January 30, 2010


This high-end single family residence is located in the mountains outside of San Jose, Costa Rica and is designed by PARAVANT ARCHITECTS for a client living in Los Angeles, CA. This house is developed in close response to the rhythms and materials of the subtropical climate in Costa Rica. We sought to embrace the fundamental environmental intentions while creating a contemporary place of strong individual character and quiet complexity. Each part of the house responds to its specific site conditions. The south fa├žade opens to the adjacent city of Atenas with full or partial shading. The east is shaped as an intimate court yard between the main residence and the artist studio with mountain views. The courtyard is a contemporary interpretation of a garden of native grasses and rocks that suggest the connection of the mountain and the valley. The movement and transparency though the heart of the house complete this spatial link. The project consists of a main residence, an artist studio, an office and a gate-house with more than 6500 sq.ft. of livable space. 

Sustainable features as integrated elements of this new building in Costa Rica:
  • Photovoltaic-panel (electricity)
  • Wind turbine (electricity)
  • Solar-panel (hot water)
  • Deep roof overhangs for shading
  • Louver shading system
  • Thermal buffer and cooling walls
  • Cross ventilation
  • Natural day lighting
  • Insulated glazing systems
  • Cold roof
  • Grey water collection
  • High efficient water use fixtures
  • LED lighting
  • Waste-water treatment plant on site
  • Vernacular material
  • Tropical landscape design

The project started construction in February 2010. Architect team: PARAVANT ARCHITECTS and SAAR

January 24, 2010


The “German-Passive-House-Technology” strategy is not limited to single family residences – the name seems to be misleading. One of the most recent examples is a 5-story multifamily building completed in Berlin, Germany this year.

PARAVANT ARCHITECTS mission is to promote and introduce Passive Houses to our US clients and help them to increase building-energy and cost-efficiency. Please refer to the linked article (sorry, it is in German only) but we wanted to share the news.


PARAVANT ARCHITECTS located in Los Angeles are promoting the “German Passive House Technology” which has been used successfully in hundreds of buildings over the past 10 years in Europe. This established building technology enables to reduce the energy consumption by up to 90% while at the same time creating a comfortable building. Currently, only a hand full of “Passive Homes” has been developed in the United States. Other typologies as office buildings, mixed-use buildings, public buildings and schools can be build using this standard.

Passive buildings are using the following improved basic construction materials/methods:
  • More insulation 
  • Better windows  
  • High air tightness 
  • Heat recovery from exhaust air
These small measures result in a drastic reduced demand for heating and cooling of the building. Passive buildings have a high thermal comfort, very good indoor air quality and are cost-efficient.

Passive House Architect Los Angeles