Launch Slideshow

Project: 601 Third Avenue Remodel, Decatur, Ga.Size: 2,100 square feetPrice: $400,000Completed: July 2008Certifications: EarthCraft HouseHERS Rating: 58Architect: Eric Rawlings, Oakhurst, Ga.Remodeler: Renewal Design-Build, DecaturSite Engineer: Stability Engineering, Decatur

Southern Charmer

Renewal Design-Build overcame myriad challenges to re-use rather than raze an existing 80-year-old bungalow for this green Atlanta remodel.

Southern Charmer

Renewal Design-Build overcame myriad challenges to re-use rather than raze an existing 80-year-old bungalow for this green Atlanta remodel.

  • The Third Avenue project before.

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    The Third Avenue project before.

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    Terry Greene

    The Third Avenue project before.

  • Project: 601 Third Avenue Remodel, Decatur, Ga.Size: 2,100 square feetPrice: $400,000Completed: July 2008Certifications: EarthCraft HouseHERS Rating: 58Architect: Eric Rawlings, Oakhurst, Ga.Remodeler: Renewal Design-Build, DecaturSite Engineer: Stability Engineering, Decatur

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp999%2Etmp_tcm131-303605.jpg

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    Project: 601 Third Avenue Remodel, Decatur, Ga.Size: 2,100 square feetPrice: $400,000Completed: July 2008Certifications: EarthCraft HouseHERS Rating: 58Architect: Eric Rawlings, Oakhurst, Ga.Remodeler: Renewal Design-Build, DecaturSite Engineer: Stability Engineering, Decatur

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    Lauren Rubinstein

    Project Details
    Project: 601 Third Avenue Remodel, Decatur, Ga.
    Size: 2,100 square feet
    Price: $400,000
    Completed: July 2008
    Certifications: EarthCraft House
    HERS Rating: 58
    Architect: Eric Rawlings, Oakhurst, Ga.
    Remodeler: Renewal Design-Build, Decatur
    Site Engineer: Stability Engineering, Decatur

  • STOVE, PAINT, COUNTERTOPS

    The Morso 3440 wood-burning stove features a tertiary air supply system that ensures all fuel gases are burned, the company says. The cast-iron unit delivers up to 35,000 BTU/hour. It is EPA-approved and has received the Nordic Swan Eco-label, a European standard. 866.883.9619. www.morsona.com. The homes interior features Sherwin-Williams Harmony paint, a zero-VOC, low-odor formula that also offers long-term durability and good hide, according to the firm. The paint, which is available in a primer and a topcoat, is Greenguard-certified and has antimicrobial properties. 800.474.3794. www.sherwin-williams.com. Renewal specified IceStone countertops for the kitchen in Arctic sage and for the second-floor bathrooms in Alpine white. The Cradle to Cradlecertified material is made with 100% recycled glass and cement. Twenty-nine standard colors are offered; custom options are available for commercial projects. 718.624.4900. www.icestone.biz.

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    The Morso 3440 wood-burning stove features a tertiary air supply system that ensures all fuel gases are burned, the company says. The cast-iron unit delivers up to 35,000 BTU/hour. It is EPA-approved and has received the Nordic Swan Eco-label, a European standard. 866.883.9619. www.morsona.com. The homes interior features Sherwin-Williams Harmony paint, a zero-VOC, low-odor formula that also offers long-term durability and good hide, according to the firm. The paint, which is available in a primer and a topcoat, is Greenguard-certified and has antimicrobial properties. 800.474.3794. www.sherwin-williams.com. Renewal specified IceStone countertops for the kitchen in Arctic sage and for the second-floor bathrooms in Alpine white. The Cradle to Cradlecertified material is made with 100% recycled glass and cement. Twenty-nine standard colors are offered; custom options are available for commercial projects. 718.624.4900. www.icestone.biz.

