"My vision to combine the best of energy saving and sustainable design with beautiful architecture and old world charm led us to build our new home, "Villa Terra", an environmentally sustainable and resource efficient rammed earth home built in San Jose."
The thick earthen walls reinforced with rebar saves trees during construction and energy costs for the life of the home. The natural color of the sand used in the walls grace the home with an old world appearance and will never need painting. Electricity is provided by roof-mounted solar panels. A ground source heat pump draws heat from underground to power the radiant floor slab heating system. Natural gas is used only for cooking along with a gas fireplace in the master bedroom.
Much of the wood used for roof framing, exposed beams, floors and ceilings was reclaimed from salvage yards and such places as Notre Dame High School, the old Eli Thomas Menswear Store, and a movie set (Bicentennial Man with Robin Williams). Plumbing fixtures are also reclaimed - such as the bathtub (from Jack Benny's Hollywood home), pedestal sinks from Berkeley, and an antique lavatory in the Powder Room carved from a single piece of Carrara marble.
Construction by Mike Maldonado of CSI Construction, Redwood City.
Landscape Design by Christopher Yates Landscape Architecture, Emeryville.
Photographed by Frank Perez. Interior Design by Gina Viscusi of Viscusi-Elson Design.