The Project


Services Provided

Project Summary

The project design team was led by Architect Larry Wolff, AIA, of StudioWolff, with Red Car Analytics’ Neil Bulger, PE providing strategic design support for resilient systems and passive design for survivability. The affordable family housing project in Visalia, CA focused on creating a housing environment to provide families with a highly sustainable quality of life and serve as a case study for zero-carbon living. The community is designed to be all-electric and net zero energy, producing more energy from on-site solar PV than consumed in a year.

The design utilizes a holistic approach to reducing energy use, investing in a high-performance building envelope and reduced and simplified building systems for heating and cooling. The building insulation and materials provide a robust, durable envelope that keeps heat in during winter and out during summer. The use of interior finishes, natural ventilation, and ceiling fans allow the building to open and passively cool at night, reducing the need for active air conditioning as much as possible.

The analysis evaluated how the building could be designed for passive survivability. A building’s passive survivability refers to its capacity to maintain essential life-support conditions in the event of extended loss of power or water; or in the event of extreme heat waves, storms, or other unforeseen events.