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Published: Friday, December 05, 2008

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Green on 19 Sustainable Townhomes

"The brief for Green on 19 was to break new ground in the Los Angeles housing market by creating a sustainable, 5 unit multi-family dwelling on an existing underutilized parcel." says Jesse Bornstein Architecture on Green on 19 Sustainable Townhomes

By: Jesse Bornstein Architecture

Architecture-Page | Green on 19 Sustainable Townhomes by Jesse Bornstein Architecture
View from street.

Project details

  • Project Name: Green on 19 Sustainable Townhomes
  • Location of Site: Santa Monica, CA, USA
  • Design Team: Jesse Bornstein AIA, Myung Jong Lee, David Peartree AIA
  • Project Type: Multi-Family Residential
  • Site Area: 8000 sf
  • Built-up Area: 3959 sf
  • Date of completion: March, 2008

Architecture-Page | Green on 19 Sustainable Townhomes by Jesse Bornstein Architecture
View showing serial pattern of vertically-oriented townhomes.

Words from the architect

The brief for Green on 19 was to break new ground in the Los Angeles housing market by creating a sustainable, 5 unit multi-family dwelling on an existing underutilized parcel. This market-rate project was to integrate green technologies and materials within a modern design sensibility. On a larger scale, it was intended to act as a catalyst, injecting its stagnant and aging Santa Monica neighborhood with a fresh strategy for living elegantly and responsibly.

Architecture-Page | Green on 19 Sustainable Townhomes by Jesse Bornstein Architecture
Vertically-oriented townhome crowned by translucent photovoltaic panels.

The project occupies a typical infill site within Santa Monica's semi-urban grid. Its design is a significant departure from the traditionally based neighborhood context. With its serial pattern and clean dipartite formal composition capped with semi-transparent bi-facial photovoltaic solar canopies that provide shade for roof decks as well as over 3, 000kwh of electricity generation per year for each unit, these townhomes are designed to incite excitement and a sense of optimism for a sustainable future.

Architecture-Page | Green on 19 Sustainable Townhomes by Jesse Bornstein Architecture
View along south showing curvature of double-height form clad in sheet metal.

Outside, simple finish materials of steel-troweled plaster and recycled-content architectural sheet metal cladding provide a durable, paint-free and honest barrier to the elements.

While solar electricity canopies are the most outwardly expressive green element of the project, at the core of each townhome's interior is an ethanol burning fireplace that is encased in the same FSC-certified bamboo laminate that is used throughout the project for cabinetry and flooring.

Architecture-Page | Green on 19 Sustainable Townhomes by Jesse Bornstein Architecture
Looking past ethanol-burning fireplace into main living area.

Water conserving features include low flow plumbing equipment and fixtures and 100% drought tolerant landscaping. All rainwater is retained on site for irrigation use and urban runoff mitigation. HVAC equipment exceeds 90% efficiency and uses non-toxic refrigerant.

Architecture-Page | Green on 19 Sustainable Townhomes by Jesse Bornstein Architecture
Looking into dining area through double-sided ethanol-burning fireplace.

In addition to its active green features, each townhome has been designed to take the greatest possible advantage of natural light and ventilation. Every unit has been conceived as its own vertically-oriented dwelling, from its private subterranean garage that connects directly to living spaces, up through the light-filled double-height volume of the main living space, and continuing up past a loft-space and on to a rooftop deck with ocean views. All of this is capped off by a solar canopy that celebrates this clean technology while providing shade for the roof deck.

Architecture-Page | Green on 19 Sustainable Townhomes by Jesse Bornstein Architecture
Interior view of double-height living space.

Summary list of green features:

  • Solar electricity generation with state-of-the-art translucent panels
  • Qualified as an Energy Star New Home by independent testing agency
  • Over 40% more energy efficient than required by California's stringent Title 24 regulations
  • Natural day lighting and ventilation strategies
  • Sustainably-harvested bamboo floors and cabinetry
  • Fuel less, ethanol-burning fireplace
  • High-efficiency fluorescent and LED lighting
  • Automated operable skylight to reduce stack-effect
  • Water saving dual-flush toilets
  • Drought and pest tolerant xeriscape landscape plantings
  • Drip and micro-spray landscape irrigation
  • 100% on site storm water retention
  • Ultra-high efficiency HVAC system with freon-free refrigerant
  • Durable, paint-free exterior finish materials
  • Recycled content rough building materials such as framing members, concrete block and batt insulation

Architecture-Page | Green on 19 Sustainable Townhomes by Jesse Bornstein Architecture
View from kitchen to dining are and stairs beyond.

Architecture-Page | Green on 19 Sustainable Townhomes by Jesse Bornstein Architecture
Loft space.

Architecture-Page | Green on 19 Sustainable Townhomes by Jesse Bornstein Architecture
Private rooftop decks with ocean views, solar canopies providing shade.

Architecture-Page | Green on 19 Sustainable Townhomes by Jesse Bornstein Architecture
Translucent photovoltaic cells generate power from top and bottom surfaces.

Credits

  • Text: Jesse Bornstein, AIA, David Peartree, AIA
  • Photographs: Bernard Wolf

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