Magazine article Sunset

Rising from the Ashes

Magazine article Sunset

Rising from the Ashes

Article excerpt

CASE STUDY: FROM THE GROUND UP

After a Southern California family lost their home to wildfire, they made sure its successor was designed to survive the flames

Skip the wooden shutters

Huge folding doors made of perforated metal panels keep the bedroom areas private but cool; they let breezes through, but won't be ignited by windcarried embers. Bonus: Similar panels serve as awnings - they tilt up, like garage doors - for the living room's glass walls.

Reinforce the walls

Instead of the usual gypsum or woodcomposite wallboard, the designers specified corrugated concrete board, which is often used in kilns; it's both noncombustible and heat-resistant. Bonus: Besides protecting the house from fire, it limits heat gain during hot summer months.

Be ready to use the pool

A gasoline-powered fire hose (off the grid, it works even when electricity is lost) lets firefighters make use of the 21,000 gallons of water that the pool holds. …

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