Not long ago the San Francisco firm Fougeron Architecture designed and built a high-end home along the Northern California coastline. The place is called Fall House, and its most notable feature is certainly the façade, which is made of copper. It’s a little similar to a shipping container home, while Fall House also boasts of a number of other sustainable features. It will also literally turn green due to the exposure of the copper façade to the elements. The side that is not clad in copper is all glass and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.


The Fall House is a two-story home with a total floor space of 3,800 square feet. There are three bedrooms, a bathroom, and a combined lounge, kitchen, and dining area. The house is made of two rectangular parts, which adhere to the sloping ground of the building site and are joined together by a large glass library in the middle.

The copper façade is south facing and comes with overhangs that give protection from the weather, as well as minimize solar heat gain. The architects opted to use copper, which is not a very popular modern cladding choice, because it is very durable and also because it is non-combustible, since the house is in the middle of a severe fire zone.



As far as sustainable features of the residence go, the Fall House is fitted with efficient “Low-E” windows throughout. It also has under floor radiant hydronic heating and is insulated with formaldehyde-free denim. Since Fall House sports a very open design, good stack ventilation is already encouraged, but the designers enhanced this effect by installing automatically opening windows which work to draw in cool air from the lower levels of the home. These windows work in unison with an exhaust transfer grille located near the top of the house, which expels the hot air that’s drawn up by the ventilation. Fall House also has a greywater system, while a nearby stream is used to complement the regular supply of water.

The yard was planted with drought-resistant native vegetation, while there is also a small green roof which offers extra insulation.

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