Open, sunny, solar home at 7321 Terrace Drive in the East Bay hills overlooking the San Francisco Bay Area with dramatic panoramic bay views from the Berkeley hills to Marin, centered on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Passive solar design:
When we built the house in '94, Chris designed it for passive solar.
The passive solar orientation and combination of the windows is one of the most effective ways that the house works to maintain comfortable temperatures.
The morning sun heats the wood floor in the dining room through the big window that allows solar gain and reflects back an even warmth all day.
The deep overhanging porches to the West keep out the summer sun, while letting the winter sun all the way in.
The resulting energy efficiency has added up to lower than average energy use for a house this size in California: just 550 kwh a month.
Adding a solar system has almost made the house net zero. We had a 3.15 KW solar system installed last October, which we sized to provide 76% of our average use. In practice, it has been making more than expected, and our residual PG&E bill has been reduced to almost nothing: between $4 and $9 a month.
The energy saving green roof area on the master bedroom deck was constructed according to standard green roof building practices with a root barrier to protect the roof, a drainage layer, a planting medium and it is planted with drought resistant Sedum. It could be expanded to the whole roof. It is not heavy, it is 'extensive' as opposed to 'intensive' green roofing which is heavier. It helps protect the roof and it also moderates temperatures underneath it.
Painted on top of the black waterproofing of the rest of the deck is 'cool roofing' an energy-efficient roof--painted with reflective paint-- that reduces energy use underneath by reflecting the sun's heat up.
Energy-efficient windows and insulation:
All the Anderson windows and doors are double glazed for high energy efficiency. The only ones that are single pane are the 2 big square pane windows in the dining room and the living room, for the passive solar. The walls are insulated to R-19.
Underneath the Travertine stone on the main floor there is radiant heating that extends under the stone back down to the back door and also under the ceramic tiles in the downstairs bathroom and the laundry room. The remaining rooms have radiators that also use the same hot water heating system.
The efficient gas boiler also supplies a heat exchange system to reuse heat for the radiant floors.
All but five lighting fixtures have CFLs or LEDs.
Throughout, low VOC paints and durable natural materials are used. Most of the floors are bamboo, the rest are tumbled travertine stone, limestone, stained concrete and custom wheatboard, wool carpet, ceramic and red oak.
Spiritual benefits of the central walking views of the water:
One of the most wonderful things about the house is just walking through the space and being brought out of whatever your temporary distractions by the ever-changing view - that is always there.
The various surprising sunrises, different fogs, afternoon sunshine glinting off the San Francisco bay, the boats, different sunsets, and the city lights are always changing and it always brings you back to the present.
Traversing a view has turned out to be a very powerful mood changer. You get more from moving through a water and sky view than sitting and looking at one.
The same thing happens climbing and descending the stairs. You feel like you are climbing into light and sky seen through the sliding Anderson doors.
There is a three bridge panoramic view that can be enjoyed in total from the wraparound top deck, and parts of it from inside. At one point we had a hammock in the back garden where you could see the ocean through the kitchen window.
Lots of greenery:
We have mature trees in the back of the house, including an almond tree. Because the lots above the house are so long, the view of greenery behind and around the house are also extensive, and the windows are sited to take advantage of these extensive green views back.
Thanks to everyone who loved our wonderful home, which has just sold.
This beautifully designed 1992 home, with over 3,000 sq. ft. (per public record) of living space, offers phenomenal 3 bridge panoramic views. Sited on a unique knoll up a private drive, yet only 5 minutes from Solano Avenue shops and restaurants. The home features numerous green design elements as well as a SunRun solar system which generates 76% of its electricity. Come enjoy this very special spot with its parade of ever-changing vistas.
Entry foyer with tumbled travertine floor—living room on one side and light-filled kitchen/great room on the other with glorious southwestern exposure
Dramatic views from both levels including view decks off luxurious master suite upstairs
Versatile 3-bedroom/2-bath floorplan with studio/library adjacent to master
Media room and two garages on ground floor offer numerous possibilities for live/work
Rare and interesting materials throughout including reclaimed woods, bamboo, urban harvested redwood, limestone and travertine
Green design elements including solar electric, green roof, cool roof, and passive solar orientation with energy efficient Anderson windows
Carefully sited for views and privacy
Back garden with trellised patio and mature plantings
Check the WCCUSD website for availability at Kensignton Elementary School
Lower El Cerrito hills convenient to El Cerrito Plaza, BART and Fat Apples
El Cerrito is known for its splendid parks and recreational facilities and excellent city services including comprehensive recycling
Breezy commute to San Francisco, Marin and points beyond
El Cerrito hills
Our mayor was an early signatory to the Mayors' Kyoto Accord. The green city planning has led to housing to lower greenhouse gas emissions, great recycling programs, including free batteries, free book and magazine swaps, a green certified new City Hall, and a solar heated pool. The city rallied to keep, despite a shaky start, our new hometown movie theater with innovative sofa and table seating, serving wine and pizza.
The best farmers market in the East Bay is in El Cerrito Plaza on Saturdays. The Natural Grocery store is just down at the bottom of Stockton Ave in front of the house. There's the usual big box stores at nearby El Cerrito Plaza, including Trader Joe's, and walkable Solano Ave with its many outdoor cafes and restaurants is about five minutes straight across along the hill.
We are within the Kensington Elementary boundary for the West Contra Costa School District, and an excellent private school: Prospect Sierra is just a two block walk on the same side of the street. All of Berkeley's good private schools are also a very easy drop-off on the way to SF, straight across the hill.
The summer Parks and Rec programs for kids that El Cerrito offers is outstanding, with daily swimming outdoors, hikes, and games on the fields.
It's 5 minutes by car to Point Isabel, dog heaven, where happy dogs for miles around meet and greet and roam free
by the sea. The Albany Bulb, an urban art park with a sandy dog beach near Point Isabel, is next down the shoreline.
Low carbon commute:
It is a pleasant 20 minute walk to BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).
The Bay Trail bike path goes all around the Bay along the shoreline from Pt Isabel down to Emeryville, and back all the way up to Pt Richmond.
Terrific hillside hiking trails start nearby for some gorgeous views, and wild blackberries that make great blackberry pies.
Cerrito Vista Park is just down the street, with a good quality playground and regular pick-up baseball games as well as after-school games.
It is an easy walk to the huge El Cerrito outdoor solar heated pool across the Cerrito Vista Park, at the Recreation Center.
The El Cerrito hills are a continuation of the Berkeley hills, below Kensington, and down towards the Bay, next to Albany, in the San Francisco Bay area. From El Cerrito it is an easy commute to San Francisco and Marin as well as all the East Bay cities.
Known for its sunnier weather and great bay views towards the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean beyond, the El Cerrito hills are generally a little warmer than the Berkeley hills next door.
Higher up the hill is foggy, but this region is almost always sunny.
West Contra Costa
|Agriculture in Area||No|
|Industry in Area||No|
|Air Pollution in Area||No|
|Cleaned with Green Products||Yes|
Hydronic Floor Heat (radiant)
Solar - Passive
Part of Heating System
|Whole House Filtration||
|Whole House Vacuum||No|
Solar - Photovoltaic
Wood Framing: 2x4, 2x6, etc.
Gypsum Board - Sheet Rock
Wood - Solid
Wood - Solid
Asphalt Composition Shingle
Wood Dual Glazed
|Garage / Carport||Yes|
|Number of Cars||2|
|Garage Area||550 sqft|
Listing ID: 19201