Noel Cross+Architects
Architects & Designers
Villa Terra mediterranean-exterior

Villa Terra


1. Rammed Earth and PISE Walls
Beyond it’s beautiful qualities and “Old World” look, the rammed earth and PISE walls (pneumatically impacted stabilized earth) drastically reduce the use of trees for the initial wall framing lumber. And because this “Earth Structure” will far outlast any wood frame building, trees are again saved many times over, creating the foundation for the true model of sustainability. We have created a house that will essentially last forever, instead of having to be rebuilt every 50 to 75 years.

The 18” thick PISE walls and concrete floors also provide thermal mass, an integral part of the passive solar design of the house. These features help keep the house naturally cooler in summer and retaining heat in winter, greatly reducing the heating and cooling loads and energy use.

2. High Content Fly Ash Concrete Foundation
Use of high content (25%) fly ash (industrial waste byproduct) in place of Portland Cement results in reduction of energy consumption and green house gas emissions associated with Portland cement production (second only to petroleum in terms of carbon dioxide emissions).

3. Reclaimed Plumbing Fixtures
All lavatory sinks and tubs were bought from salvage yards (tub is reportedly from the Jack Benny house in Hollywood). Reclaimed Carrara marble fountain has been made into the powder room sink.

4. Natural Daylighting
Use of numerous skylights and high transom windows to reduce electrical lighting loads during the day. Natural daylighting also has documented benefits on mood, productivity, and enjoyment of the space.

5. Photo Voltaic Solar Panels
Use of PV solar electric generation system to reduce electrical grid consumption, and bi-directional meter sends power back to the grid when it is needed most, on hot summer afternoons.

6. Hydronic Radiant Heat Floor
Use of hydronic radiant floor heating system saves energy, is more efficient for residential heating, is more comfortable for inhabitants, and promotes superior indoor air quality over forced air systems.

7. Natural/Passive Ventilation
Use of operable skylights operable high windows and ceiling fans, creates a natural convection current, thereby eliminating the need for an air conditioning system.

8. Passive Solar Design
Use of extensive east and south facing glass, proper overhangs, high interior mass, deciduous grape vines on appropriately placed trellises, to passively heat the home in winter, and protect the house from unnecessary heat gain in summer.

9. Reclaimed Lumber
- Douglas fir ceiling beams reclaimed from the Town & Country Village Shopping Center (now Santana Row) in San Jose.
- Douglas fir ceiling decking reclaimed from the 118 year old Notre Dame High School in downtown San Jose. TJI joists reclaimed from the “Millenium Man” movie set in Alameda used for floor and roof framing. Redwood ceiling beams reclaimed from a Los Altos cabana/trellis.

10. Extensive Use of Other Reclaimed Materials Two antique reclaimed European stone fireplace mantles grace the family room and master bedroom fireplaces. Interior doors with glass knobs reclaimed from the original house located at the property. Two large terraces utilize used brick salvaged from at least 15 different locations. Courtyard fountain is tiled using recycled and restored ceramic tiles from a 1928 California Colonial house in Los Altos. Cabinet lumber from original house used for closet shelving. Plywood from crates that the windows and doors were delivered in were used to create garage shear walls. Foundation forms were salvaged and rip cut for use as interior stud walls. Garage doors were salvaged from a remodel project in Mountain View.

11. Ground Source Heat Pump
- Ground source heat pump uses geothermal energy to heat the house and domestic water, greatly reducing natural gas and fossil fuel consumption.

12. Low VOC Paint
Clay Plaster Wall Finishes VOC-free interior paint and stain finishes promotes healthy indoor air quality, reduces exacerbation of respiratory ailments such as asthma and lung cancer. Extensive use of American Clay Plaster integral color wall finish eliminates need for painted walls.

13. High Efficiency Windows
Use of energy efficient dual pane thermal glazing with “Low e” coating at all doors and windows reduces heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter, cutting energy use.

14. Engineered Structural Lumber
Extensive use of engineered lumber for structural framing and sheathing reduces cutting of old growth forests, and encourages use of “crop lumber”.

15. FSC Certified Mill Work
Extensive use of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified sustainable lumber products for cabinetry, hardwood flooring, trim, etc. further protects the environment through third party monitoring and certification of the entire supply chain.

