Nice Log work

Nice Log work

This Atascadero home has been scratched, browned, & dry walled since this picture was taken. No matter what stage this straw bale home is in, the incredible log work will always be a significant addition.

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Framing in Process

Framing in Process

Semmes & Co. is currently working on a north county barn designed by Cambrian architect Jeff Lentz. This 5000 square foot airfoil shaped structure includes a work shop, hay loft, full bath, and mezzanine with an outdoor deck.  Its curving roof mirrors the adjacent rolling hills.  Adding to its aesthetic appeal will be redwood siding, a copper-colored standing seam metal roof, and a 40′ x 14′ high clearance bi-fold door.  The energy efficient design has the structure cut into the hillside 8′ on the western edge acting as a heat sink, with a 20′ roof overhang to temper the southern sun.

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AS SEEN IN CENTRAL COAST MAGAZINE (JANUARY 2008). COPYRIGHT 2008.

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Jessica Steely, Turko Semmes, and Tom Moore

The first pig built his house out of straw …”Though he gets a bad rap, the first pig was wiser than popular folktale would have us believe—and Semmes & Co. is living proof that, huff and puff though they may, the big bad “wolves” of global warming would never blow down their expertly eco-built straw bale homes.

Constructed with rice straw, a waste product of California agriculture, these homes are not only thick and sturdy, they are insulated, energy effi cient, and use a renewable resource—qualities that made them a must for owner Turko Semmes who has devoted his career to self-sustaining homes. After working with local solar architect Ken Haggard in 1978, and later witnessing the devastation of timbering in Canada, Semmes turned to resource-conserving building methods, including passive solar and solar panels, and did not look back.

In the 20 years since, Semmes’ projects have grown as much as his repertoire of sustainable building practices due to the growing demand for effi cient homes with lasting value. “People see that they can have the house of their dreams (within reason) and still save energy, conserve resources, and have a healthy living environment,” says Semmes. He now offers Pneumatically Impacted Stabilized Earth (PISE), a mixture of concrete and earth, and Insulated Concrete Forms (polystyrene block product fi lled with reinforced concrete), which provide structural integrity, energy effi ciency, and insulation, among other options.

“The variety of green building expertise, combined with their renewable energy projects and efforts to share information put them at the top of the list for green builders on the Central Coast,” says judge Megan Birney, while readers pointed to their dedication to recycling and reducing waste.

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Turko Semmes

Turko Semmes

Custom Home magazine has honored Semmes & Company as a 2007 Pacesetter Award Winner. Custom Home is a leading custom home magazine that annually awards a small number of custom homebuilders for their achievements in the building business. Semmes & Co. won the award in the category of Innovation. Turko says the award really belongs to every member of the company. “Our employees truly work as a team to create the most livable homes for our clients while striving to minimize the use of our natural resources, maximize energy efficiency, and create healthy indoor environments. This award is an honor for all of us.” Read the story online…

 

Semmes & Company has also been featured in the April 2006 issue of Custom Home with a story about the mobile solar generator we use to power remote jobsites. Mobile Solar Power (www.mobilesolarpower.net) created the generator for us. . Read the story online…

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Gary Barker with Semmes & Co biodiesel-powered truck

Gary Barker with Semmes & Co biodiesel-powered truck

In our continuing commitment to the environment, we are switching our company vehicles from petroleum-based fuels to Biodiesel. Biodiesel is made from vegetable oil, generally soy bean oil in this country. Any diesel vehicle can run onBiodiesel with no modifications to the engine what so ever. We purchase the 100% vegetable oil fuel (B-100) in bulk and run two of our three company vehicles on it. We feel that this is our small contribution to helping to alleviate our nation’s addiction to oil.

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img_3673Semmes & Company has been featured in the April 2006 issue of Custom Home Magazine with a story about the mobile solar generator we use to power remote jobsites. This solar powered generator was created for us by www.mobilesolarpower.net

View the article in Custom Home

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