Marin Gets a Platinum Hillside House


This home is the first LEED Platinum home in Marin, according to the Marin Blog of the San Francisco Chronicle.  It was designed by SB Architects and built by McDonald Construction & Development, the same firm behind the LEED Platinum Margarido House.  The rich and contemporary residence spans four levels on a hill and incorporates a number of green elements, such as:


  • High fly ash in all concrete;
  • Efficient aluminum-framed windows;
  • Low-flow toilets, faucets, and fixtures;
  • Energy Star appliances;
  • Efficient LED lighting;
  • Western Red Cedar siding;
  • Whole house automation and lighting system;
  • Reclaimed, exposed timber framing;
  • Passive solar and geothermal design;
  • Solar thermal and solar PV;
  • Construction with spray foam insulation;
  • Drought tolerant landscaping; and
  • Use of locally sourced and recycled content materials;

Hillside House, a descriptive name you’ll note from the above building section, seems to have it all, including the yoga deck, outdoor tub, and elevator.  And, if you’re in the area, check it out in the Marin Living Home Tour in May 2010.

[+] See more pictures of the Hillside House.






Photo credits: Mariko Reed Photography.

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  • gerrr!

    Giant home earns LEED Platinum? Oh well.

    • jon

      Dear Gerrrg..While you may not like the size, the end result is still quite nice. Trying to talk a client into downsizing their life is easier if they don’t have means.

      • gerrr!

        The intent wasn’t to suggest that size matters – though I’m sure some people prefer large.

        To tersely clarify:

        Mixed metaphor; that’s where the discomfort lies.

  • Anonymous

    size isn’t a big problem as long as they’re doing everything they can to leave as little footprint as possible…yes it’s still doing more harm than a minimalist home, but if they’re going to have the mcmansion, better to at least have some solar and water efficiency :)

    (plus the house is beautiful!!)

  • Anonymous

    Its an amazing house, obviously, but one question I always struggle with is how “green” or eco-friendly is a house that is enormous in proportion and design? At some point, it should be noted that LEED ought not be treated as way to justify excess.

    • Jenny Levinson

      Actually the LEED for Homes Rating System changes it’s (certified/silver/gold/platinum) point thresholds based on the square footage and number of bedrooms. Therefore a large house must earn more points in order to be LEED certified (or in this case, achieve LEED Platinum).

      • Anonymous

        Thats true (I am LEED cert) but I guess my question ends up being more of a philosophical one. Is an excessively large home “green” regardless of its LEED status?

        • Anonymous

          That depends on whether or not you believe size matters, Jenny! Seriously tho, as a contractor, I know how much CO2 was generated from the dozens of contractors excavating this hillside and delivering all this nice, green stuff to site. The effort is beautiful, healthy and sustainable, but all the wizbang goodies in this large, elaborate home have a substantial life cycle cost. Cradle to (hopefully) cradle. I want to know if the owners planted enough trees elsewhere to offset the real costs of this hillside monster!

  • mike mcd

    the house is less than 3,000 sq feet guys….great article on the home and the movement:

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