16. Cotton Insulation
Formaldehyde-free cotton insulation made from recycled blue jeans used extensively for attic insulation.

photography by Frank Paul Perez

This photo has 5 questions

January 30, 2014
fedreporterokc wrote:
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Noel Cross+Architects
Try Dave at Artefact Design & Salvage
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 8:07AM
Sign Up to comment
January 23, 2014
debster77 wrote:
What type of plants are those in the front of the photo
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Noel Cross+Architects
Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
aren't they great?
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:46AM
Sign Up to comment
November 13, 2013
dustinrbaxter wrote:
What Color is the brand and name of color on the front door?
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Noel Cross+Architects
It is a sage green. Custom mixed.
    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 11:04AM
Sign Up to comment
June 10, 2013
peachesandi wrote:
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Noel Cross+Architects
The short columns at the front walk are rammed earth.
The house wall is similar, same material but PISE (Pneumatically Impacted Stabilized Earth).
It's basically an earth based concrete/shotcrete.
    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 7:24AM
Sign Up to comment
December 20, 2011
judyahl wrote:
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
They are custom wood windows and doors.
Manufacturer is no longer in business, it was a mom and pop shop.
    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Luis Santizo
Understood. Thank you!
    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 2:02PM
Sign Up to comment

What Houzz contributors are saying:

7. Blue Door With Warm HuesThis shade of blue resembles patinated copper, a metal commonly used in Spanish colonial architecture. It's a natural fit with the warm, golden hue on the house.

What Houzzers are commenting on:

brittain12345 added this to Exterior
on Wednesday
Door/stucco combo
christyaaj added this to christyaaj's Ideas
on Sunday
Front door
videovisuals added this to videovisuals's Ideas
January 18, 2015
tile roof
js33 added this to Exterior Ideas
January 12, 2015
artefact design and
11621lisalee added this to John Fluitt 2015
January 11, 2015
Love the grass
felipeverdier added this to entrada
January 10, 2015
prudenceminnihan added this to Entryway
January 10, 2015
owhenham added this to Exterior - more specific
December 28, 2014
front door color
Youth With A Mission added this to tower building
December 11, 2014
see inset above door
a_silver_teapot added this to Stuff
December 7, 2014
Stucco color and door for SF
msbrins added this to msbrins's ideas
November 30, 2014
The door
krobinson0982 added this to krobinson0982's Ideas
November 19, 2014
Ben George added this to architectural detailing
November 15, 2014
front door
jenudy added this to front door
November 14, 2014
Door looks like aged copper
mwright36 added this to Exterior Ideas
November 12, 2014
blue door color
eileenocheng added this to eileenocheng's ideas
November 11, 2014
love this simple design
clarkdonna added this to Exterior paint
October 2, 2014
Bm pool blue, cloud white, papaya
parvathyn added this to exterior
September 19, 2014
reliefs over door
kfivespdx added this to exterior options
September 9, 2014
Door color
plaa added this to Plants and trees
September 6, 2014
calamagrostis "carl forester
emeliew added this to emeliew's ideas
September 3, 2014
mlindie added this to front of home
August 24, 2014
Color of stucco, front door and garage
azdecogirl added this to azdecogirl's Ideas
August 22, 2014
Blue door for outside of house.
tadaly added this to tadaly's Ideas
August 2, 2014
Door color
Linda added this to YARD/PATIO
July 30, 2014
Subtle blue tourquoise.
rldetrixhe added this to color
July 30, 2014
duranpompadour added this to Front Entry
July 20, 2014
Love the blue of this front door, reflective of the sky up here! Gotta have it!
caroljonesberry added this to caroljonesberry's Ideas
July 9, 2014
Rachel Sitko added this to Patio Ideas
July 6, 2014
Front door-great colour for this house.
Judy Wulf added this to landscaping ideas
July 3, 2014
calamagrostis a. Karl Forester
tylerspring added this to Hughes
July 1, 2014
this blue green color front door
kateoli added this to kateoli's Ideas
June 30, 2014
Front door
diana added this to paint colors
June 27, 2014
color palette lovely
Gayle Falkenthal added this to Paint Colors
June 25, 2014
front door
nancyhupalo added this to exterior colors in natural setting
June 25, 2014
Another favourite for a Forrest setting
ckinginaz added this to Front Door
June 23, 2014
Door color
weeezzi added this to weeezzi's ideas
June 19, 2014
this might work
lolopucci added this to lolopucci's ideas
June 16, 2014
BM pool blue
clarkdonna added this to Front Door
June 11, 2014
Benjamin Moore Pool Blue 2052-50, Cloud white 967 trim and Papaya house paint 957
cpepperdine added this to Front Porch
June 8, 2014
Blue door 2
ebbtide137 added this to ebbtide137's ideas
June 6, 2014
The color of the door????
hhenriod added this to Holly's Landscape Ideas
June 5, 2014
Joe likes these
cheriezspace added this to GLASS/WINDOWS/DOORS
June 1, 2014
door color
k19eagle added this to k19eagle's Ideas
May 30, 2014
Colour of door
chrisnogrady added this to chrisnogrady's Ideas
May 28, 2014
Love! Love! Love!
lindadiamonds added this to Bedroom Ideas
May 24, 2014
front door color
mgroff510 added this to Exterior Ideas
May 12, 2014
Door color and exterior color
klbuhagiar added this to klbuhagiar's Ideas
May 11, 2014
cmayol added this to cmayol's ideas
May 9, 2014
front door color
mlcassinelli added this to mlcassinelli's Ideas
May 8, 2014
barbeehiggi added this to Side Door
May 4, 2014
Green front and side doors with grasses at corners around fountain. Transplant grasses from front of house to corners so not too high?
housemoose added this to housemoose's ideas
May 1, 2014
reemsowais added this to fusion
April 20, 2014
Front store colour combination
dudettekp added this to dudettekp's ideas
April 17, 2014
paint colors
Duncan's Shop added this to MsMelli's Idea Book
April 16, 2014
Haint Blue Door #2
chicnose added this to Brennan Front Landscaping Ideation
April 15, 2014
love carl forester grass
fgreen33 added this to fgreen33's ideas
April 11, 2014
door color
marymoseley added this to Home Front
April 7, 2014
like the bright painted soiid doors in European design
FrameWorx added this to Frameworx: Decor Ideas for Clients (or Us!)
March 24, 2014
the colors! the plants! the architecture!
Jay added this to Court Yards 3.19.14
March 23, 2014
amybeth160 added this to Turquoise
March 22, 2014
blue door
Suzanne Ally added this to NEW HOUSE
March 20, 2014
Door color?
blackmountainranch added this to blackmountainranch's ideas
March 20, 2014
the rocks in the entryway with the tall grass
Carolyn Dean added this to Front entrance
March 18, 2014
obscured frontage
mhuycke added this to Yard & Garden