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    Lauren Rubinstein

    Wood-Burning Stove
    The Morso 3440 wood-burning stove features a tertiary air supply system that ensures all fuel gases are burned, the company says. The cast-iron unit delivers up to 35,000 BTU/hour. It is EPA-approved and has received the Nordic Swan Eco-label, a European standard. 866.883.9619. www.morsona.com.
    Paint
    The home’s interior features Sherwin-Williams’ Harmony paint, a zero-VOC, low-odor formula that also offers long-term durability and good hide, according to the firm. The paint, which is available in a primer and a topcoat, is Greenguard-certified and has antimicrobial properties. 800.474.3794. http://www.sherwin-williams.com/.
    Countertops
    Renewal specified IceStone countertops for the kitchen in Arctic sage and for the second-floor bathrooms in Alpine white. The Cradle to Cradle–certified material is made with 100% recycled glass and cement. Twenty-nine standard colors are offered; custom options are available for commercial projects. 718.624.4900. www.icestone.biz.

  • WINDOWS

    Kolbe and Kolbe Ultra Series aluminum-clad push-out awning and casement windows feature lever handles, stainless steel friction hinges, and optional multi-point locking; FSC-certified wood is available. The windows, set high on the side walls, provide energy efficiency, daylighting, and ventilation while maintaining privacy. They are specified with LoE-270 coating and an argon gas fill. 715.842.5666. www.kolbe-kolbe.com. Circle 376.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp9BD%2Etmp_tcm131-303799.jpg

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    Kolbe and Kolbe Ultra Series aluminum-clad push-out awning and casement windows feature lever handles, stainless steel friction hinges, and optional multi-point locking; FSC-certified wood is available. The windows, set high on the side walls, provide energy efficiency, daylighting, and ventilation while maintaining privacy. They are specified with LoE-270 coating and an argon gas fill. 715.842.5666. www.kolbe-kolbe.com. Circle 376.

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    Lauren Rubinstein

    Windows
    Kolbe and Kolbe Ultra Series aluminum-clad push-out awning and casement windows feature lever handles, stainless steel friction hinges, and optional multi-point locking; FSC-certified wood is available. The windows, set high on the side walls, provide energy efficiency, daylighting, and ventilation while maintaining privacy. They are specified with LoE-270 coating and an argon gas fill. 715.842.5666. www.kolbe-kolbe.com.

  • CISTERNS, SIDING

    Three cisterns around the exterior collectively store up to 600 gallons of rainwater from the roof. The cistern on the front of the house is cleverly hidden within a vertical column and is fed by a rain chain, providing a striking aesthetic detail. The cisterns provide up to 20 psi of pressure when full.The CertainTeed WeatherBoards fiber-cement siding contains 50% recycled content in the form of fly ash leftover from power plants, and the manufacturer obtains the majority of the materials wood pulp from sustainably managed forests. The siding is available in a range of styles, including cedar lap, shakes, half-rounds, and vertical panels. 800.233.8990. www.certainteed.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp9BF%2Etmp_tcm131-303813.jpg

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    Three cisterns around the exterior collectively store up to 600 gallons of rainwater from the roof. The cistern on the front of the house is cleverly hidden within a vertical column and is fed by a rain chain, providing a striking aesthetic detail. The cisterns provide up to 20 psi of pressure when full.The CertainTeed WeatherBoards fiber-cement siding contains 50% recycled content in the form of fly ash leftover from power plants, and the manufacturer obtains the majority of the materials wood pulp from sustainably managed forests. The siding is available in a range of styles, including cedar lap, shakes, half-rounds, and vertical panels. 800.233.8990. www.certainteed.com.

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    Lauren Rubinstein

    Cisterns
    Three cisterns around the exterior collectively store up to 600 gallons of rainwater from the roof. The cistern on the front of the house is cleverly hidden within a vertical column and is fed by a rain chain, providing a striking aesthetic detail. The cisterns provide up to 20 psi of pressure when full.

    Siding
    The CertainTeed WeatherBoards fiber-cement siding contains 50% recycled content in the form of fly ash leftover from power plants, and the manufacturer obtains the majority of the material’s wood pulp from sustainably managed forests. The siding is available in a range of styles, including cedar lap, shakes, half-rounds, and vertical panels. 800.233.8990. www.certainteed.com.

