Real Estate

A Malibu spec home aiming for a Zero Carbon Certification (ZCC) hits the market for $32 million. Located in Ventura, Calif., developer Crown Pointe Estate’s “Zero 1” residence is seeking an elusive green certification and a serious eco-warrior buyer.

The six-bedroom, nine-bathroom home sits in 14,429 square feet. It is the first of the MariSol Malibu Zero Series, four zero carbon homes located between the Santa Monica mountains and the shores of the Pacific. Aptly named Zero 1, the modern ranch-style property is situated on a two-acre plot and was designed by Burdge Architects.

Outfitted with 25-foot Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified Accoya wood ceilings with skylights, Zero 1 has an indoor-outdoor bar with a quartz waterfall countertop and refrigerated dual wine rooms with storage for up to 800 bottles.

An array of amenities includes a fitness center; a home theater; a private putting green and driving range; bocce ball, horseshoe and basketball courts; and a private saltwater pool.

With an emphasis on farm-to-table living, Zero 1 has a secret oak garden with an outdoor farm table; organic fruit orchard; vegetable and herb garden; and beehive for seasonal honey harvests. Afraid of bees? Fear not. A beekeeper and regenerative farmer are included for two years.

Scott Morris, Zero Series developer and project manager of Crown Pointe Estate’s Zero 1, says the project, which started in 2005, had an environmental focus.

“We’ve always planted natives and had some type of green certification on our homes. But this project has evolved to the point where I am aiming for the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) ZCC, the gold standard in certification and similar to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design),” Morris says.

The United States Green Building Council created the LEED green building rating system to provide a framework for green buildings and evaluate the sustainable design and the eco-performance of homes and buildings. ILFI ZCC is the first worldwide zero carbon third-party certified standard.

Reducing and measuring embodied carbon – greenhouse gas emissions produced during the manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance and disposal of building materials – and offsetting the remaining carbon isn’t easy, Morris notes.

To qualify for an ILFI ZCC, Morris says, the home needs zero combustion and to be 100 percent electric, using renewable energy. “Also, you need to have offset all of your embodied carbon that went into the construction down to zero or used enough sequestering material to get down to zero. And you need 12 months of energy data after the home is completed. Like LEED has precertification for their buildings and 12 months of verification data, ILFI also has 12 months of verification data. We have the first three,” Morris says.

“We can’t get a Zero Carbon Certification until we have been there for 12 months. But we have no doubt that we will be verified with the ILFI ZCC after the year is up,” he adds.

The electric grid in Ventura County supplies 100-percent renewable energy, meaning the home uses green power as its primary energy source.

Zero 1 doesn’t use any fossil fuels. The home uses Tesla batteries and solar panels as backup energy sources. To avoid seeing super high embodied carbon products like aluminum, plastics, and foam in Zero 1, Morris put up only enough solar panels to power the house in the event of an outage.

The house has a water vapor fireplace, an electric BBQ and an induction cooktop.

Wood was used wherever possible in building the home to offset carbon emissions. Morris says California-based Crown Pointe Estates replaced 80,000 pounds of steel with timber that was handpicked to ensure sustainability. Thirty percent of the lumber was locally sourced. And more than 95-percent of the wood utilized in Zero 1 met the sustainability criteria, Morris says.

The developer invested $2 million in landscaping the property, revegetated with 317 mature trees sourced in California, including native coastal oaks, Monterey cypress, pines and 15 other species.

Morris says about 25 percent of the concrete is from recycled materials.

The home has a SANCO2 water heater, a high-efficiency carbon dioxide-based heat pump system that uses 70 percent less energy than traditional water heaters.

“We wanted to get as much refrigerant out of the house as possible because refrigerant has about 2,000 times the global warming impact of carbon dioxide (CO2). So, we found these water heaters that have been used in Japan forever; they use CO2 as a refrigerant to heat the water,” he says.

Morris says the pool is interesting. “Typically, pools out here are running on propane. They are huge carbon emitters. We wondered how we could heat this pool with zero emissions. Heat pumps were the solution. They are big on the East Coast, but they’re not big out here for some reason. The heat pumps run on 100 percent electricity from this renewable grid that we are on, and the kicker is that they are better than propane heaters because they maintain the pool at 80 degrees at all times with the cover on. It’s also a saltwater pool, so we got all those toxic chemicals out,” the developer explains.

While some critics might question the home’s size, Morris says the home was going to be built. Building with alternative materials and recycled and sustainable wood was the responsible option.

“I can go through the list of materials that we used, but the bottom line is that we decided to build responsibly, even though the home is large. We replaced the concrete subfloor with recycled rubber underlayment. We made sure that we did everything in our power to make sure that this home isn’t contributing to the carbon crisis. Essentially when you look at the numbers, this home is on the net negative. The reason we got there is because we used so much biogenic material. We took out about 80,000 pounds of steel and replaced that with FSC mass timber,” he explains.

Morris, who went to school for conservation biology, says he was interested in building from a young age and is looking forward to the next project.

Crown Pointe Estates has broken ground on Zero 2, the home next door to Zero 1. The second home is Hawaiian themed and will hit the market in about 18 months and is estimated to be priced at $38 million. Zero 3 and Zero 4 are still in the design process.

“I have always been into the environment. I have a huge passion for the outdoors. Everything I do is to accelerate the advent of sustainable living and accelerate the advent of zero carbon construction. 2050 is coming up. We need to be net-zero at 2050,” he says, “but we are net-zero now. We are already there with this net-zero house.”