Tuesday, October 16, 2018 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM PDT
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The Old Yellow House
209 Moraga Way
Orinda, CA 94563

Driving Directions


Vonnie Bower
Construction Specifications Institute East Bay-Oakland Chapter


Building Tour:

The Old Yellow House 

Join CSI East Bay Oakland for a tour of a 19th century building that has been restored and upgraded to equip it with modern energy efficient technology!

James P. Wright, Architect and Contractor, has turned a 130 year-old landmark into a showcase for renewable energy. The house has won the William Penn Mott, Jr. Environmental Award for its Geo-Solar Biomimicry Net-Zero Energy System.

History of The Yellow House

The house was built to accommodate California & Nevada Railroad workers with 6 bedrooms, one closet, no bathroom, and 2 front doors to segregate workers. The railroad went bankrupt and Charles Nelson moved in and added a well in the basement and his family occupied the home until 1966. The house stood empty for nearly 50 years until purchased by Wright, who wanted to breathe new life into the property while exhibiting energy solutions for the future.

Restoration of The Yellow House

The two-story, 2,050 square foot house was built in 1890, and was painstakingly restored over three years by Wright, who made sure that much of the material used in the remodel was reused or recycled. Many original features of the building have provided design inspiration for Wright, like the original freshwater well that has been repurposed into a tabletop.

The building is a monument to energy conservation: dual paned windows conserve heat and reduce exterior noise; central heating and cooling is solar powered; the stone flooring uses a radiant heating system; rooftop skylights provide ample natural light and PV electricity.

Event Details

209 Moraga Way – Orinda – 1 mile East of Highway 24 – across from Monte Veda Drive.

Enter through the stone gates west of the house for stacked parking in back, or park on Moraga Way or across the street on Monte Veda.

Visitors are welcome to join EBO-CSI members for lunch after the tour at Shelby’s Restaurant in Orinda Theater Square [free parking below].
$20 charge for non-members of EBO-CSI