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Green Home Uses Concrete ThroughoutProject submitted by Stephen Bohner, Alchemy Construction Inc., Arcata, Calif.
This GreenPoint-rated home uses concrete inside and out to maximize energy savings, improve indoor air quality, and create distinctive living spaces.
Significant energy savings was achieved by using ICF forms for the exterior walls of the home.
All of the siding, soffit and trim material for the home is concrete or stucco, including this custom-fabricated concrete corbel.
The entire house is radiantly heated via a ground-source heat pump.
The main floor of the home has 2,572 square feet of radiant-heated concrete floors, with 625 square feet covered by wood.
The party room floor was ground and polished to 1500 grit and then burnished to a high shine to reflect the overhead light fixture.
A close-up view of the polished floor.
The concrete countertops in the kitchen and bathroom are custom formed using bone-white concrete accented with recycled glass aggregate. This kitchen counter is 9 feet, 8 inches long and 2 feet deep.
A close-up of the concrete bathroom vanity shows the beauty imparted by the decorative glass aggregate.
A custom concrete leg was made for the kitchen table to match the integrally colored concrete floor.
The home’s fireplace features a custom concrete hearth and mantle, both integrally colored an ash tone. The mantle is supported by two custom concrete brackets, and a custom bracket was even made for mounting the articulating TV arm.
Above the party room is a 958-square-foot, 5-inch-thick suspended concrete roof deck that doubles as a garden space.
The completed roof deck, ready for planting.
The home has 7,000 square feet of exterior concrete flatwork. The stamped concrete is colored with Davis Colors powdered pigment in Kailua and Brickform antique release in dark gray. The smooth exterior concrete is colored with Davis Colors powdered pigment in Omaha Tan.
Stephen Bohner and his wife stand outside the finished home. “This is what the new homebuilding consumer is looking for,” says Bohner.
From the roof deck, to the exterior walls, to the floors, this custom-built home uses concrete inside and out, not only for aesthetics but also for its green attributes. “We are passionate about green building, and utilizing concrete in different forms helps us achieve this, along with setting us apart from other builders with original and aesthetic designs,” says builder Stephen Bohner of Alchemy Construction, Arcata, Calif.
Among the many eco-friendly attributes in this GreenPoint-rated home are polished and integrally colored concrete floors on the main level with in-slab radiant heating, insulating concrete form walls, geothermal hot-water heating, a 7-kilowatt solar electric power system, a green concrete roof deck that sustains plant growth and reduces stormwater runoff, the use of locally reclaimed wood, and cementitious siding, soffit and trim materials. Concrete was also used for the home’s countertops and vanities, a custom hearth and mantle, and the exterior pavements.
“Most of our projects include heated radiant floors, and concrete has proved to be a great medium to convey this comfortable type of heating,” says Bohner. “As for the concrete countertops, we love the fact that they become more of a piece of artwork than a countertop, and we can fabricate the slabs ourselves. As a building medium, concrete is a great material to work with, with endless design possibilities."
Alchemy Construction has been involved in green building since its inception 15 years ago, but this is their first ICF house. “Green custom homes with alternative energy systems are growing in popularity, along with exceptional tight-build homes. Utilizing ICF products, integrally colored and/or polished concrete floors, and radiant heating systems gives our homes excellent indoor air quality and low energy bills. We think this is what the new homebuilding consumer is looking for,” says Bohner.
View the slide show to see highlights of the concrete elements in this fabulous home.
Radiant heating system: Uponor
ICF forms: Amvic Building System
Lap siding and accent trim: James Hardie Artisan
Concrete mix for countertops and fireplace: Buddy Rhodes Countertop Mix
Recycled glass aggregate: American Specialty Glass
Integral floor pigments: Davis Colors
Polished floors: AmeriPolish SureLock Polished Concrete Color System with red dye (mechanical room); AmeriPolish SL Densifier and AmeriPolish WB SL Stain Protector (party room)
Exterior concrete colors: powdered pigments (Davis Colors); antique release (Brickform)
Alchemy Construction Inc., Arcata, Calif.