LEED-Certified Home: Hupomone Ranch in Petaluma, California

Redolent of a lost time and framed by a coastal mountain range, LEED-certified Hupomone Ranch invites reflection.

Just three miles west of downtown Petaluma lies an enticing original 160-acre homestead located in the Chileno Valley. Anchored by a repurposed white-clad barn, the ranch feels right at home amidst the bent grass-peppered valley and distant rolling hills. As twilight begins to drop a curtain of indigo over the valley, lights twinkle on in the kitchen and upstairs bedroom of the home. This is Hupomone Ranch.

After 30 years without an owner, the ranch was purchased by a young family with three children in 2014. The new owners were committed to sustainable farming and hoped to maintain the feel of a past age, where ranching was a way of life. To this end, Turnbull Griffin Haeslop Architects kept the original barn exterior and renovated the interior along LEED guidelines, achieving Platinum-level certification.

Developed by the United States Green Buildings Council (USGBC), LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED-certified buildings are created to improve performance across five key metrics: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality.

According to Dwell, Hupomone Ranch’s house-née-barn is “certified LEED Platinum and features a number of energy-saving features exceeding title 24 by over 50 percent. Passive heating and cooling with thermal mass and insulation, Geothermal, radiant cooling and heating along with solar and photovoltaic panels contribute to the house’s energy efficiency.” The home contains three bedrooms and abundant natural materials like re-sawn cedar and raw cable railings.

The house encompasses 2,500 square feet, according to Dezeen. A light-filled living area faces south, with the bedrooms and kitchen on either side. The slide-away windows in the kitchen open onto a vegetable garden. The coastal mountain range beyond nestles the open-concept home for a balanced feel that is immediately both breezy and cozy.

Per Dezeen, the interior design was “conceived by California-based Erin Martin Design.” Martin clearly took inspiration from the natural-chic palette offered by her LEED-certified materials: the home showcases a calming palette of white, slate, ash and sand, with pops of gold in the living space thanks to ikat throw pillows. Each room is defined by crisp lines and a cascade of natural light. Visitors to Hupomone Ranch will enjoy dual reading nooks on the second floor and a wall-length canvas portrait of iconic Mexican film star Maria Felix.

Outside, an inset pool glitters against a verdant lawn, framed by “a custom leather ottoman” and exterior tables and benches hand-crafted by the current owners, according to Dezeen. A sloping overhang shades a breezy white dining area located poolside.

Overall, Hupomone Ranch’s LEED-certified design means that the property manages to be both open and unassuming, modern yet evocative of a golden era of ranching. For the owners and visitors alike, Hupomone Ranch serves as an inviting shelter whose construction celebrates land and lifestyle.

If you're interested in learning more about the specifics of LEED-certification, take a look at USGBC's Guide to Certification.