Restored within the strict guidelines of Nantucket Island’s Historic District, this 264-year-old Cape still pays homage to its Quaker-inspired design roots. But behind the simple lines and cedar shake lies a range of modern conservation-minded features that enhance the home’s immediate and long-term performance, proving that sustainability can be integrated into existing homes without compromising authenticity.

In addition to preserving and modernizing the LEED-Gold house, architect Michele Kolb added 260 square feet for a new kitchen, bathroom, and entry in keeping with the period. Among the many challenges posed by this whole-house renovation were meeting LEED insulation and air sealing requirements, installing new mechanical and ventilation systems, and restoring the original single-pane window sash to conserve energy while meeting historic architectural standards.

Further energy improvements included sealing and insulating the existing crawlspace; installing new exterior sheathing; insulating the envelope with spray foam; and installing zone-controlled HVAC, HRV, and ERV equipment and high-efficiency water heating. Low-flow faucets and fixtures as well as water-conserving landscaping contribute to water-efficiency goals.

The team specified American Clay plaster, reclaimed oak floors, and pine ceilings for their natural and environmental qualities; painted surfaces were finished with Benjamin Moore’s Aura low-VOC products; and floors were oiled.

To many in the green building community, restoring an existing home is in itself a laudable step toward sustainability. In awarding a home built in 1747, the judges couldn’t agree more.


Kitchen & Bath Faucets: Barber Wilsons / Toilets: Toto / Interior Doors: Lemieux Doors / Interior Lighting: Go Home / Exterior Lighting: Campo de' Fiori / Paints & Stains: Benjamin Moore / Flooring & Carpeting: Bois Chamois / HVAC: Airia, NovelAire, York / Water Heating: Rinnai / Wall Finishing: American Clay / Ventilation: Panasonic

Click here to see all the 2011 EHDA winners