Claremont Insider: Home Ideas

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Home Ideas

The LA Times real estate section today featured Claremonters Vern and Debbie Jahnke, who lost a house in the 2003 Padua Fire (the same fire that burned through Palmer Canyon).

The house, built for $700,000, was designed by the Claremont Environmental Design Group (CEDG), a design firm owned by Mark von Wodtke, a landscape design professor at Cal Poly Pomona.

The home has many sustainable design features, including being sited so that prevailing winds help cool the house, reducing the need for air conditioning. It also has a solar electric system to help lower energy costs. In addition, many of the finish features are made from sustainable or recycled materials. The floors are bamboo, the carpeting is made from corn, and the countertops are manufactured from recycled newspaper and resin.

The house itself is built from a fire-resistant product called Rastra block, which is made from recycled styrofoam and concrete reinforced with rebar. When stacked together, the hollow parts of the block are filled with concrete, which forms a structural lattice, as the manufacturer's website shows.

Claremont is placing a greater emphasis on sustainability, and the Jahnke's new house represents a state-of-the-art design.