Salvaged Parts Create an Eco Home in Berkeley
Located in eco-minded Berkeley, architect husband and wife team Karl Wanaselja and Cate Leger of Leger Wanaselja Architecture are only too aware of all the nearby junked cars in the auto salvage dump off San Pablo Avenue.
Berkeley locals commonly recycle these to replace broken car parts like doors and mirrors.
So the idea to use the parts left behind – car roofs – as cladding for a building, came naturally to the architects.
Designed to be waterproof, and overlapped like roofing shingles to keep water out, car roofs in the dull grays and blues commonly found in automobiles even look a bit like slate shingles.
The pair sourced salvaged car roofs to clad the upper outside walls of the McGee house. They cut the scraps into long tile-like shapes and lapped them like shingles.
For the first floor walls they recycled a waste product from the furniture industry of North Carolina, the rough outer bark off trees.
An elegant awning composed of Dodge Caravan side windows tops the second floor balcony.
The interior is wide open and airy with high ceilings and large windows, and clean energy from solar panels keep the lights on.
Polished concrete floors, colored with natural earth pigments, safely sequester 50% fly ash cement; sealed with soy-based Soycrete binder, and cellulose insulation keeps it toasty warm.
Local salvage yards (plentiful in eco-minded Berkeley) supplied all the wood for detailing throughout the home, and the wooden floors are polished with a plant resin floor finish from Bioshield.