Designed by Chula Ross Sanchez, Associate AIA, LEED AP


Leed Certification
Innovation and Design

Las Casitas

Client:

Ramon and Chula Sanchez

Location:

Galveston, TX

Project Type:

Residential

Architect:

GREEN RATER:


Project Goal:

After Hurricane Ike destroyed their newly-completed residential renovation project in Galveston, Ramon and Chula Ross Sanchez made the decision to begin a new project and pursue LEED for Homes certification. They wanted to design guest quarters that would have a small environmental footprint, would bring together indoor and outdoor living space, and could withstand strong winds and high water.

Solution:

Known as Las Casitas, the three new cottages employ several techniques to earn LEED certification. They make efficient use of every square foot of construction and minimize conditioned living space. No hallways penetrate the living areas. Screened porches make up about one-third of each cottage’s roofed area and encourage outdoor living, thus lowering the residences’ total energy demand. Even more, by building three smaller residences instead of one larger home, Ramon and Chula are able to accommodate more visitors and earn a home-size adjustment reward of ten LEED points. To meet the fresh water challenges, the residences harvest both rainwater and air conditioning condensate, and the garden has 100% rainwater irrigation. Together, these features minimize the environmental footprint.

To withstand high winds, power and communication lines were installed underground, and storm-resistant designs for the window, doors, and roofs were selected. To protect against high water, the residences were built on stilts and rest four feet above the Federal Emergency Management Agency base flood elevation.

This home will be featured in the 40th annual Galveston Historic Homes Tour in May, 2014. "The 2014 Historic Homes Tour is one of our strongest set of houses and properties in a number of years," says Dwayne Jones, Galveston Historical Foundation's Executive Director. "The range of dates and architectural styles provide an excellent overview of Galveston's architectural history.”

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