May 5, 2014

A few weeks ago, my wife decided it was time to spiff up our front patio with some banana trees.  After cruising Craigslist, we hopped in the car headed for Escondido, CA.  We weren't sure what to expect on this banana tree mission, but it was a nice little Saturday for an adventure.  

Pulling into a steep driveway lined with a variety of fruiting trees, I was pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful modern home accompanied by a small, urban farm. We met with  Rhonda Farrar who, in addition to being an extremely knowledgeable botanist, is a green building enthusiast.  The conversion quickly shifted from her available banana pups to her state-of-the-art home nestled in the hills of Escondido.  

In addition to the energy efficient design of the home, Rhonda and her husband, Nigel, incorporated numerous green products and cutting-edge technologies, resulting in a LEED Platinum certification. Specifically, their net zero energy /carbon neutral home includes: 

  • Insulated concrete forms (ICFs);
  • Ground source geothermal heat pump;
  • Standing seem roof with radiant barrier;
  • PV solar array and charging station for electric vehicle;
  • Cork and bamboo flooring;
  • Recycled glass and concrete counters; and 
  • Smart Home Technology for home automation and mobile control. 

If you'd like to learn more about the Ferrar House, be sure to check out their website.  It's a great resource for anyone in Southern California who is looking to build a green home or simply to make some home energy improvements.