Got fond memories from your childhood of time spent at your grandparents’ house? I know I do: my grandmother’s house in northern Wisconsin was the site of some of my best times as a kid. Unfortunately, when she decided to sell the house that my grandfather had built, and where my father grew up, I wasn’t in a position to keep it in the family.
That’s not the case for the owners of 4 Sleepy Hollow Lane in Olivette: they were able to hang to this house built by their grandfather in the fifties. Because it’s an older house, though, it didn’t meet their exact criteria for a dream home: it was on the small side for a growing family, and wasn’t built for efficient use of energy (no insulation at all in the walls, for instance). The young couple wanted to maintain the site of their own fond childhood memories, but also have the space to create even more memories with their own kids. And they wanted to do all of this in a space that reflected their own green values.
Like the Donalds in Bellfontaine Neighbors, the owners of the Olivette home reached out to custom homebuilder Kim Hibbs of Hibbs Homes for help with rehabbing their heritage house into a modern space that still reflected its roots. On Saturday, July 28, Hibbs and other contractors and vendors involved in the project held an open house to show their work thus far on transforming this building. The project involves not only a gut rehab, but the addition of a second story (and about 1000 square feet of living space) to the ranch-style house. In the process of making the space bigger, Hibbs, along with Verdatek Solutions and Jeff Day Architects, is also turning it into a net-zero consumer of energy through
- replacing the outdated heating and air conditioning with a geothermal system;
- adding solar panels to the new roof;
- insulating like crazy: lots and lots of insulating foam plus fiberglass batts – this is what the second story looked like on Saturday:
Additionally, the tight envelope plus low VOC finishes and features will make for really high air quality. Hibbs and team expect that when the home is finished early in the Fall, it will meet or exceed the minimum metrics for the National Association of Home Builder’s ANSI ICC-700 Standard, the Department of Energy Challenge Home National program, the Energy Star rating, and EPA Indoor Air Quality initiatives.
But what’s it going to look like, right? Well, we’ve only got the architect’s rendering right now (which is pretty impressive), but Kim promised he’d let me go take another look when the home is finished (and I’ll share what I find). Here’s what it looks like right now:
Construction projects don’t get much greener than rehabs: why start from scratch when there’s existing building stock that can be upgraded? And, in this case, memories get preserved in a home that will now stand even longer. Talk about a win-win…