~ April 7, 2021 ~

Carole Wylie Architecture; Steve Wright Builder. Sustainable House through Recycled Materials: Hacienda Aden.

Sustainable House through Recycled Materials: Hacienda Aden

Wylie Architecture Planning Interior Design, Inc., Carole Wylie – Architect

The Wright Construction Company, Inc., Steve Wright – Builder

In 2000-2001, Carole Wylie designed and Steve Wright built the first house in San Diego County to use Rastra Block, also known as Perform Wall insulated form block, made of recycled styrofoam and concrete. The product created a fire-proof house which was extremely energy-efficient and bug-proof. The house had exposed stained concrete floors with embedded pipes that recirculated water for cooling and/or heating. Although the use of recycled styrofoam has been curtailed in California due to the need for expensive required earthquake testing, it has continued to be used elsewhere in the U.S. in a cost-effective manner, including in moderately priced tract homes in Arizona.

Architect Wylie said that the original owner of the house, Diane Aden, approached her to design it with the Perform Wall product and was committed to any additional costs associated with its use. Wylie said, “To do something truly green it takes the willingness of the client.”

Builder Wright said that the Perform Wall product was easy to build with. The light-weight styrofoam building blocks came in 12-feet lengths, making it less labor intensive than the standard concrete blocks. The product lent itself to creating curved walls as the seams could be smoothed out with a wire mesh tool to make a perfect radius. There were even reduced costs because there was no need for the base stucco coats or interior drywall.

During the construction of the house and again after its completion, it was featured on the annual Green Built Tour. The U.S. Navy also made special arrangements to bring a large group of people to tour the house and learn about the many energy efficient measures that were included in its design and construction.