HSH US: Environmental Innovation Showcase

Back in the summer of 2012, we were approached by Michael Koenig of Honda Motor Corporation. He proposed that we join a team of sustainable design consultants for a demonstration house Honda was planning to build on the UC Davis campus to utilize the best possibilities of sustainable residential building. This was certainly outside of our normal business model, but an intriguing opportunity. Nearly two years and many hours of research, discussion, consulting, and specifying later, we are proud to join the rest of Michael’s team in the March 25, 2014 grand opening of the Honda Smart Home US.

The custom-designed, custom-built home features cutting edge technology such as Davis Energy Group’s Night Breeze ventilation system, a metal roof with solar panels to feed the plug-in Honda Fit in the garage, efficient lighting systems designed by the California Lighting Technology Center, and sustainable landscaping by Cunningham Engineering. Smart design elements such as passive heating and cooling, a geothermal heat pump, radiant heat in the building’s foundation, and highly efficient windows reduce energy costs and green house gases, and increase comfort for the residents. Conscientious building practices such as reducing Portland cement in the concrete, advanced framing with FSC-certified wood, and recycled-content tile were just a few of the many sustainable choices intended to reduce material consumption and embodied energy in the building phase. These thoughtful choices allowed this home to be submitted for a litany of sustainable home certifications.

MAK provided green expertise on finishes, fixtures, interior and exterior doors, interior furnishings, and other interior specifications. We sourced and managed the procurement and installation of green and domestically-built furniture, from the custom organic sofa and FSC-certified dining set to the patio furniture made from recycled milk jugs.


There is a house’s worth of stories and great ideas packed into the Honda Demonstration House. As we approach opening day, we will be sharing what we’ve learned on our blog and Facebook page, as well as sharing Honda’s informative videos and information. And of course, we encourage you to take a tour once the house is opened to the public later this month!

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