  • SKYLIGHT

    Energy Starrated, the Solatube Brighten Up Series tubular skylight provides natural light to the laundry room. The unit includes the manufacturers optional light kit for nighttime use. The company offers 10-inch- and 14-inch-diameter models. 888.765.2882. www.solatube.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp9C0%2Etmp_tcm131-303820.jpg

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    Energy Starrated, the Solatube Brighten Up Series tubular skylight provides natural light to the laundry room. The unit includes the manufacturers optional light kit for nighttime use. The company offers 10-inch- and 14-inch-diameter models. 888.765.2882. www.solatube.com.

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    Lauren Rubinstein

    Skylight
    Energy Star–rated, the Solatube Brighten Up Series tubular skylight provides natural light to the laundry room. The unit includes the manufacturer’s optional light kit for nighttime use. The company offers 10-inch- and 14-inch-diameter models. 888.765.2882. www.solatube.com.

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    HP Building Solutions maneuvered compact drilling equipment into the partially demolished existing structure to help contain some of the mud generated by the geothermal installation.

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    Renewal rebuilt the home on the existing foundation and navigated around the original bathroom, porch, and recently added rear deck. The SIPs, installed by HP Building Solutions, are manufactured by Global Building Solutions and feature an EPS foam core for an R-value of about 4 per inch.

Beyond the geothermal system and super-insulated shell, the home includes CFL light fixtures, GE Energy Star–labeled appliances, and a Rinnai tankless water heater. The homeowner also added an electric consumption meter available through Georgia Power. Supplementing the geothermal heating is a high-efficiency Morso wood stove; a return vent above the stove helps preheat air in the air handler.

The house also features a Panasonic WhisperComfort spot-recovery ventilator and WhisperGreen exhaust fans in the bathrooms, as well as zero-VOC paint and formaldehyde-free Merillat kitchen cabinets. Bamboo flooring, Price Pfister low-flow faucets, and Sterling dual-flush toilets are a few of the resource-conserving elements in the second-floor addition. The existing hardwood flooring on the ground level was stained to match the new FSC-certified hardwoods.

On the exterior, three cisterns incorporated into vertical columns around the perimeter collect up to 600 gallons of rainwater for irrigation and car washing. The columns integrate seamlessly into Rawlings’ Prairie-style design, an aesthetic chosen to help the larger home blend in with the older Arts and Crafts residences on the steet, one of the primary architectural goals for the team.

In addition to containing the geothermal installation, contractors carefully maintained piles of debris that were waiting for the grinding company, and the SIPs were stored unobtrusively on the street like parked cars.

“I had a lot of neighbors come by and ask what the SIPs were; there were so many people interested in what was going on,” recalls Manka.

Renewal responded to the community’s enthusiasm and curiosity by hosting tours and other educational opportunities during and after construction. The homeowner also created a blog to showcase the green features.

“We held a few open houses on this project and were just amazed at how many people were really interested in not just the pretty stuff,” says project designer Anna Warmoth. “They were really interested in what goes on behind the scenes, what goes on behind the drywall, and what makes this house green.”

Katy Tomasulo is deputy editor for EcoHome.

PROFILE:
Lisa Manka &
Anna Warmouth
PROJECT MANAGER & DESIGNER
RENEWAL DESIGN-BUILD

Renewal Design-Build has been creating a name for itself in Decatur, Ga., as a go-to company for green remodeling. And the employees are not only whole-heartedly committed to the mission, but also are reaping the benefits.

“I think we’ve been extremely fortunate; we’ve been hiring throughout the recession,” says designer Anna Warmoth, whose desire to spread the green-building message has grown as she has become a homeowner herself. Time and time again, she says, clients come to Renewal because it’s known as the green remodeler in the area.

Project manager Lisa Manka’s expertise in green building began in 2000 when she became trained in EarthCraft building practices and served as a House Leader with Habitat for Humanity, which was already building to Energy Star standards. “It’s not a hard thing to do and it makes good sense,” she says.

Working with Habitat also showed Manka how much education can transform behavior. For example, as volunteer laborers learned proper insulation techniques, many would remark how easy it would be to make similar upgrades at home.

Such community knowledge is paying off for Renewal, as Georgia homeowners embrace the idea of dwellings that save cash. “We had an edge in that as national programs became more prevalent, we were already doing green construction,” says Manka. “The sooner you embrace it as a company, the bigger advantage you’ll have.” —K.T.