AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects

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Z6 House

The Z6 House, viewed in this photo from the street, was built into a slope that resulted from paving over sand dunes when the neighborhood was first built.
Photo credit: Grant Mudford


  • Location: Santa Monica, CA
  • Building type(s): Single-family residential
  • New construction
  • 2,480 ft2 (230 m2)
  • Project scope: 2-story building
  • Urban setting
  • Completed August 2006
  • Rating: U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Homes v.1 --Level: Platinum

The Z6 House is a single-family residence that was added to a multifamily-zoned lot with an existing duplex. It has four bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The house serves as both a residence and a model home for a line of green, modular, single-family dwellings offered by the owner's business.

The house is constructed of factory-built modules that were erected on the site-built foundation over a period of 13 hours; the structural slab-on-grade serves as the finish floor for the first level. A roof deck offers views and a green roof with vegetation native to southern California.

This project was chosen as an AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Project for 2007. It was submitted by LivingHomes, in Santa Monica, California with Ray Kappe Architects, in Pacific Palisades, California. Additional project team members are listed on the "Process" screen.

Environmental Aspects

A commitment to minimizing the project's ecological footprint informed all aspects of the home's design. The project team used the phrase "six zeroes" to describe the goals of the project: zero waste, zero energy, zero water, zero carbon, zero emissions, and zero ignorance.

The design maximizes the opportunities of the mild, marine climate with a passive cooling strategy using cross-ventilation and a thermal chimney. A 2.4-kilowatt photovoltaic array and a solar hot-water collector take advantage of the sunny location, as does the daylighting strategy for the interior.

To create flexible interior spaces, all bedrooms have moveable wall partitions that can be opened to common areas for more space. Large exterior doors and large expanses of glass connect the inside to the outside, allowing the living space to expand to the outdoors.

Owner & Occupancy

  • Owned and occupied by Steve Glenn, LivingHomes, LLC, Individual(s)
  • Typically occupied by 1 person, 148 hours per person per week; and 20 visitors per week, 1 hour per visitor per week

Building Programs

Indoor Spaces:

Living quarters


Performance measurement and verification, Operations and maintenance, Transportation benefits, Indigenous vegetation, Water harvesting, Graywater, Massing and orientation, Glazing, Passive solar, On-site renewable electricity, Benign materials, Recycled materials, Certified wood, Connection to outdoors, Daylighting, Natural ventilation, Low-emitting materials

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Last updated: 4/23/2007

Our thanks to the ENERGY STAR program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and to the U.S. Department of Energy, and to BuildingGreen, Inc. for hosting the submission and judging forms.

For more information about the AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects, contact AIA/COTE. For help on how to use this Web site, contact .

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