March 18, 2014
Karl Foerster grass
Rachel Perls, Hue Consulting added this to OSV
March 17, 2014
christine56 added this to Fences
March 14, 2014
Blue/green gate (paint color: "Sage green. Custom mixed."
lorez added this to Landscape
March 11, 2014
Pampas grass at front.
brocmarc added this to Tamarindo
March 10, 2014
adapotata added this to adapotata's Ideas
March 10, 2014
paint patio doors blue?
andr3w added this to andr3w's Ideas
March 10, 2014
Tall grasses
johnmcdonald1976 added this to johnmcdonald1976's Ideas
March 8, 2014
high shrubs/trees for privacy
upnor added this to things we definitely need and want
March 8, 2014
cotton denim insulation, and other green ideas employed in this home. Would prefer the use of wool and cork as much as possible instead. Want to read more about the plaster and other stuff. This thread has a lot of different ideas to explore, and perhaps borrow from?
donnamontaldo added this to terra cotta
March 7, 2014
color of door.
upnor added this to upnor's ideas
March 6, 2014
cotton denim insulation, and other green ideas
ruth643 added this to ruth643's ideas
March 6, 2014
rammed earth walls
Karyn Hatton Designs added this to hatten
March 4, 2014
tan stucco blue door
Hyosung Kim added this to hyosung_kim's ideas
March 3, 2014
costapasta added this to Patio Ideas
March 3, 2014
Blue door
cathyjweaver added this to Ourtside house
March 3, 2014
like blue door and color combo with green vegetation
drmolitoris added this to Patio Ideas
February 27, 2014
If not have courtyard walls
Chantal Thompson added this to Exterior Ideas
February 24, 2014
Like a secret door
blairbaldwin added this to blairbaldwin's ideas
February 24, 2014
front dr color
lauriegates77 added this to lglandscape
February 23, 2014
Pillars or lamp post where driveway starts
cherrylimade added this to cherrylimade's Ideas
February 17, 2014
cindylbolton added this to Sara's home
February 16, 2014
Colors of house now
katiebuckland added this to spanish interiors
February 16, 2014
exterior colors
Mark Tran added this to outdoors
February 14, 2014
Mediterranean door style
lorez added this to lorez's ideas
February 12, 2014
Danny Salzgeber added this to danny_'s ideas
February 12, 2014
Not as front a side/back/garden door.
Susie Rush added this to front door/pot colors
February 12, 2014
Med. style house with blue door
nurse65 added this to Front of house
February 9, 2014
front door color
mox20 added this to mox20's Ideas
February 9, 2014
Cristina Moe added this to Spanish Mediterranean
February 6, 2014
jobrienp added this to jobrienp's ideas
February 6, 2014
toms entry
mstoddsrd318 added this to mstoddsrd318's Ideas
February 6, 2014
Door color with tan exterior.
sassyb64 added this to Roof colour schemes
February 2, 2014
Door colour
josain11 added this to josain11's ideas
February 1, 2014
Nice bushes for privacy in front yard
growingpaynes added this to growingpaynes's ideas
January 31, 2014
Pants in front -Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
mtnparkway added this to exterior
January 30, 2014
add pompass grass at end of driveway
Lehman Design Studio added this to Spanish Colonial Style
January 29, 2014
welcoming feeling
lemspring added this to landscaping
January 25, 2014
natural grass and plants spilling slightly on path
martybob added this to front door
January 19, 2014
jackie added this to howard
January 13, 2014
fun tiles here and there
Jessica Ceniceros added this to exterior
January 10, 2014
Door color
mischa added this to ADDITIONAL LJ PHOTOS
January 4, 2014
dgmorrow2006 added this to Outdoor
December 29, 2013
andrea_whitson added this to Patio Ideas
December 28, 2013
Pampas grass -- front gates
wphammers added this to wphammers's Ideas
December 20, 2013
joliver2013 added this to joliver2013's Ideas
December 20, 2013
Love the ornamental grasses
megriley000 added this to megriley000's Ideas
December 17, 2013
sugunaz added this to sugunaz's Ideas
December 14, 2013
jccotton added this to jccotton's Ideas
December 13, 2013
Garden shed idea
TDC Properties added this to 6519 Moore Drive
December 10, 2013
front door
happyascanb added this to happyascanb's Ideas
December 8, 2013
Blue door
boomer83 added this to boomer83's ideas
December 8, 2013
charlottebarden added this to charlottebarden's ideas
December 8, 2013
wide walkway
shirleymetka added this to oleander patio
November 25, 2013
enytry w/grass
camwil added this to paint colors
November 23, 2013
barbaracambilargiu added this to Exterior Remodel
November 21, 2013
Front door
chetnelson added this to Cafayate
November 21, 2013
Turquoise door and stucco color
SunnyDebe added this to Exterior
November 20, 2013
Turquoise door... Love the color!
annierig added this to GP exterior
November 19, 2013
front door
Wayne Schmitt added this to exter paint colors
November 18, 2013
bikebuzz added this to Front doors
November 14, 2013
the arch
leeguthrie added this to Landscape Ideas
November 14, 2013
Maiden grass
Ronel Jordaan added this to Spanish colonial
November 12, 2013
Front door
jpnoseworthy added this to Hacienda ideas
