The Mao Residence features walls, floors, and roof made from prefabricated modular ceramic concrete panels. Exterior surfaces of the structure, including the roof, were either raw ceramic concrete, textured stucco, or tile. A tight urban site of 7000 square feet (0.16 acres) with 50’ of road frontage made construction of a 4356 square foot, 2-level home a challenge. Approximately 13,000 square feet of panels were fabricated off-site, delivered in sequence, and installed using a small crane. The lightweight panels facilitated work on the small site, and streamlined shipping, unloading, and placement.


The building features net zero sustainable design by incorporating geothermal and PV solar with a highly efficient thermal envelope to virtually eliminate dependence on the fossil fuels. The energy-efficient panels provided a quiet and thermally-efficient space. All panels (walls, roofs, and floors) were fabricated with a ceramic concrete face. Wall panels generally used 6” deep studs and roof and floors generally used 10” deep studs. Finished floors (manufactured hardwood) were able to be installed directly over top of the ceramic concrete floor face without leveling compound. Exterior panel joints were sealed with backer rod and caulk (walls) or ceramic concrete (clean roof). The flexibility of the precast panels was demonstrated on-site when the owner decided to add window openings in certain locations after panels were installed. The finished structure recently won the US Green Building Council Local Leader Category for Most Innovative Residential Project