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Ideal Products for Homes in Fire-Sensitive Areas

As a seasoned architect of custom homes in the Truckee, California and Reno/ Lake Tahoe area, I have become keenly aware of my responsibility to develop designs that respect the region in which my clients live.  Every day, and in the summer and fall seasons in particular, we have to worry about wildfires primarily due to human error or Mother Nature herself.

With the drought that is impacting the west, there’s no question there is a higher need for architects to evaluate the ideal products and structures for mountain homes in the popular Northstar, Martis Camp, Truckee, Lake Tahoe communities and then some.

Whether my clients choose to build or remodel their home in the High Sierra, the fire danger and drought situation poses a direct threat to those living in and along the wildland-urban interface (WUI).

Past catastrophic losses due to wildfires impacting the WUI and the growing number of people living in these areas indicate that the problem is only getting worse.

What Fire Protection Products Are Best to Use When Building A Home in A Wild Land Area?

Thanks to the millions of dollars of research that has been underway for the past century, there are have been some significant new products developed to better protect homes within the sensitive regions in which we choose to build and live in today.

Back in 1997, through a grant from the Office of the State Fire Marshal, the University of California, Berkeley developed standard test protocols to evaluate the relative performance of exterior construction materials and assemblies.

One of the key results, among many, was the development of a Builder’s Wildfire Mitigation Guide which is available to you as well through this link.

It identifies a wide variety of the designs and products that Borelli Architecture specifies for the homes we design and build throughout the Reno, Lake Tahoe, Truckee and Lahontan communities.

It also includes ideas for those who may want to assess their home and then invest in a remodel that includes these fire-protection features that may include yet not be limited to:

  • Non-combustible roofs
  • Fire safe vents
  • Non-combustible soffits
  • Heavy gauge gutters
  • Aluminum clad  or dual pane tempered windows
  • Fire resistant siding

From top to bottom, our clients can rest assured that our focus is and will continually be on the safety and life of their home. 

If you are interested in knowing more about how to address design concerns in living in a wild land area, I welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge with you through Borelli Architecture in Lake Tahoe.


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