Eco-friendly EAST COUNTY homes
By Miriam Raftery
After twice having to evacuate during wildfires, Keith and Danya Jolley
decided to build a new, fire-safe and energy efficient “green” home
on their Jamul property. The home was featured on last year’s
GreenBuilt Homes Tour.
One year later, the Jolleys remain thrilled with their new home. “The
house turned out better than we imagined, and the savings have been a big
boost,” Danya Jolley told East County Magazine. “Our
new house is roughly twice the size of our old house that was on the same
lot, same location, and so far our electric bills are about $70 a month cheaper.” She
added, “We have not had to use our air conditioner at all this year.” Indoor
temperatures have not exceeded 77 degrees, despite outdoor temperatures in
the mid-90s .
During the Harris Fire, the Jolleys had to evacuate their new home,
grateful for the peace of mind that it was constructed with fire-safe materials,
though fortunately the blaze didn’t reach their property. At
a time when neighbors are losing insurance coverage because the area is in
a high fire risk zone, the Jolleys insurance rates remain the same – on
a house that’s double the size of their former residence.
That’s because the Jolleys chose fire-safe materials including
Perform Wall, an alternative framing material made from 86% recycled materials,
including Styrofoam from the electronic industry, mixed with concrete. Blocks
are covered with stucco, creating an exterior appearance similar to conventional
Perform Wall has a four-hour fire rating, making is superior to wood-framed
walls, which have a one-hour rating. “After
four hours, they stopped the test. No smoke or flames had spread,” said
Wade Vernon of PW Sales and Consulting, marketing director for Perform Wall
or view video at www.performwall.com/video.sstg).
Perform Wall is also resistant to mold and fungus. Termites
will not eat it, Vernon added. It also meets high standards for indoor
air quality, since it does not outgas toxins or release dangerous fibers. The
American Lung Association utilized the material in a demonstration healthy
home in Arizona.
The material also allows flexibility in form, enabling the Jolleys’ architect,
Kevin Pollem of Faktura Architecture in San Diego, to create many aesthetically-pleasing
curves and angles. Blocks can even be cut with a chainsaw, as Vernon
The home features other “green” and energy-saving
features, such as a roof with metal radiant barrier sheathing, dual-pane,
low-e windows, energy-saving and water-saving appliances, a tankless
water heater, and energy efficient lighting.
Overhanging eaves provide shade around the entire home. Decking
was made with Perform Wall and CertainTeed Boardwalk composite decking, which
has a zero flame index rating.
Madrone wood floors utilize wood normally discarded when Douglas fir
forests are clearcut, providing beauty and sustainability.
The architect also designed the home to maximize breezes and preserve
natural features, building around oak trees on the lot situated at the base
of a canyon.
“Pat Lawrence and his crew were amazing in getting the design
features built beautifully,” Jolley said of the home’s builder. “We
were also interested in using “green” products for our house,
and eliminating waste wherever possible. “Pat Lawrence, our builder,
carted off all the remaining block and odd leftover pieces to be ground down
and reformed into new blocks.”
Besides saving money on waste-hauling, recycling leftover building
materials “gave us peace of mind that we weren’t contributing
to filling up the landfill,” Jolley added.
The eco-conscious homeowners even recycled their former residence,
a manufactured home moved to a neighbor’s lot. Their new eco-friendly
home, which measures 2,600 square feet, has ample room for the Jolley’s
To view more “green” houses, check out the 2008 GreenBuilt
Homes Tour October 4th and 5th. For information on the tour,
Green Homes features residences in East County
that address any of the following areas: sustainability, energy efficiency,
renewable energy resources, use of natural, recycled, or nontoxic materials,
water-saving features, and environmental protection. If you know
of a home you would like to see featured, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our thanks to our “Green Home” sponsors: