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Sunset's newest Idea House proves that you don't have to live off the grid to enjoy the benefits of eco-friendly design.

Pool Under Stairs with Front Door Behind
Pool Under Stairs with Front Door Behind

Endless Pools was chosen to be a part of the Sunset Idea House in downtown San Francisco, one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) remodeled homes in the nation. The concept of swimming against a current in a small body of water means the Endless Pool uses less resources than traditional pools. The fully insulated Endless Pool with retractable security cover and our Low-Energy wireless remote control package costs less than a $1 a day to operate.

Designed by architect John Lum, the building — which includes a main house and an apartment — occupies a 50- by 70-foot corner lot. Lum's plan maximizes natural light and airflow on each of three levels, with rooms leading off an open, central stairway made of glass and steel. The main living and dining areas and kitchen are on the top floor to take advantage of views across the city. "It's kind of an upside-down house," Lum explains. "The public spaces are at the top, and the more private master suite and guest rooms are below."

Alabama Side with Wind Turbine
Alabama Side with Wind Turbine

But what makes the home truly groundbreaking are the eco-features it incorporates, some of them still in experimental stages. For example, hot water will be provided by rooftop tubes that collect solar energy, says Matt Golden, founder and CEO of Sustainable Spaces and a project consultant. The home's electricity will come from SunPower solar panels and a wind turbine installed in the backyard — a power source so unusual in San Francisco, the builder had to get a one-year provisional test permit before it could be installed. A high-tech resource-monitoring system will keep tabs on energy and water use.

One of the key features of the home is an Endless Pool located beside the main entryway that opens onto an entertaining patio. The small footprint and energy efficiency of the pool made it an idea choice for the spa and exercise space.


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Swim whenever you like on your own schedule at your own perfect pace. No traveling, no crowded pools, no heavy chlorine. Just your own precision engineered swimming pool,where you swim or exercise against a smooth current that's fully adjustable to any speed or ability. Our swimming pools are simple to install, easy to maintain, and economical to run.

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