The Gaddam Residence

Articulate simple forms combined with sustainable design techniques are a perfect equation for this Laguna Beach hillside home.

Although it’s an infill project, there is still a responsibility to design with minimal impact to the environment and surrounding community. Inspiration was taken from LA modernism which utilizes Southern California’s climate and passive cooling opportunities to elegantly combine indoor and outdoor spaces.

The juxtaposition between the calm pacific horizon and vertical quietness of Laguna’s hillside sets the tone for the architecture. At first arrival, one is greeted by a cantilever roof which extends over the exterior entry stair leading to the entry courtyard. A composition of vertical stone walls and thin horizontal roof planes then frame a view through the entry door and out to sea. The feeling is that one has visually entered the home and out to the expansive ocean side deck and view without actually stepping inside.

Energy efficiency plays a major roll in the design. Not only does this home incorporate solar panels, hydronic radiant floor heating, and a high efficiency water heater, there are many other passive sustainable design elements. Cross ventilation, which is encouraged by the courtyard, eliminates the need for an air conditioning unit. Board form concrete walls containing 30% coal ash utilize thermal mass to help store the sun’s heat throughout the day and release it at night. Likewise, portions of the home which sit into the hillside utilize the earth’s excellent thermal mass and insulation qualities which will help keep the home at a consistent temperature. Large roof overhangs reduce the solar heat gain through the windows while maximizing the view and natural light. Exterior louvered screens provide privacy and an extra layer of sun protection at the lower level bedrooms. A planted roof over the living room (which is the lower roof visible to neighbors along the street) is not only visually pleasing, but also insulates and reduces rainwater runoff.

Other sustainable techniques include dual pane insulated glass windows and doors, recycled materials, sustainably forested wood framing, Energy Star appliances and lighting, low flow toilets and faucets, and low VOC paints. Not only is the house energy efficient, but the drought tolerant landscaping, efficient irrigation, construction and erosion control, and even waste management is sensitive to the environment.

This elegant yet simple sustainable home will not only be enjoyed by its occupants, but will be a beautiful addition to the community with minimal impact to the environment.


The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.

LEED for Homes is a rating system that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes. Green homes use less energy, water and natural resources, create less waste, and are more durable and comfortable for occupants.


reduced carbon footprint . reduced waste . reduced emissions . reduced consumption . reduced runoff . reduced pollutants . greater comfort . greater durability . greater air quality . less maintenance . resistant to decay . disaster resistant . quality, durable, local and recycled materials . high efficiency appliances . longer life span . reduced utility bills . tax benefits . more marketable