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jls design
Phone: 530-587-5232

Galletto Construction

Fernwood Folly


The project's very basic form began as a response to a simple agenda: capturing the abundant natural light, the owner's desire to explore 21st century "mountain modern" architecture, and quiet integration of environmentally friendly building practices and technology.

Appropriate siting of the residence as it relates to the topography, solar exposure, snow shedding, and green-belt adjacency maximizes passive solar design and overall livability.

The 3,118 sq. ft. residence faced with detailed cor-ten panels, ledgestone, judicious amounts of redwood and cement fiber panels, solidly anchors the shed roof, which is juxtaposed to the horizontal cantilever of the low-slope "blade" roofs. The plan of the house steps with the site, alleviating the need for extensive grading and results in a dynamic living space.

A number of sustainable aspects that are intentionally undetectable but highly effective include passive solar gain, extensive natural day-lighting, and these green technology highlights:

  • SIPS (Structural Insulated Panel System) were utilized as the structure and insulation system for the main upper shed roof. The overall grid layout was generated by the SIPS capacity for this specific property.
  • Aspen Areogel Spaceloft insulation was installed for thermal bridging protection at exterior walls and between the subfloor and lightweight concrete (R-5) to boost the efficiency/speed of hydronic floor heating system.
  • All under floor cavities and battered wall cavities were lined with radiant foil.
  • An additional 1-inch (above and beyond wall cavity insulation) Owens Corning "FORMULAR" was installed at the battered stone walls and the steel skinned towers.
  • All exterior walls were filled with 5 1/2-inch of "Icynene" closed cell foam insulation (solid) and lined with radiant foil prior to sheetrock installation.
  • Lutron Homeworks System (smart home electronic system) controls the lighting, motorized windows, shades, and fan systems.
  • 2 low flow whole house fans (AirScape) were installed to utilize a "stack effect" at the top of the stairwell tower for summer ventilation/exhausting.
  • 1 ton of concrete hydronically heated thermal mass was installed in an internal wall separating the living room and upper gallery.
  • A high efficiency masonry fireplace
  • Low flow toilets



  • Green components must be integral to the project, rather than applique
  • A cohesive team (owner, builder, and architect) is absolutely necessary to the execution and ultimate desired level project completion. Therefore the understanding of the project intent not only by the contractor. architect, and owner, but also by all the individual trades (subs) prior to commencement of work is paramount for the success of the project.
  • Unconventional means and methods need additional coordination.
  • Complete understanding of the ramifications of a materials use, whether it be "green" or not, should be fully assessed prior to incorporation.


Any project, a remodel, an addition, or a project from the ground, up needs an owner(s) who is on board 100%, and prepared to work and fight for the integrity of a project, not only financially but more importantly emotionally. Pushing the aforementioned struggle further is the attempt to integrate feasibly and subtly emerging technologies. The team must work diligently and tenaciously to keep that goal in mind and ultimately achieve it. This project is a testament to Craig Horangic and Doreen Franke's unyielding persistence to achieve that goal with the understanding the eventual results would enrich their lives far beyond mere "shelter." 

Project: Fernwood Folly Residence

Owners: Doreen Fronke & Craig Horangic

Designer: jls design (Joel L. Sherrnan, Architect)

Builder/Contractor: Galletto Construction (Jim Galletto) ; Black Diamond Construction & Coatings (Steve Funk)

Date of Construction: Completed in summer 2009

Size: 3,118 sq. ft. Single Family Dwelling with 532 sq ft. Garage

Location: Tahoe Donner

Building Construction Type: Structural Insulated Panel System (SIPS) at main roof, conventional wood framing & a few steel gravity load framing members (no moment frames due to the use of SIPS)

Heating Systems: Hydronic radiant floor heating system, high efficiency Moberg MFC masonry heater fireplace, and whole house fan cooling

Images courtesy of JLS Design © Ruckus Visual Arts Artwork provide by

Tags: New Construction
Passive Solar
Passive Cooling
Water Conservation
High Thermal Mass
Building Performance
Ground Source Heat Pump
Structural Integrated Panels (SIPs)
Recycled Materials
Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating

Mail can be sent to: SiGBA P.O. Box 4245 Truckee, CA 96160

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