioration through condensation and leaks, and a massive carbon footprint. The renovation took the form of slight plan adjustments–giving the kitchen more space, combining two entry doors into one entry space, adjusting the bedroom-bathroom area–and reworking the roof. We added a raised portion to carry ducts for conditioning and ventilation, which was also an opportunity to create spatial interest and bring in light from above, and we re-sloped the roof to drain to the perimeter instead of the middle of the house. Carbon-sequestering wood fiberboard insulation was added to the walls, and the windows were replaced with triple-glazed units. With new heat pump heating, cooling, and water heating, the operational carbon footprint was reduced by 93%.

Expected Completion Date

General Contractor
Sturm Builders

Structural Engineer
Frederick Lam Structural Engineer

Third-party Testing and Verification
Insight Property Services

Energy Use per Architecture 2030
With Solar: EUI = 3.6, 93% reduction; Without solar: EUI = 23.9, 52% reduction