OneSEED-C2-Blog-14-02-12 Elgin Demo

February 12, 2014 ... Project Update – Elgin Street Built Green Renovation

UPDATE: See finished project description and photos here.

We stopped by site last week, where Doug Pearcey and his team from Vertical Grain Construction are well underway with the demolition on our latest project, the Elgin Street Built Green Renovation.  This is a project that has focused on sustainability right from the very beginning.  As the whole team (builder, clients, and One SEED) shares a passion for all things green, it has been a lot of fun to collaborate throughout the design process.  We have been working together to achieve a high level of Built Green Certification.  In fact, based on the latest run at the Built Green checklist, we are aiming to achieve 26 points more than required for Platinum certification, which is the highest possible Built Green standard.

Built Green Checklist for Elgin Street Built Green Renovation – in progress

Challenges: The homeowners put forward the idea of targeting Living Building Challenge ‘Petal Recognition’ for this project.  This is not a humble goal, as Living Building Challenge is known as the most rigorous third party green certification standard on the planet. In fact, as of today there are only five (FIVE!) LBC projects that have been certified worldwide (WORLDWIDE!), and only four others which have achieved Petal Recognition.  You can learn more about Living Building Challenge, and the great work that the International Living Future Institute is doing here.  It was a goal we were all excited to pursue.  Although we were ultimately unable to meet some of the LBC preconditions for this project, we did follow their lead as much as possible and incorporated initiatives such as health, materials, equity, and beauty.

The Project:  When we first saw the home last spring, we noticed that it had a bit of an architectural ‘mullet’ going on.  The front of the house was a beautiful character home built in 1912 and lovingly cared for and restored, inside and out.  The back of the house suffered from a 1988 addition built by a previous owner with a shed roof and a poor integration with the rest of the home.  The owners described it as a time-warp that occurred whenever you crossed a threshold between the two construction eras of the home.  We designed a renovation that would tie the exterior of the addition with the rest of the character home, and provide more beautiful and functional spaces on the interior.  The 680 SF interior renovation includes a new lounge area, kitchen, powder room, work space, entry closets, laundry room, office, and a new feature stair to connect the main floor of the home with the previously separated basement level.  The interior aesthetic is modern, yet timeless, with a cohesive flow and great spaces which capitalize on the views to their sunny backyard.  We will post updated site photos as construction progresses. It is probably hard to imagine based on the demolition photo, but this is how the space should look in a few weeks:

Interior perspectives of proposed design by One SEED Architecture + Interiors