Ehrlich House

Ehrlich House


Santa Monica
, CA | 2004

Designed for an entrepreneur seeking refuge from his unpredictable, nomadic life, this residence demonstrates that using the full range of sustainability features is not only good for the environment, but also consistent with creating progressive, spatially-rich environments. 

The structure’s siting and openness allow sunlight and breezes to naturally warm and cool the house, and encourages the type of indoor-outdoor living made possible by Southern California’s temperate environment. The house has no mechanical air-conditioning system. The koi pond cools the air before it enters the house. The concrete floors absorb heat during the day and release it at night. A generous use of skylights and clerestories reduces the need for artificial lighting.

The house employs the following active green technologies: Santa Monica’s first gray water system, which filters much of the house’s waste water for garden use; a 4-kilowatt rooftop photovoltaic system supplying 85% of the house’s power; and a highly efficient in-floor radiant heating system. Recycled or sustainably-produced materials include: recycled cotton insulation; sustainably-harvested wood stairs and floors; formaldehyde-free MDF cabinets; low VOC paint; and quartz countertops. The house has been the subject of several university lectures and is on the cover of Santa Monica’s influential “Residential Green Building Guide."


Project Team

Principal-in-Charge: John Friedman
Project Team: Alice Kimm, John Martin, Leigh Christy, Pauline Shu, Matthew Nesbitt
Project Assistant: Elsye Alam
Structural Engineer: William Koh and Associates, Inc.
Landscape Architect: Orange Street Studio
Lighting Design: FIRE Ltd., Light Vision
General Contractor: Bonomo Development
Photography: Fotoworks


2006 AIA/Los Angeles, Decade Award

2003 AIA/Los Angeles, Citation Award



Craig Ehrlich