Boulder Creek Residence

Project Name: Robertson / Zvargulis Residence
Project Location: Boulder Creek, California
Client Name: William Robertson and Ieva Zvargulis
Architect Name: Integrated Structures, Inc.
Engineer Name: Integrated Structures, Inc.
Category: Residential


Located several miles along a privately maintained road and perched on an outcropping near the ridge of a heavily forested slope in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the 4,400 SF residence is nestled between the Bear Creek Redwoods Preserve and Castle Rock State Park.  The home is constructed with an earlier version of the Energy Mass™ wall system to take advantage of the energy efficient envelope and unparalleled fire-resistant construction.  With no connection to the electrical grid possible, the house is 100% energy independent. Completed in 2008, the home anchors the community as a safe refuge in the event of disasters such as wildfires, earthquakes or mudslides.  The homeowners installed and maintain a helipad for Cal Fire and emergency responders. The Energy Mass™ smart building system structure meets the performance standards for fire and earthquake safety required for first response buildings such as hospitals and police stations.  A reverse radiant system was installed integral with the exterior concrete skin on the west facing walls to siphon off the intense late afternoon summer heat. The circulating water, controlled with sensors and pumps reduce heat load, helping maintain cool temperatures inside the building and the sun’s heat energy is put to good use by pre-heating the water required for the domestic hot-water system.