Healthy Beginnings

The Cedar House Sport Hotel

The Cedar House Sport Hotel explores our need to connect to nature, emphasizing in its design a harmony that is sympathetic to the human body, mind and spirit. Strength, Structure, Environmental Awareness, and Respect to the natural materials used are themes found throughout the design.

The Cedar House Sport Hotel was inspired by its setting high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, nestled in the Martis Valley, just minutes from Historic Downtown Truckee and Lake Tahoe.

Building Construction Type:

Stick frame construction with fiberglass insulation.

Site use and Protection Measures Before & During Construction

One year before construction, the owners completed grading, drainage and construction of a retention pond in front of the structure, guaranteeing all run-off water would be retained on-site.

Outdoor & Indoor Water Efficiency Measure in Project

Water drains off the green roof, traveling through gutters down a hanging chain to the landscaping below. The landscaping is sloped so runoff helps water the landscaping assisted by an outward facing slope.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Measure Used in Project

• Wood-framed Low-E and solar tinted windows

• All light fixture on property are fluorescent or low voltage; no incandescent lights were used

• All lights are equipped with photo sensors and timers

• Cellulose insulation in ceilings and blown-in fiberglass in walls

Space & Water Heating Systems:

The structures are designed with centralized functionality. As a result, there is no plumbing on exterior walls, saving energy and eliminating freezing.

The hotel utilizes a Rinnai tankless boiler system. The design of the building has resulted in very short footage runs from each hot water heater to each showerhead. Each building features three instantaneous hot water heaters for the potable water system, and one Bideras instantaneous heater for the hydronic space heating system.

There was initially concern when designing the system that the instantaneous hot water heaters might not keep up with customer hot water demand, considering the extremely cold water coming into the system. To assist the instantaneous domestic hot water heaters, the system was designed to enter through a water jacket on the hydronic floor system holding tank before proceeding to the hot water heaters. This design allowed the temperature of incoming water to reach luke-warm before entering the Rinnai instantaneous heaters, minimizing the temperature extremes the heaters would experience.

The Rinnai system allows each tankless water heater to “talk” to each other as demand increases or decreases. This is an extremely energy efficient system which currently runs off natural gas, but at any time can be converted to solar hydronic.

The hydronic in-floor heating system provides a minimum level of heating for both the hallways and individual rooms. If a customer would like more heat, a secondary system has adjusted the room temperature to desired setting.

Green Materials & Green Measures Implemented in Project

• Green Roof over reception and check-in area

• All cedar exterior siding and logs acquired from reforestation project, and milled in Camptonvill, CA by Moonshine Reforestation.

Indoor Environmental Considerations Used in Project

• All materials utilized in interior spaces were installed and the structures left open for over a month, allowing thorough outgas prior to occupation.

• Low VOC carpeting and draperies.

• Richlite paper-based countertops

•Exceptional plywood cabinets

• Wall mounted toilets and free floating cabinetry allow quick and easy cleaning of bathrooms without mold concerns

Subjective Evaluation/Design Considerations: How well has the structure achieved its design goals?

All in all, it seems quite obvious that the Bairds spent considerable time on the details of this exceptional project. At present they are extremely happy with the outcome. This hotel is an exceptional display of what can be accomplished with an appropriately qualified team of designers and engineers using recycled materials. The attention to detail is extraordinary. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit this hotel, make time to view this benchmark example of green architecture.


Insprired by themountains.

Enhanced by nature.

Designed foradventure.


Cedar House Hotel, Truckee, CA

Built with 100% Recycled Materials


Jeff & Patty Baird


Ken Meffin, Rough & Ready, CA


JB Construction, Grass Valley, CA

Written by Rick Salinsky from the Green Building Resource Guide