Brooks Residence | Los Angeles USA | Isabelle Duvivier

Isabelle Duvivier (architect/environmentalist), of Duvivier Architects, purchased a dilapidated 100-year-old home in a long established, low-income neighborhood on Brooks Ave. in Venice, California in July 2009. She wanted to blend into the neighborhood by keeping the feel of the craftsman house, but she had a larger goal – to reduce the impact and energy footprint of the house on the environment through intelligent, experimental technologies in water, energy and materials.

She pulled in the natural environment too. The design works toward restoring a habitat for birds, bees and butterflies and creates educational opportunities for the local community. Her house became a personal learning laboratory without the demanding input of client demands.  Unusual for a restoration, the Brooks Residence was certified as a LEED Platinum home; typical LEED Platinum buildings are built from the ground up, but the Brooks Residence is a 1700 square foot remodel and addition to a 1912 Craftsman Cottage.

Rather than tear down the 100 year old house in which generations have lived, Isabelle remodeled and modernized the craftsman house, keeping the integrity of the bungalow streetscape.  When possible she hired local workers.  Friends and family of the former tenants have toured the house and all have expressed their joy seeing the house restored.  Educational signage about green building is displayed throughout; a vegetable garden sits in the front yard and planted grapes in the alley to create opportunities for sharing and inspiring discussions and conversations with her neighbors about local food and green building.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) awarded the Brooks Residence The 2012 Outstanding Home Award, which recognizes innovative multi and single-family projects that have demonstrated leadership in the residential green building marketplace.

Architect/ Project Manager: Isabelle Duvivier, AIA, LEED AP, Duvivier Architects
Designers/ Project Team: Loren Perry, Tina Hovsepian
Green Rater: Walker Wells, Director, Green Urbanism Program for Global Green USA
General Contractor: Rick Arreola, Arreola Construction
Plumbing: Best Buy Plumbing, Inc.
Cisterns: California Water Storage / California Rainwater Tanks
Gutters, rain chain, Waterwheel: Larry Strickland from Sheet Metal Specialists
Graywater: Scott Hey Tank LA
Cabinets: Clark Davis
Counters: Aggregate Art
Structural Engineer: David Lau
QII Insulation: Allied Insulation
Tiles: Epoxy Green
HVAC: Patrick Modugno
Solar Panels: Martifer Solar
Plant specialist – Jettscape
Tree House Builder – Karl Braunz
Deck Builder – Richard Draut
Windows – Marvin Integrity
Photography – Augusta Quirk

About Damian Holmes 3294 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at

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