November 11, 2013
another view
mccallum1968 added this to McCallum Outdoors
November 6, 2013
Or maybe a color like this on the front door?
bridgettannander added this to front door
November 6, 2013
shape of door
wildecoytee added this to wildecoytee's ideas
November 4, 2013
front door color
oshock1 added this to Landscape Ideas
November 1, 2013
love the tall grasses - would they work to hide neighbors fence? also like plantings and how they soften path
cathiejharvey added this to Doors
November 1, 2013
stud door
rowlesbillie added this to rowlesbillie's Ideas
October 31, 2013
romanko added this to peachland house
October 29, 2013
suzjohns added this to paint colors
October 29, 2013
door color
tonyleal added this to tonyleal's Ideas
October 28, 2013
blue door
robertelliott added this to robertelliott's ideas
October 26, 2013
entry door color
dustinrbaxter added this to dustinrbaxter's ideas
October 24, 2013
like front door color
D meek added this to Doors and Windows
October 24, 2013
Lisa Godfrey_Eriksen added this to front doors
October 24, 2013
color of door
inezcobb added this to inezcobb's Ideas
October 19, 2013
What are those big willows?
apederson added this to front door
October 11, 2013
kathy1953 added this to kathy1953's ideas
October 2, 2013
pwilli5 added this to Exterior Ideas
October 2, 2013
Blue front door on Spanish house!! and great landscaping
lindamrutter added this to lindamrutter's ideas
October 1, 2013
like color of door
rapmarl added this to rapmarl's ideas
September 30, 2013
Blue door
Traci Price added this to Florida Home
September 30, 2013
Door color
jessmiami added this to Exterior Ideas
September 30, 2013
Door color
maryjolivingston added this to landscaping
September 29, 2013
pokenwright added this to pokenwright's Ideas
September 29, 2013
blue door
tamusmith added this to tamusmith's ideas
September 29, 2013
floster added this to exterior
September 29, 2013
door color
m262 added this to gates
September 29, 2013
lynsayc added this to lynsayc's ideas
September 25, 2013
color exterior
Blackbird & Company added this to Entry
September 23, 2013
Front Door... Color
bigmalcs added this to entry
September 23, 2013
leslieskyhawk added this to colors and types of architecture
September 23, 2013
blue door
ttcup added this to ttcup's Favorites
September 22, 2013
Our kind of house
wendyleesims added this to paint colour ideas
September 22, 2013
the colour of the door
ilikehouses added this to Entry To Forecourt
September 22, 2013
Entry Twwer
aehunt94 added this to outdoors
September 19, 2013
Sidewalk and grassed
peechee123 added this to Backyard
September 16, 2013
kristenoreilly added this to kitchen
September 16, 2013
front door
shollis3 added this to Exterior Ideas
September 15, 2013
love the stone
jbhhjh410 added this to jbhhjh410kitchen
September 15, 2013
could this work for our house? would it coordinate w/ interior colors also?
cardinda added this to Jasmine's Bedroom
September 14, 2013
mjausten1 added this to exterior
September 14, 2013
marcekmba added this to Curb Appeal Improvements
September 14, 2013
Blue door with yellow house
srdlindz added this to front doors
September 12, 2013
susanbeckert added this to susanbeckert's ideas
September 11, 2013
front door colours
paolamc added this to Xeriscape
September 9, 2013
Fountain grass serves as a fence.
Stella Rios added this to stella_rios's Ideas
September 9, 2013
Leigh Gauntt_Hickman added this to leigh_gauntt_hickman's Ideas
September 8, 2013
Estates By Design added this to lake House
September 7, 2013
Love front door color and style
jllane added this to All things country French
September 5, 2013
Front wall ideas. Like the grass
Amie Howes added this to amie_howes's Ideas
September 3, 2013
Brian Bruce added this to bathrooms
September 2, 2013
color of front door
1011alfred added this to Exterior Paint Colors
August 31, 2013
bossmis added this to room colors
August 26, 2013
door color
llewsac added this to landscape design
August 24, 2013
Like large fountain grass
sucitysu added this to Mediterranean
August 23, 2013
Landscaping front of house
Miranda Surjadi added this to miranda_surjadi's ideas
August 22, 2013
Front door color
Tom Nelson added this to Nicaragua, jamie
August 22, 2013
stpen added this to Spanish exterior
August 18, 2013
noeljonathan added this to noeljonathan's Ideas
August 16, 2013
privacy front yard layers
Julie Broberg added this to Exterior colors
August 13, 2013
Door color
bribandy added this to Landscaping
August 11, 2013
privacy shrubs/trees
Stephanie Rogers Interiors added this to European style houses
August 4, 2013
door color
nilysteinberg added this to follage-outdoors
August 2, 2013
soft grasses
frenchiegirl added this to frenchiegirl's ideas
July 30, 2013
Megan Bassetti added this to New Home Ideas
July 28, 2013
Door color
nnoodle64 added this to nnoodle64's Ideas
July 28, 2013
kathayv added this to Exterior Ideas
July 28, 2013
ft plants
tarasolis added this to tarasolis's ideas
July 26, 2013
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™