Archive for the ‘Solar’ Category

This home is located in the Las Ventana’s Ranch Development on Tally Farms. See the stem walls, sub-floor and walls go up from this perfect vantage point.


Last week we broke ground on this contemporary farm house designed by San Francisco architect David Gast: This site has it all  including a deer-proof garden, compost area, and a solar heated lap pool.




Check out this Ferro Concrete garden wall! Formed with coated rebar that was secured in concrete footings and wrapped with a special lath and waterproofing paper; this serpentine garden wall embraces the outdoor living space.  Privacy and a break for the wind are just a couple of the benefits of this landscape element. The free-form ability of this method of construction allows for ample creativity as sitting areas and fountains are easily incorporated into the shape.




Well underway with the framing on this strawbale home you can see the roof sheeting in place. Also in this photo, the workshop completed by Semmes & Co. Builders last year, supports the solar electric panels providing the power for construction.

Note that Semmes and Co. will be hosting a strawbale workshop on August 21st for all of you who might be interested in a hands-on learning experience. Contact Jessica Steely at extension 203 for more information.


The Country Cottage is complete.  The homeowners were so happy with the process that they opened their finished home up to all of their crew members,  subcontractors, vendors, laborers, Realtors, loan officers, and neighbors to see the final product before they moved in. The family that is created during the construction process is one that will be around long after work is complete.


This home features: solar electric, solar hot water, very high r-value ceiling and wall insulation, slab insulation, graywater system, passive solar design with large covered and screened porches for ample outdoor living, small footprint, whole house  fireplace heat circulation system, NO incandescent or halogen lighting- LED can lights and Cold Cathode Compact Fluorescent bulbs where dimming was desired, 100 year old reclaimed wood for interior finish carpentry, no VOC paints and stains, sun-tubes and skylights for stratigic day-lighting.






Check out these architectural renderings and the finished product. You can dream it up ~ we can build it!








Once again the Semmes and Company Solar Division has installed a super affordable solar electric system on one of our custom homes.  These photovoltaic panels are installed on a small pump shed near the residences. Concrete roof tiles are placed around the panels instead of underneath them, further offsetting the systems overall costs.  And, with Semmes and Company guaranteeing the California rebate of nearly 1/3 of the total cost, the financial return on this investment gets sweeter and sweeter.


The Semmes and Company Solar Division has installed Solar Electric Panels on this cozy and efficient home. You will also notice the two solar hot water panels!  With proper planning and design, the addition of these relatively small systems can take care of most of the homes energy needs… getting ever closer to the affordable NET-ZERO energy home.


These corbels add a lot of interest and help establish this large covered porch as living space.  Strategic outdoor design allows the actual home to be smaller while maintaining a comfortable total square footage of living space. Less indoor square footage saves on construction costs, annual taxes and fees, operating expenses and time spent cleaning.  Stay posted to watch this home transform with stucco and drywall in the next couple weeks.


The owners are moved in and the photovoltaic panels are on line.You will notice the plants and trees in the concrete planters around the wet bar add a nice softening touch. Cutting edge glass and insulation technologies keep this hilltop home nice and warm during windy winter storms.  More photos to come as the tricky exterior glass awning structure receives it’s final touches.