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Rebuilding Greenville: Fabricating Fire-Resistant Replacement Homes

May 14, 2024

Rebuilding Greenville, Ca.

Flaming pine needles descended on the residences in Greenville, California, as the relentless Dixie Fire winds swept through the Sierra Nevada mountains from end to end.

Roofs, gardens, decks, and treasured possessions quickly caught fire, fueling the flames. Within half an hour, the entire population of 1,000 in the town was left stunned as their once thriving community lay in ruins, unrecognizable and reduced to ashes.

Fire-resistant fabrication

Sparking on July 13, 2021, the Dixie Fire consumed 963,309 acres across five Northern California counties before being contained in late October.

Reconstruction efforts began promptly, and Method Homes proudly contributed to the design and construction team that rebuilt three homes destroyed by the Dixie Fire for the Sierra Institute. Working closely with atelierjones, the new homes were crafted with sustainability and fire safety at the forefront of their design.

Integrating wet-core design

Method constructed three modular wet cores for the homes, housing the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry/mechanical areas. The buildings were then put together using Cross Laminated Timber Panels to enclose the modules.

Although timber may not be the obvious choice for fire-resistant architecture, its density offers significant resistance to flames, providing more protection than traditional building materials.

The responsibly sourced mass timber in these homes also supports sustainability and resilient ecosystems, reducing fire hazards by aiding in forest health.

Thanks to all the helping hands

These projects were recognized with an Honor award from the American Institute of Architects in Seattle, symbolizing a commitment to sustainable innovation, community, and fresh starts. This collaborative effort was made possible by the dedication of various teams, including atelierjones, the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment, Mass Timber Strategy, Lights Creek Construction, Dr. Johnson, Sugar Pine Engineering, and Harriet Valentine Engineers.

Photo courtesy of Lara Swimmer

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