Whole House $200,000 to $500,000

Gold Winner: Team Entry: Architectural Resource, Ann Arbor, Mich. & Meadowlark Builders, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Project location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Sq. ft. before: 2,538
Sq. ft. after: 3,220
Project cost: $410,000

This whole house project from Architectural Resource and Meadowlark Builders was actually born of the need to fix a leaky roof, but shortly later the “Nautilus House” was receiving certification as Michigan’s second USGBC LEED Platinum level whole house remodel. The homeowner wanted this house to be a harbinger of innovative green design and construction. Although the team did not add one additional square foot of plan footprint, it radically changed the home and introduced what has become an icon of sustainable design in Ann Arbor.

While doing on-site research and analysis at the beginning of the project, rather than uncovering more challenges, the team actually discovered an unusual gift. The ceiling framing in the existing living room was actually suitable for use as second floor deck framing. This opportunity suggested the solution of using the attic as the floor plane for a new second floor addition, all within the footprint of the existing building.

The project utilized state-of-the-art building envelope techniques including AFT, EWP, SPF and SIP construction to minimize energy loss. A 4-ton geothermal heating and cooling system provides the space conditioning. A de-superheater taking waste heat from the geothermal in the summer provides the hot water, and a tankless unit provides the make up required in the winter.

The home also incorporated a 4 Kw crystalline photovoltaic roof-mounted solar array that allows the home to make more energy than it uses in the summer. The distinctive roof form, besides providing the least surface area required to enclose the second floor loft space, also allowed the photovoltaic cells to be positioned in the only major sunlight corridor on the heavily wooded site. The curved form provided for an offset positioning of the panels, such that even on the shortest day of the year, December 21, no one panel would cast a shadow on any other panel.

This year’s Master Design Awards Judges felt that this project fits beautifully in its surroundings and makes a great use of the existing home.

Specified Products

Bath Fixtures: Toto
HVAC: Earth-linked geothermal
Insulation: Demilec
Lighting Fixtures: Halo, Juno
Roofing: Galvalume
Structural Materials: LP Building Products, Georgia Pacific
Windows: Pella

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