Sustainability on a residential renovation can be difficult to achieve. As this project was a complete gut renovation and two small additions, which included a new third story space, roof, and a rear addition, it was easy to investigate a wide variety of sustainable options. The building envelope was improved, interior aspects modified, and the energy generation systems explored and selected to all work in unison to enhance the end result of the project.
In order to measure the degree of sustainability, ODG wanted to use a residential design rating system. At the time this house was designed there were few recognized residential rating systems available and none appeared to be as stringent and broad reaching as the LEED Commercial Rating system. ODG used the LEED 2.2 rating system as a guideline. When this project began, LEED for Homes had not yet been developed. The Hilltop Residence project sought to infuse an existing residence with the following qualities: cost effective technology, a “not to exceed” budget, a 75-year life cycle, the client's aesthetics, functional living, sustainable design, and allow for productive healthy residents. ODG used the LEED categories of Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Materials & Resources, Energy & Atmosphere, and Indoor Air Quality.
The sustainable goals that were met affect both the building and the site. The home was designed to use rapidly renewable materials, use less water, conserve energy, generate its own electricity, automate the mechanical house processes, and reduce stormwater runo?. The renovated home conserved existing material and used new materials that are rapidly renewable. By designing to a 75-year life cycle, materials selected were either rapidly renewable or incredibly durable. Buildings designed for longer lifespans are inherently sustainable because their components will not need to be replaced as often. The reduction of operating and maintenance costs will pass savings directly to the client, providing a return on investment for the costs of the renovation and addition. By increasing the native vegetation, the site reduced runo? from the roof and decreased the amount of water being added to the storm sewer system. These goals, once realized and incorporated into the redesign of the townhome provide a clean, healthy indoor environment and highlight a residence with a climate responsive design and conservation practices.