San Francisco

Photography: Sharon Risedorph

2011 California Home + Design Magazine,
Award for Sustainable Architecture

Noe Valley Butterfly House
Butterfly roof integrates into the rainwater storage system.

This project is a second floor addition onto a house for a couple and their two children in Noe Valley. The goals were ethically and value driven: They wanted to expand the house to allow the family to stay in their present location, and do it in a way that would reduce their carbon footprint while remaining practical and financially feasible. Due to the fact they have two children, a boy and a girl who were close to coming of age, they were very cognizant of the need to have separate bedrooms for each of them. With site constrictions including large mature trees, an upper level was added including a striking butterfly roof, which is integral to rainwater storage. The home boasts San Francisco’s first approved rainwater storage system, utilizing the water for landscaping, toilets and laundry, reducing non-potable water usage by approximately 50 percent. An unexpected central atrium greets the visitor upon entering the house, providing a source of natural light and cooling in the center of the house, and with its lush landscaping, providing a respite of green in an urban setting.