Our U.S. residential building code has a long history and over time has resulted in improvement in structural durability and recently added stricter energy efficiency requirements. It should be noted that code is the lowest bar of expectations to legally construct a new building and usually doesn’t include all the factors of success that an owner-builder may desire.
We will go beyond code, to improve efficiency in water use, indoor air quality and fire resiliency, for example. We will document our experience thru regular videos and a book which will be published after the build is completed. Most importantly, our project will be a model that will include a PUBLIC PLAN SET that will be furnished to the Town of Paradise and to cities and counties beyond the burn scar. We will be fully transparent in our budget and our experience, so that owner-builders can learn to have a more intelligent dialogue with their general contractor.
We believe this kind of transparency about our experience is essential to get traction in the conversation that goes beyond the newbie first question being, “How much per square foot?” We believe we can inspire more meaningful dialogue for everyone involved. We believe the only way you can have a home like ours is to build it yourself, with a team who shares your vision for a home. We call this model home “Serenity” because of the feeling we hope to evoke for those living in it.
We hope that people living in buildings like this can enjoy comfort in knowing their home may never burn again in a firestorm. This home can contribute to health and happiness by optimizing interior air, light and sound qualities while also optimizing natural resources and encouraging community interaction by celebrating beauty and elevating the world around us.
So if you are one of those craftspeople we are talking to, we hope you share our vision and will help in building this home. You will really need to roll up your sleeves, put on your thinking caps and lean into this project to create what it demands. Together we hope to inspire the creation of many more buildings like this for the benefit of future generations.
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