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LEED Ranch

leed ranch (Kurt Lavenson photographer)leed ranch (Treve Johnson photographer) - 1leed ranch (Treve Johnson photographer) - 2

LEED Ranch
Original: 1960s
Renovated: 2012
Architect:  Michelle Kaufmann, AIA  | Michelle Kaufmann Studio
Photographers:  Treve Johnson, Allied Member, Kurt Lavenson, AIA


A classic 1960s California ranch house in the Piedmont Hills was the object of love at first sight for its current owners, who saw the opportunity to make it a contemporary case study in sustainable design strategies. Though a sustainability consultant in her own right, the owner knew she needed to work with an architect in order to fully realize the potential for the house. In addition to achieving the LEED benchmarks, the owner wanted to maintain the spirit of the original design and make the results feel seamless. So, to guide her through a LEED Platinum level whole-house renovation, she teamed up with Michelle Kaufmann, AIA of Michelle Kaufmann Studio. While adding much-needed space to accommodate a family of six, the design maintained the existing footprint of the structure and its single story ranch styling. The architect reconfigured a large master suite into a smaller bedroom, bath and hallway, then transformed the garage into two bedrooms, baths, and clever play spaces for the four children. Parking was moved outside, under a carport and the driveway and courtyard spaces were redesigned for both architectural gain and rainwater permeability. Thin film solar on the metal roofing generates electricity and an interior plant wall cleans the air naturally. By thoroughly pursuing these and other sustainable options available and by collaborating with a talented and experienced architect, the owner of this home was able to elevate a traditional ranch house into a highly crafted home where sustainability is deeply integrated and harmonious, not an afterthought.

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