Woolsey House is a rebuild of a house that was, sadly, lost in the Woolsey Fire of 2019. Located in the Santa Monica mountains, we decided it would be best to reduce the new house’s risk of damage during another wildfire. Fire experts recommend that plant material is kept away from houses in the wildfire danger zone, so we decided to put all the plants inside. We gave the plants a skylight with low-e glass and a nice glass door to get some air.
Meanwhile, on the exterior, we would cover the walls with yakisugi. Yakisugi is wood siding that has been treated with an ancient Japanese burning technique. The heat treatment improves the longevity of the siding by preventing decay and insect infestation, and, most important for this project, improves fire retardancy. For wood decking around the house, we would use bamboo decking. Bamboo is also fire resistive, Class “A” rated material. We will never say that a house is fire proof.
But these types of decisions help.