Nothing Never Looked So Good – SF Magazine
Zero. Zilch. Nada. The buzziest new Bay Area homes aren’t envied for their Kim and Kanye-like excess. Instead, their cool factor lies in what’s lacking. Going beyond sustainable building, these homeowners are striving for net-zero energy certification: houses that produce as much energy as they use.
An Edwardian Divorces PG&E
As the managing director of San Jose–based SunPower corporation, William Kelly unabashedly geeks out about solar panels. But when he set about expanding his family’s 1904 Noe Valley Edwardian, he took things a step further, getting “off the pipe”— eliminating the need for natural gas. Instead, a radiant system of water-filled tubing beneath the floorboards provides heat, and cooking is done on an induction stovetop. San Francisco firm Levy Art and Architecture expanded the home to 2,424 square feet, moving living areas to the south-facing rear of the house to harness the sunlight; a skylight over the glass-encased three-story staircase lets natural light reach from rooftop to basement. Meanwhile, SunPower’s photovoltaic solar panel system channels 7.6 kilowatts of electricity—enough to power the home and the family’s two cars. J.F.