Green With Envy - Design Bureau




Green With Envy

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Featured Company: Toby Long Design - Location: Burlingame, California - Project Type: Residence - Project Name: The Gaul Residence

Photos by Dennis Mayer,

By Patrick Sisson

San Mateo County’s climate allows for a lifestyle that many of those locked in cold latitudes covet. So when prefab architect Toby Long had the opportunity to design a single-family home in Burlingame, California for his CleverHomes brand, he decided not only to make a living space aligned with the outdoors but add another enviable trait to the forward-thinking building by utilizing the latest in green construction.

Approach the Gaul residence from any angle and the appeal to nature is clear. The open floor plan boasts an operable wall system and a sleek stone-and-wood patio with a covered kitchen, which begs for regular use. The striking interior wraps around an open metal staircase and airy strands of bamboo, which flow intuitively towards the second-story bedrooms and centers the space with Zen-like calm. Even in the midst of a more traditional neighborhood, it stands out without standing apart.

“We all loved the huge bi-fold doors leading out to the outdoor living area,” Long says. “The climate is very mild, and between the outdoor fireplace and covered outdoor kitchen, the house embodies the indoor/outdoor lifestyle of northern California.”

Even more impressive, the off-site fabrication methods used to build the residence represent a commitment to sustainable living. Recycled denim insulation, sustainable cabinetry, a rainwater catchment, and reuse systems and a large green roof provide energy efficiency and highlight the efficacy of prefab construction on a larger scale.

“The house is unique and uses a very modern vernacular,” Long says. “But the overall composition of the façade, and the location on the site, allow for this unique house to fit well into the otherwise traditionally styled architecture of the neighborhood.”

Seeing as how it sold for well above asking price on the first weekend it was for sale, it seems that many may covet a similar structure. Thankfully, for the sake of homeowners and the climate, this green home is easy to replicate.

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