The Margarido House

Oakland, USA

Plumbob LLC

www. onionflats. com

170 The Margarido House | Oakland | USA | Fig. 1 above | Fig. 2 above right | Fig. 3 below right




The design strategy for the Margarido House skillfully integrated contemporary architectural styling with cutting edge, green technology. The photovoltaic canopy positioned at second floor level combines the requirement to supplement electrical power with shading of the first floor living rooms. The positioning of the cantilevered support structure also defines the building’s elevations (Fig. 8, Fig. 9).

Concrete flooring and walls created a thermal mass for heating and cooling. The concrete used on the site contained a minimum of 25% fly ash. The external concrete retaining walls were also designed to function as terraced planting beds, softening the harsh topography of the site (Fig. 7).

A substantial array of solar panels mounted on the rear flat roof provide the hot water requirements of the stylish, minimalist bathrooms. Row restrictors on the showers ensure that this resource is not squandered (Fig. 6).

The natural daylighting is provided by the locally sourced, thermally broken windows. The insulation value of these units is almost as high as the soy based spray insulated external walls. The supplementary lighting system throughout the property employs low energy LED fittings (Fig. 5), controlled by a programmable system, designed to maximise the efficiency of both the lighting and the under floor hydroponic heating systems.

As a result of the holistic approach reducing energy consumption, the Margarido House is reported to be 55% more efficient than other properties when measured against the stringent California Title 24 standard.

The policy of using locally sourced, zero VOC finishes, fixtures and fittings further enhanced the green credentials required to deliver Northern California’s first LEED-H Platinum custom home.

Oakland’s temperate and seasonal Mediterranean style climate produces lengthy, warm, dry summers which are conducive to an outdoor lifestyle. The crowning glory of the Margarido House is the intensive green roof. The lightweight planting medium and drought tolerant plants provide further insulation to this landscape embedded property.

The green roof and water permeable driveway are an integral part of the rain and ground water harvesting system, ensuring that the 4,000 gallon underground cistern is fed with the site runoff. The roof garden also provides a peaceful haven to enjoy the dramatic, panoramic views of San Francisco Bay (Fig. 12).