Keeping it Cool in Claremont, Calif.


Deb and Vern Jahnke, pictured here, are way too nice to brag.

So let me do it for them. Even on the hottest days, their home in Claremont stays cool and comfortable without artificial air conditioning.

See how it works:


This home stays cool most of the day because the walls are made of super-insulating Rastra block, a lightweight foam and concrete mix.


In the afternoon, when the sun has finally started to heat up the indoor air, the Jahnkes open the French doors in the kitchen and the afternoon breezes sweep the hot air through the house, up this stairwell . . .


. . . and out through the clerestory windows at the very top of the home . . .


The design for this house (which was rebuilt after a fire) started at the top to make it compatible with solar panels and natural air flow. And then the rest of the design flowed downward from there.

Here are some operable skylights in a contemporary Hermosa Beach home that perform the same function.

Hermosa Beach

Hermosa Beach