Located in Venice, California and designed by Brooks + Scarpa, the Yin Yang home provides private living spaces for a family that includes several children along with commercial office space for its owners and recently made the top ten list of Green Projects as compiled by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE).

Sustainability features include passive design strategies, R-21 blown-in cellulose insulation, a tight building envelope, and a 12 KW solar photovoltaic panel system that also provides shade and reduces overheating of the home. Eco-friendly and rapidly renewable materials that were used in construction include interior finishes with high recycled content and low emissions, FSC-certified flooring and cabinets, bamboo, composite stone and tile.


Exceeding California Title 24 requirements by almost 50 percent, the home has produced 100 percent of its energy. After living in the home for more than nine months, the owners had not yet received a power bill, due in part to high-efficiency solar water heaters, energy-efficient lighting, and Energy Star-labeled appliances.


A steel entry door on a solid facade leads into a courtyard and outdoor spaces, with a rear garden wall, that are integrated with the home’s interior by way of a 50-foot sliding glass door that leads into a main living room. Several exterior terraces and decks allow for an abundance of natural lighting and ventilation and ocean breezes all but eliminate the need for electrical cooling. Bedrooms on the upper floor open up to a green roof.