Building the first home – La Casa de Julia & Adam

Date: 17/02/2015

Keeping it small and smart

nano home julia adam

As you may know the building of the first home in Rancho Sotol already began. We now have some renderings to show and a small description made by our members Julia & Adam, who will soon be enjoying the coolest with the best views in La Ventana

The decision to build at Rancho Sotol came from a shared personal desire to design, build and own our own house. Since neither of us have professional building experience we decided to keep it small and manageable. The size of 40m2 came from our experience living in urban apartments units - this seemed to be about the minimum size we felt was 'spacious' enough to build as a house. Since this was all the space we felt we needed, we were able to keep costs down by simply building less.

The sitting of our house benefits from the Rancho Sotol master planning inherent in all of its sites- opening up to the east provides the obvious ocean view, while prevailing winds ventilate the structure naturally through the placement of operable windows. The choice to bury the house in the site provides shade, a cooling thermal mass effect, and keeps a low sightline to respect neighbors and the natural topography.

The building technology implemented in our house was chosen mainly to provide both high insulation value and thermal mass, and to be easily assembled by us with minimal help. Rammed Earth, ICU block and the roof structure provide R-values above both IBC and building codes in the US.

Building at Rancho Sotol has been exciting from the very beginning. This week we will be laying the footing and installing our water cistern. We look forward to the month ahead of us and its challenges and accomplishments. We will share more photos and updates about our progress here on the Rancho Sotol website.

- Julia & Adam

nano home render

nano home interior

Check out the views from the back of the lot:

view from lot S17

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