An Eco-Friendly Vacation Retreat Near Lake Tahoe

Monday, Nov 10 2014
Posted by:
Nigel F. Maynard

After building their primary residence in the traditional way, two Californians went the modular route and ended up with a two-story green vacation home that was conceived and built in only nine months.

To get the home they wanted, Vanja and Milli Josifovska, turned to Blu Homes, the Waltham, Mass.-based company that was founded in 2008. They sought out Blu “after going through the tedious, two-year process of designing and building their family’s home in Los Gatos, Calif.,” the company said, adding that the two-year project cost them more than 30% of their original budget.

The Blu | Evolution home, on the other hand, took less than a year to design and build.

Measuring 1,600 sq. ft., the home contains four-bedrooms and two bathrooms with site-built decks and storage shed. It was designed by architect Paul Warner and constructed with a recycled-steel frame and structural insulated panels.

The front door opens to an open-plan first floor, with two bedrooms and a bath at one end of home. Another two bedrooms and bath are located on the second floor. Low- or no-VOC and earth-friendly finishes throughout the home help keep the interior healthy, while a heat recovery ventilator keeps the re-circulated air fresh. Greenguard-certified kitchen materials further promotes a healthy environment and radiant heat under the bamboo floor keeps the space warm.

The Josifovskas said the tight insulation, radiant floor heating, energy efficient design and large number of windows are some of their favorite elements of the home, which was designed to be LEED-certifiable through the U.S. Green Building Council. And because of the energy efficiency of the home, their highest monthly utility bill so far has been about $100. In July, the bill was $4.

“We love our two-story Evolution in Lake Tahoe,” said Josifovska. “It’s everything our family of five needs, and we had it built in less than a year! We got it appraised just a few months after construction was complete, and it was already worth $30,000 more than the cost to build it.”

The 1,600-sq.-ft. home features a sloped standing seam metal roof allows snow to slide off.