Green Remodel

Spectrum Fine Homes, Inc., Mountain View, Calif.

Project location: Cupertino, Calif.
Project cost: $467,153

The homeowners of this green remodel winning home did not wish to add to the footprint of their home. They wanted the home to be comfortable and energyefficient while keeping the indoor air quality healthy. To make it green they also wanted to use technologies, materials and building techniques that did not adversely affect the environment and natural resources.

Originally built in 1960, this split-level Ranch style home is on a corner lot with western exposure at the front. The site has many mature trees which provide natural shading and screening to the western-facing windows. This home seemed dark, even though many windows with every exposure existed.

Before the remodel, this home had single-pane aluminum windows, little insulation, and a combination of stucco and vertical plywood siding. Afterward, the exterior has new dual-pane, Low-E, fiberglass windows, formaldehyde-free insulation, new entry doors and fiber-cement horizontal lap siding.

To ensure that all systems of the HVAC system would run highly efficiently, a “Home Performance Audit” was conducted to determine how best to design the new system. Walls were opened up and removed so light and ventilation from windows could flow through the space. The HVAC system was zoned with two separate zones on the upper level so that only the area being used is heated by the mechanical system. It was also determined that no A/C was needed, due to the radiant barrier and insulation added in the attic, natural ventilation and shading provided by mature trees in the landscape.

Going green in the kitchen meant custom cabinets using FSC certified maple hardwood and plywood. The cabinet boxes were then made with soy-based, nonformaldehyde binders. Using a very low VOC cabinet finish, the cabinets were prefinished before installation and undercabinet task lighting was installed that uses LED technology, operating at only 8 watts of electricity.

Overall this updated home is now more energy-efficient and sustainable. The judges made note of the huge amount of attention that was paid to being green and how it touches every part of this project.

Products specified:

Bath fixtures: Kohler, Great Grabz, Runovators Supply, Toto
Appliances: Miele, Sub-Zero, KitchenAid
Entry doors: TruStile
Hardware: Emtek
Kitchen plumbing fittings: Kohler
Roofing: Elk
Siding: James Hardie Siding
Windows: Milgard

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