Sycamore House, home of architect Michael Kovac, is an great example of contemporary green design. The home is simultaneously a showpiece, a living space, and a laboratory for all that’s relevant in sustainable living practices.

Architect Michael Kovac’s Sycamore House is a Laboratory for Green Design

Pacific Palisades home

Photo Credit: Lars Frazer Photography

Sycamore House is built in the hills of Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles. Kovac and his wife dismantled and recycled a tract home and have worked to build a new one which exemplifies the best of modern residential green design, earning LEED-Platinum certification.

It’s thoughtful and understated design elements include:

Low-profile geo-friendly architecture. The 3,400 sq.ft., single-story building spreads back and down into Rivas Canyon, flowing with the natural geography. Earth tones, clerestory windows, and concrete facades are an attractive addition to the geoscape.

Energy Efficiency. There are no holds barred when it comes to energy efficiency. A shear wall is used as a geothermal heating and cooling source by piercing deep into the bedrock. Solar panels, additional designs for venting warm interior air, and misters for cooling Santa Ana winds are all artfully hidden amongst the home’s artistic design.

Photo © Lars Frazer, Lars Frazer Photography

Extras include a guest-room layout that can be transformed into a granny-unit or a space for the couple to age comfortably, a hummingbird fountain for backup water, and inconspicuous eco-friendly appliances. Kovac has elevated the green design bar and Sycamore House will serve as a marker of his architectural growth as well as a monument to 21st century sustainable design.

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