House Ocho with a Lively Green Roof

Credit: Paul Dyer.

This is House Ocho, a project in Carmel, California, designed by Feldman Architecture. The home is beautiful and modern with striking clean lines, though perhaps its most prominent detail is a lively green roof that hides the structure in the hillside of a nature preserve in the Santa Lucia Mountains.

With seismic activity in the area, generous windows and views, and other site constraints, House Ocho needed a design to minimize roof loads. With the help of Paul Kephart, the expert behind iconic green roof projects such as California Academy of Sciences and the Vancouver Convention Center, this green roof was designed with six inches of lightweight soil and a water retention layer that maintains soil moisture using small cups.

For plants, the roof blooms with wildflowers such as tidy tips, lupine, poppies, and goldfields, as well as strawberries and perennial plants such as Sand Sedge, Point Joe Fescue, and yarrow. Jonathan Feldman detailed other more technical aspects of the living roof in an article for Green Architecture Notes.

House Ocho has 2,900 square feet and a small cottage for guests. Additional green aspects include the integrated photovoltaic skylights, custom windows to optimize passive solar heating, thermal mass in the form of concrete floors, radiant heat floors, recycled denim insulation, and sustainably harvested wood floors.

House Ocho was built in 2004 by Groza Construction with the assistance of Fulcrum Engineering, Loretta Gargan Landscape + Design, Blasen Landscape Architecture, lighting designer Steinbeck Technical Consulting, and green roof consultant Rana Creek.

Photo credit: JD Peterson

Photo credit: Claudio Santini.

[+] More photos and info about House Ocho from Feldman Architecture.

Credits: Claudio Santini, Paul Dyer, JD Peterson, Kodiak Greenwood.

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  • jon@dzynwrld

    Wow… was pretty bowled over by this one just from the pics you have here. Then I went to the website & the 20 or so pics there made me decide I need to go camp on their doorstep until they rent me their guesthouse!

  • Donna

    What Green Roof Soil are you using? RoofLite – ZinCO or CitySoil –

  • Michael

    It is really great to combine green ideas to your own home. The result is quite amazing. Landscape Designers Guilford

  • Galliena Gornet

    Roof deck gardens are quite common, but a green roof like that is not. It’s pretty clever, actually! Perhaps, one of the advantages of having a garden on the roof itself is better thermal regulation inside the house.  That idea can be used by home owners who don’t have enough space for a normal garden.

  • Guest

    awesome, lah!

  • Louisa Sheedy

    I got blown away by the first picture, Man! Though I’ve always wondered why do they keep on using the same plants for green roofs. They probably chose plants that can easily thrive without much maintenance, I guess?

  • Pingback: Green Roof, Beautiful Patio, House Ocho | CabinZoom()

  • Mainedyer

    the photographers web site is for more..

  • Drew Hohmann

    This is simply like a paradise in the woods. Being there make you enjoy every moment. And the landscaping design is also good. With an eco-friendly house like that, Mother Nature will surely have a smile on her face. We should have a house like this. :)

  • Geoff Simar-Wolfe

    Amazing! What a wonderful house. I’m very happy for whoever lives there.

  • Geoff Simar-Wolfe

    Amazing! What a wonderful house. I’m very happy for whoever lives there.

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