There’s no better opportunity to green up a home than during a remodeling project, and working with eco-savvy architects, designers and contractors can ensure you make the most of green alternatives.
For a remodel of a 1953 bungalow in Venice, California, architects Todd Erlandson and Nori Fukuda worked hand in hand with contractor 44 West Construction and Bridgid Coulter Design to transform the dwelling, inside and out, into an attractive, energy-efficient home. Landscaping by Annie Wright of Hollyhawk also focused on green alternatives.
Budgeting for Green
A home remodeling project always begins by establishing a realistic budget, and budgets are typically driven by design goals. The primary goal of the bungalow project was to create a feeling of spaciousness within the 1,297 square-foot home, without sacrificing energy efficiency.
The decision was made to alter the line of the roof to add cathedral ceilings to the home’s interiors. Clerestory windows were installed, both to bathe the rooms in natural light and provide energy-saving air circulation. The cathedral ceilings not only enhanced the interior design of the home, but angled the roof into a good position for solar panels.
While a residential solar photovoltaic system wasn’t in the current budget, the team thought ahead for a future installation. They further tilted one portion of the roof, in anticipation of solar panels, and incorporated it into a striking architectural design.
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A renovation that requires structural changes gives homeowners the opportunity to work sustainable and energy-smart features into the walls and flooring. The bungalow projects included new energy-efficient window replacement and a radiant heating system installed beneath bamboo flooring. The fireplace uses clean ethanol fuel.
Contractor 44 West Construction, a company that has been routinely including green alternatives in their projects for over 30 years, includes solar options for all their projects, preparing each home for solar electric and solar hot water applications, whether they are installed immediately or not. For the exterior of the home, the team installed sustainable siding.
Energy Star appliances were installed in the kitchen, but the green options didn’t stop there. The kitchen cabinets were constructed with materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The countertops are Greenguard certified. The team even used fume-free paints and glues.
Greening Up the Landscape
Whenever possible in the bungalow project, the team recycled construction materials. The landscaper used wood reclaimed from the pallets that carried the exterior siding, creating planters for raised vegetable gardening. Concrete from the old driveway were cut into square concrete pavers for the paths and patio. Drought-resistant plants were used, and a drip irrigation system was installed throughout the landscaping.
The takeaway from the Venice bungalow project? Plan ahead for green options like home solar power. While plans are still on the drawing board, consider future opportunities to go green, particularly options like home solar that will add green to your wallet, and work those options into the architectural and interior design.
More photos available via LA Times
Article appearing courtesy Residential Solar Power Blog.