This project recovers a 1950s well-built home enhancing its beautiful essence and updating it into a high performance home way above the current construction codes. This project will be soon Earth Craft VA certified by their pilot program for renovations. A 3rd party inspected the construction before dry wall and conducted the blower door test and ducts test to verify the performance. Integrative design and construction promoted collaboration between the team members of this project to create the best sustainable product.
The requirements: Homeowner's desire of a beautiful spot to have her morning coffee and recover the Uruguayan traditional use of rooms she remembers when growing up and visit; and desire to open the house to the South to get the energy performance advantage of nature.
The solution: The use of traditional architectural fixtures integrates the indoor and outdoor rooms. The new rooms of the addition keep the traditional design of the windows that integrates the old with the new and opens the rooms to the South trees view. The “galeria” of arches open the renovation of the old enclosed kitchen, nook, and dining rooms and integrate them with the rear addition. The “solarios” upstairs by the dining room and downstairs by the master suite provide winter plants refuge and a beautiful company. The “pergola” with deciduous vines provides summer shade at the brick patio for the family to enjoy the outdoors and feel protected but not enclosed, and connected with nature. The “tendedero” in the sunny laundry room invites to air-dry clothes and connects with nature while doing daily chores. There is a continuous dialogue between past and present and between indoor and outdoor rooms.
The homeowner’s cultural heritage and careful behavior to lower their carbon foot print inspired to create this design integrating architectural elements from the Spanish vernacular and traditional architecture.
“Both floors of the relatively small addition are all about the windows. They are an outstanding feature that helped to seamlessly integrate the “new” with the “old”. The kitchen and dining rooms, which were once rather small, dark areas, are now filled with light and have a view into the treetops. The many plants are much happier, having plenty of light behind the south glass. So the windows did allow that morning coffee in the sunlight, but they also have us enjoying the seasons as the sunlight and resulting patterns change from day to day.” - Homeowners
Energy conservation strategies were applied to the old house including new insulation that was installed at the existing attic and garage ceiling.
Green strategies were applied to the new rear addition including:
- Open the house to the South to work with nature instead of against it
- Tight envelope with a wall assembly including a seal package, foam insulation, continuous rigid insulation to alleviate the thermal break of the wood framing, and energy efficient windows
- ERV or energy recovery ventilator provides mechanical ventilation and humidity control in a hot-cold-humid climate to assure Indoor Air Quality, IAQ, inside the energy efficient envelope
- Windows design allows double cross natural ventilation through rooms with operable windows and arches sequence
- Deciduous trees provide winter sun and summer shade indoors at the South new windows
- Day lighting with windows and solar tubes
- The plants rooms are full of beauty and IAQ