Montecito home recognized for its innovative use of steel

Courtesy Photo

Montecito home recognized for its innovative use of steel

Montecito Residence Wins National Engineering and Architecture Award

Innovative and Environmentally Conscious Use of Structural Steel Earns Home Recognition

A Montecito residence received the Merit Award in the Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel program (IDEAS2) for its use of exposed structural steel and sustainable design.

Project team members — which include homeowners John and Dorothy Gardner of Montecito, architectural firm Barton Myers Associates Inc. (Los Angeles), Norman J. Epstein Structural Engineer Inc. (Los Angeles), fabricator and erector Anvil Steel Corporation (Gardena), general contractor Caputo Construction Corporation (Los Angeles), and landscape and interior designers from Rios Clementi Hale Studios (Los Angeles) — were presented with awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) on July 28 at the residence.

Montecito home recognized for its innovative use of steel
Click to enlarge photo

Courtesy Photo

Montecito home recognized for its innovative use of steel

“The entire Montecito residence project team has shown how structural steel can be used to create structures that combine beauty and practicality,” said Roger Ferch, president of AISC. “The result is a sustainable home that serves its residents extremely well, while providing an example of what can be achieved when designing and constructing projects with steel.”

The residence has a two-wing design — a public wing composed of living, dining, and kitchen areas and outdoor dining and lounging areas which balances a private wing composed of bedrooms, bathrooms, and a library, all of which open up to small outdoor courtyards and terraces. The design was intended to maximize views of surrounding oak trees and boulders. The property is composed of 3,360 square feet of main residence, 500 square feet of garage, a 50-foot lap pool, a pergola, and an additional 715-square-foot guesthouse.

“This home showcases the greatest advantage of steel design; openness and floor plan flexibility,” said Duff Zimmerman of Cooper Steel (AISC member) and competition judge in a July 27 statement.

The home’s exposed structural steel frames are reflective of the sustainability and innovation of its design. Structured steel — which is formed primarily from scrap metal and considered a green metal — was chosen for its use in maximizing indoor-outdoor living and for its noncombustible nature in a fire-prone area. Barton Myers designed his Toro Canyon home similarly, employing structured steel. The Montecito project’s offsite manufacturing of structured-steel materials ensured less construction waste than the typical amount produced in wood-construction projects.

“All new designs in California have to comply with Title 24,” Thomas Schneider, a senior associate with Barton Myers Associates, explained. Title 24 — also known as the California Building Standards Code — requires design and construction of new buildings to employ measures of energy conservation and green design.

“The residence has solar panels that save 95 percent of electricity, solar collectors to preheat the water, and no air conditioning,” Schneider said. “[Past clients] have said that their electric bills are less than $10 a month.”

The Montecito residence — which was completed in 2009 — was one of four Merit Award winners in the under $15 million category. National and Merit Awards were broken down into three categories according to the project’s constructed value: under $15 million, $15 million to $75 million, and greater than $75 million. Projects were evaluated on criteria regarding utilization of structural steel from both architectural and structural engineering standpoints. Among details judged were each project’s application of innovative design systems, aesthetic and visual impact of steel elements in coordination with other materials, innovative uses of exposed structural steel, and sustainability of the project’s design.

The Montecito residence also earned recognition from Santa Barbara Beautiful, distinction as a Record House from New York-based Architecture Record, Best Custom Home from Santa Barbara Contractors Association, and the Grant Award from the Gold Nugget Awards in San Francisco.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

City Closes In on New Police Station Location

Santa Barbara's Saturday Farmers Market may lose its 35-year site.

Homeless Could Get ‘Tiny Box’ Homes Downtown

Neighbors complain as City Hall fast-tracks grant application.

Ethnic Studies to Become Graduation Requirement

School board votes unanimously for 2023 start date.

School Shooting Threat to Santa Maria Schools Made via Facebook

Further investigation revealed that suspect did not have access to firearms.

Celebration of Life Ceremony Scheduled for Mark “Marky” Meza, Jr.

The 21-year-old former Carpinteria resident was killed in the Borderline shooting.