Bryan Cranston Is Breaking Good With Green Home
One of TV's hottest actors has decided to build the greenest of beach houses, using cutting-edge and materials and techniques to inspire the rest of us.
Bryan Cranston is going to be spending a lot more time on the beach these days, but not because the final season of his award-winning series Breaking Bad has wrapped and will begin airing in August.
No, while he wasn’t on set shooting, Cranston, his wife Robin Dearden and a team of remarkable architects, designers, engineers and suppliers were huddling over plans for “3 Palms,” a house that ranks among the most remarkable green homes ever built in California.
“My goal with this home is to show that living responsibly and living comfortably are not mutually exclusive,” says Cranston. “My wife, Robin and I want to combine both form and function, and show the world that sustainable living doesn’t mean that there’s no indoor plumbing or that it will impinge on a modern lifestyle.”
Many celebrities these days claim to be going greener in their homes, but Cranston’s team began their eco-friendly work even before the foundation was laid. The lot’s former 1940s beachfront bungalow that stood foundation-free on the sand was very carefully deconstructed, and as much as possible was recycled.
A raised foundation of fly ash, a by-product of coal power production, mixed with concrete was poured, with radiant heating installed in the floors that would retain their raw concrete finishes.
Architect John Tuturro doesn’t believe in faux finishes, and suggested materials featuring low-maintenance and low-environmental-impact properties, as well as high aesthetic integrity, to use throughout the house.
An example of this is the use of titanium panels on the exteriors of the home’s “towers.” Remember, this dwelling is right on the beach, and salt air wreaks havoc on wood, zinc, stainless steel, copper and other materials commonly used on exteriors. They tested a sheet of titanium on the property, however, and after six months it didn’t even show a water spot. Plus, it makes a striking impression.
See Bryan Cranston's New Green DigsView All 8 Photos
Solar panels on the roof contribute to the home's “Net Zero” properties – there is virtually no electricity bill, as on sunny days, which are legion in this location, the house produces more energy than it uses, sending it back into the grid. Energy-efficient appliances and building materials also help with this.
Believe it or not, the house maintains the ideal temperature without a traditional HVAC system. There are ceiling fans powered by solar energy to help cool things down, and cutting-edge insulation materials and systems keep the temperature at the desired level. Special double- and triple-glazed windows with revolutionary panes also contribute.
Cranston’s house is not a grand estate — the precious beachfront lot could accommodate a house of 2,450 square feet, with three bedrooms, 3.5 baths and a multipurpose loft. Strategically placed windows and cunning design make it feel bigger. But at this size, it serves as more practical inspiration for us regular folk.
“We have qualified for the highest level of ‘green’ building in the country, and will strive to achieve the highest level of style and comfort too," says Cranston. His project is making progress toward receiving LEED Platinum certification, as well as receiving recognition from the Passive House Alliance US. “We know we have succeeded if our guests ask incredulously, “This is a green home?”
Cranston spoke about 3 Palms at the recent Dwell on Design event at the Los Angeles Convention Center. He stressed that it’s important for all involved with the project to get credit where credit is due. Those responsible include: Architecture and Interiors, John A. Turturro, Turturro Design Studio; Architect of Record, Larry Graves, Alliance Design Group; Civil Engineer, Laima B. Reeder, P.E.; Builder, Allen Associates, Bryan Henson, President; Project Marketing, Martin Zapp/Mike Brenesell, KNB Associates. You can find out more about Cranston’s 3 Palms at 3PalmsProject.com.