On October 16th I took the SiGBA Fall Green Home Tour in the Truckee & Donner areas of Lake Tahoe. This year’s tour featured 5 homes, each with their own unique approach to low-impact design, construction, and occupant lifestyle.
The tour included a modest cottage on Donner lake exhibiting one of the most important and effective green building strategies: think big, build small.
Leading edge technology was showcased at two homes at Sugar Bowl and Tahoe Donner. The homes utilize the latest technologies including ultra-thin nano-gel insulation, pre-fabricated structural panels, ultra-efficient mechanical systems, and water saving fixtures and appliances.
The Sugar Bowl home uses a Vitruvian building system. This system features engineered structural roof and wall panels built from locally sourced light-gauge steel and EPS foam. Another company providing EPS foam is K-Tect out of Las Vegas and happens to be one of our clients.
In contrast to the high-tech homes, the tour visited a home with more traditional roots. Nestled on top of Alder Hill is a home with rammed-earth walls deeply shaded under vast LIVING roofs. This amazing 7000sq ft home passively captures sunlight to keep the home warm. The house utilizes a ground source heat pump to provide supplemental heat for cloudy days.
The tour featured the regions first LEED Platinum home, too. To achieve this highly sought after third-party rating, the home has an endless list of high-performance features. The home is nicely garnished with a rooftop solar array, providing electricity for its ultra-efficient appliances.
The Truckee community has long been a little-known hub for green building innovation. SiGBA was founded in 2003 to help recognize, celebrate and promote the communities innovations and leadership in environmental building practices. The fall home tour has been a long-standing community event where homeowners, designers, and building professionals get together and share their innovative building methods.
Many more photos here.