Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - February 15, 2013

Creating today's 'Eichler'

Materials, building codes have changed in last 60 years

Recreating an Eichler isn't as simple as it sounds. Building codes have changed, with new requirements for insulation and wiring, for example.

Some of the original materials are now "endangered," according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, and others are considered toxic.

The 2013 Eichler homes, just like the originals, are expected to emulate Frank Lloyd Wright's "dry construction" method, which meant having no applied finishes — no paint, wallpaper or plaster, according to Monique Lombardelli, who plans to built individual Eichlers.

"Wood is wood; brick is brick; concrete is concrete," she said.

Here's a comparison of materials that were used to build an Eichler and those that could be used in 2013.

Original Eichler 2013 Eichler

Flooring Asbestos tile; Armstrong cork tile (in custom homes, colored concrete) Slate; cork; concrete

Paneling Philippine mahogany Drywall needed to meet code; many different looks, including mahogany

Ceilings Douglas fir; pine Redwood

Roof No attic; 1 inch of fiberglass insulation No attic; foam

Countertops Formica; stainless steel Natural stone, slate, concrete

Stoves Electric (Thermador) Gas and electric induction

Insulation None Sheetrock walls, drill holes in exterior wall and add insulation in wall cavity

Windows, sliding doors Single-paned glass Double-paned glass

Sources: Mark Marcinek, Monique Lombardelli, www.rainforestinfo.org.au, www.iucnredlist.org

— Carol Blitzer

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