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Project Name: Nicholson Residence
Project Location: Mount Vaca, California
Client: Mark and Tina Nicholson
Architect: Integrated Structures Inc
Engineer: Integrated Structures Inc

This 7,100 sf residential vineyard estate is constructed on forty acres in Solano County just below the ridge of Mt. Vaca. The owners
were keenly aware of the wild fire risks during the design process citing the Miller Canyon fire in 1988 which destroyed everything on the mountain except an old adobe residence. They opted to construct the residence with the Energy Mass™ wall system. The house also has dual tempered glazing in the windows, and a concrete tile roof to resist radiant heat of a wild fire and windblown burning embers. In the early morning hours of Sunday, August 16th 2020, a series of highly unusual thunderstorms rolled through most of northern California, which came from the moisture of the diminishing Tropical Storm Fausto. With these thunder-storms came a reported10,849 lightning strikes that sparked 376 known fi res across much of the state. Around 3AM Wednesday morning of August 19th the fire crested the ridge-line and moved into Solano County destroying everything in its path. The blaze ultimately killed five people and destroyed 1,500 structures. Everything on the mountain was lost except the Nicholson residence and the old adobe structure. Typical residential walls are non-fire rated construction. The Energy Mass™ wall exceeds 4 hours, the highest fire rating recognized by the California Building Code. Incorporating two 3 inch thick concrete membranes, structurally connected and separated by fire resistant foam, the assembly exceeds the fi re rating of standard residential construction by 500%.

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