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Dwell Home Tours

Sleepy Hollow House

San Anselmo, CA

Marin County Home Tours, Day 2
Sunday, April 29, 2012

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This modern two-story, five-bedroom, three-bathroom home is a green-from-the-ground-up sustainable Earthlight Dwelling designed for a family of four with a fairly tight budget. Numerous site forces had to be dealt with: several easements running diagonally across the front of the site; a natural riparian watercourse that also runs across the front of the property; challenging topography and soil properties; and the southern orientation to achieve passive solar design qualities and optimize the efficiency of the future solar panels.

The sculptural house blends in with the natural setting: The gently curved roofs mimic the rolling hills, and the colors of the exterior materials (stucco, cedar siding, and cement panels) echo the local seasonal colors. All of the living spaces are directly accessible to the outdoors with windows and glass doors framing the dramatic views of the forest and mountains beyond. And because the majority of these openings all face south, artificial light is not necessary throughout the day.

The house includes many sustainable features: LED and fluorescent recessed lighting; recycled lighting fixtures; low-flow plumbing fixtures; low-VOC paints and finishes; high-efficiency water heater and heat pump; bamboo flooring; quartz countertops; FSC-certified wood products; materials (such as ceramic tile) that contain high recycled content; dual-paned glazing; Energy Star appliances; and landscaping that minimizes water consumption. Certification for LEED Platinum is pending.
—Laurie Friedman

About the Architect

Thumb Laurie Friedman

Laurie Friedman, AIA LEED AP is an architect and educator with a background in fine art who has been focusing on sustainable design since attending the first Dwell on Design conference in Los Angeles. In addition to her practice, she currently teaches architectural design with an emphasis on sustainability to middle school students. Her past experience includes custom homes, group homes, affordable housing, disabled access, commercial and medical buildings. With the completion of her modern sustainable house, Laurie has come a full circle professionally since focusing her early practice on socially responsible architecture.


General Contractor
CH BuildProject Manager: Philip Swett, LEED AP

Landscape Design
Gardens and GablesProject Designer and Manager: Kathleen Slattery, AIA

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