Structure Home - Custom Home Construction
Structure Home - Custom Home Construction
Sustainably Speaking - Custom Home Construction


Green Builder Media's Free Homeowner's Handbook

Improving the Indoor Air Quality of Your Home

Benefits of Deconstruction VS Demolition

Home Energy and Safety Infographic

LEED Certified Custom Homes

Building a custom home has many advantages, including the choice to build a more energy efficient home that is not only a more sustainable way of life but will also generate lower energy costs. Structure Home has built a number of energy efficient custom homes, including some that achieved ¹LEED certification. Currently, Structure Home has two more custom homes under construction in Brentwood that are LEED Registered, using US EPA ²WaterSense Certified fixtures, and ³EnergyStar appliances in each home.  

In addition, both of the home locations have landscaping that is designed to save water: little to no turf will be used, drought-tolerant plants are going to be planted and low flow drip sprinklers will be installed. Here in Southern California water is a resource we need to conserve so landscaping that uses less water is one way to do this.

The water saving fixtures (WaterSense Certified) are going to be installed in many of the bathrooms. This means that every time you use the toilet, wash your hands or take a shower you are using less water.  In addition, the bathrooms in each custom home, will come equipped with an Energy Star bathroom fan. This fan has a sensor that can tell how much moisture is in the air and turns on automatically. This fan brings in fresh air and regulates the humidity. Other energy efficiencies include: lighting fixtures being installed throughout the home that use less electricity, Energy Star Refrigerators, Energy Star Dishwashers and Energy Star clothes washers.  These appliances are designed to use less electricity, gas and water.

Many materials that are normally used in construction contain toxic chemicals. These two custom homes, in Los Angeles, include paint on the walls, adhesive on trims, and moldings that are Low VOC, which means they contain much fewer toxins than most carpets and paint. Fewer toxins means cleaner air quality in the units.

Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is highly toxic to humans and can be hard to detect. These two custom homes in Brentwood, plan to install a Carbon Monoxide monitor on each floor so if for some reason there is carbon Monoxide in the air, an alarm will go off. Take a look at the LEED Scorecards for each home below:


LEED Custom Home in Brentwood 
LEED Scorecard for custom home in Brentwood, CA

The first home, referred to above as: New England Traditional Custom Home, has a total building square footage of 6,244 square feet which includes a 1,189 square foot basement. Here are a few of the energy efficient statistics of this home:

  • 45% of this home uses renewable energy
  • 30% of the designed landscapes is softscape turf
  • 58% of the installed plants are drought tolerant
  • 75% of the waste that came from this project was diverted (recycled, reused, and re-purposed)
  • This home is 26.3% above the Title 24 requirements
  • The site is within .10 miles of Metro Route 2/302 with 52 daily weekday rides.

LEED Custom Home in BrentwoodLEED Scorecard for custom home in Brentwood, CA

The second home, referred to above as: Traditional Coastal Custom Home, has a total building square footage of 5,253 on a 10,127 square foot lot. Here are a few of the energy efficient statistics of this home:

  • 30% of the designed landscapes is softscape turf
  • 70% of the installed plants are drought tolerant
  • 75% of the waste that came from this project was diverted (recycled, reused, and re-purposed)
  • This home is 31.7% above the Title 24 requirements
  • The site is within .10 miles of Metro Route 2/302 with 52 daily weekday rides.

¹LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a Green Building Certification Program that recognizes eco-friendly building strategies and practices. There are four levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The number of points a project earns, determines that certification level the project will receive.

²WaterSense labeled products are backed by independent, third–party testing and certification, and meet EPA’s specifications for water efficiency and performance. By choosing the WaterSense Labeled products, you can expect saving on water bills while still having exceptional performance.

³EnergyStar labeled products are EPA government-backed energy efficient products and practices. They reduce greenhouse emissions and other pollutants caused by inefficient use of energy; as well as, offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance.

Earth Day

This is a special Earth Day posting.  Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22nd. This is the 44th celebration of eco-friendliness. Here are five ways to celebrate today and year round:

  1. Plant a tree
    • Million Trees LA is giving away free trees if you live or own property in the City of Los Angles. Find out more here:
  2. Recycle
    • Most of the LA population has a recycling container at their home. Items you can recycle curbside include: paper, cartons, metals, glass and plastics. For other items such as electronics or hazardous materials, there are monthly local recycling/SAFE Centers/collection events in your area. Be sure to visit your city’s website for dates and locations.
  3. Ride your bike or walk today instead of driving
    • Instead of driving your car to dinner or the store, try walking or riding your bike instead.
    • Find out how many calories you will burn riding your bike or walking to the store:
  4. Pick up trash outside
    • Bring one or two trash bags (one for recyclables and one for trash), napkins or tissue and/or hand wipes
  5. Participate in Earth Day Activities and Events

There are a number of things you can do to celebrate Earth Day. Here is an infographic of other top ways to participate.

Earth Day Infographic

Fix-A-Leak Week

Today is the beginning of “Fix-A-Leak” Week. “Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so we're hunting down the drips during Fix a Leak Week.” (EPA WaterSense). Fix-a-Leak Week begins today, March 17th and ends on March 21, 2014. This week, try to fix a leak in your home and/or a friend or family member’s home.

We refer to EPA WaterSense’ Website to find out:

How do you FIND A LEAK?

  • Take a look at your water usage during a colder month, such as January or February. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks.
  • Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
  • Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 15 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)
  • Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.
  • Watch The Regional Water Providers Consortium videos on detecting household leaks:

Once, you located a leak, how do you FIX A LEAK?

It is always best to contact a professional licensed plumber but if you are fixing it yourself, here are some places to find guidance:

  • Faucets: Visit the Do-It-Yourself Network’s Step by Step Guide: and/or YouTube’s How to Fix a Faucet videos:
  • Showerheads: Make sure there is a tight connection between the pipe stem and your showerhead and verify there is piping tape (Teflon Tape) to secure the connection between the two.
  • Outdoors: Be sure to check that all sprinkler heads and lines are not damaged. Check your garden hose for leaks at the spigot. You may need to replace the connection to the spigot with a new nylon or rubber hose washer and/or piping tape.

Each day, we will be tweeting a fact and/or way to fix a leak. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+.

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