ECO-FRIENDLY LIVING IN LOS ANGELES- Ecobungalow LA
Even though I viewed the Ecobungalow LA house earlier in the year, it is only fitting that I post about it today, as 3 years ago on Christmas Day 2011, the Ambers family home located in the Beverlywood section of Los Angeles, went up in flames. A menorah that was brought home from school was left unattended for a few minutes to open Hanukkah presents in the next room, fell over and caught fire. Luckily all family members including 3 children, a grandmother, and a variety of family pets escaped moments before the kitchen exploded. What wasn’t damaged in the fire succumbed to smoke and water damage, and the house was deemed uninhabitable.
The Ambers’ decided to rebuild on the same plot of land and enlisted the help of an old family friend, New York based designer Robin Wilson, also known for her award winning eco-friendly and sustainable design. Wilson then called upon the Sustainable Furnishings Council as a charitable partner, and her extensive list of building and manufacturer contacts such as manufacturers Kohler, Robern, Cosentino, Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams and Benjamin Moore to donate product and services. Wilson sought to rebuild the Ambers home with sustainability and affordability in mind. Not only was water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality taken into consideration in the design of the Ambers home, but because the Ambers home is a multigenerational one, there were other considerations that had to be taken into account for the “aging in place” consumer with accommodations such as wider doorways, a zero entry, curbless shower, and brighter, more abundant lighting in the grandmother suite.
THE LIVING ROOM
The Ecobungalow LA living room features furnishings from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, a company that has been practicing eco-friendly design even before it became fashionable to do so, and a longtime member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council. Second hand books from Books By the Foot were used to fill the bookshelves, conserving the Earth’s resources.
In the kitchen, Kohler Watersense water-conserving fixtures were used, reducing the number of gallons used, which is of great importance considering that Southern California is currently experiencing drought conditions. A perk of using water-conserving fixtures – a drastically reduced water bill.
The kitchen countertop was donated by Cosentino and is made of Silestone, a quartz product that is stain/scratch/acid/impact resistant and offers bacteriostatic protection, preventing the propagation of bacteria. In addition, the manufacturing of Silestone material reduces the amount of post consumer waste generated, as glass and polycarbonates are combined with natural quartz to form Silestone material.
The restaurant grade range was purchased second hand and the Subzero refrigerator is Energy Star certified unit exceeds the federal minimum requirement, making it more energy efficient.
THE DINING ROOM
THE MOTHER IN LAW SUITE
The Mother In Law suite utilizes a zero entry, curbless shower, enabling easy entry for the aging in place consumer. Grab bars, a built in bench in the shower, and Kohler fixtures which allow the water temperature to be programmed were also installed to make showering worry and stress free.
In the stairwell leading up to the second floor, wallpaper from eco-conscious Aronel Design Studio is printed on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified paper, ensuring that the paper used comes from well managed forests that are environmentally, socially, and economically managed.
The bright and cheerful second story kids playroom utilizes No VOC paints from Benjamin Moore, making for better indoor air quality and is a benefit for those suffering from respiratory conditions such as asthma, as members of the Ambers family do.
For the girl’s bedroom, Wilson chose a selection of colorful non-toxic modular carpet tiles from FLOR to create a whimsical patchwork of color and pattern.
THE LAUNDRY ROOM
THE MASTER BEDROOM SUITE
Audio/video entertainment furniture from Salamander Designs, a eco-friendly company that embraces renewable energy and has made a conscious effort to reduce their daily carbon footprint and energy usage by utilizing solar energy and high-efficiency energy practices in their factory.
Creating an eco-friendly home is a lot easier than one might think. For more a comprehensive guide of resources and ideas on how to make your home a more eco-friendly and healthier one, visit the Sustainable Furnishings Council.