Architecture and Development


McFarland Residence: New House

This new eco-friendly house in Berkeley was designed to fit onto the existing site by sharing an existing driveway with the neighboring house, building on the existing flat pad, and minimizing the grading work. This house is an urban infill house as all utilities extend to the vacant site.

The design is compact, fitting three bedrooms with an additional office, and three bathrooms into a 2,314 sq ft house. A 462 sq ft secondary unit lies below the house.

The large south facing deck looks over the Bay, and large sliding glass walls open up to the deck linking the outdoor room to the living room.

Koch MacFarland home
McFarland Residence
Rendered by Matt Farrar


Green features include:

  • Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) wall construction.
  • Radiant floor heating.
  • All concrete contains a 25% fly ash.
  • A whole house fan is installed in the ceiling for ventilation.
  • All wood materials, including the cedar shingles are certified
    by Forest Stewardship Council (F.S.C.)
  • HardiePanel vertical siding is installed to contrast with the shingles.
  • All interior paints have no or few
    Volatile Organic Compounds (V.O.C.)
  • All new windows are double-paned low-emissivity windows.
  • The insulation in walls and ceilings that cannot be built of SIPs (due to the wall’s small or complex nature) is formaldehyde-free insulation with R-15 wall values and R-38 ceiling values.
  • Motion sensor exterior lights with shielded bulbs to reduce glare.
  • Weather stripping is provided on the door between the garage and the living area, along with a carbon monoxide alarm next to garage doorway.
  • Whole house meter/ energy viewers in the kitchen and entry provide readings of energy consumption rate. Indoor monitors reduce consumption by 15-20% in the average household.
  • Flow control valves on all faucets in bathrooms.
  • On-demand hot water system that reduces water wasted while waiting for the shower water to get hot.
  • New appliances are Energy Star rated.
  • Wall tiles of recycled glass.
  • Built-in recycling center designed into the kitchen.
  • The mechanical ventilation system in the bathroom is installed on a timer.