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Craftsman Remodel (LEED Gold)

Location:  Seattle, WA

Size/cost:  2,180 sf / $197,000 (construction complete summer 2011)

Description: A widely experienced contractor (who will be doing most of the construction himself), the client desired a craftsman-style substantial remodel of their existing 1914 recently purchased house.  In addition to expanded living, dining, bedroom spaces, and finishing the basement, a tight budget and fast timetable were part of the equation.  Buying in a high value area, being along a street with many passers-by, and having a large rear yard with great southern exposure became apparent design indicators after we performed a brief site analysis.

Existing structure

Existing structure

Site Analysis

Site Analysis

In an effort to preserve their relatively large back yard for recreation (and labrador pet) purposes, the house’s east-west axis was maximized to the city’s zoned requirements, which also maximizes the house’s solar yield.  The low-angle winter sun is allowed to enter deep into the living spaces with it’s radiation in turn providing free, supplemental heat.  Further, this maximized natural daylight, controlled by inconspicuous blinds & screens and could be paired with photo-sensors, reduces the amount of artificial lighting required.  Craftsman-style timber trellises shade the windows from high-angle summer sun, thereby keeping the interior more moderate.

Site Plan

Site & Landscape Plan

The previously underutilized rear yard is now the major focal feature of the site.  Essentially flipping the interior spaces from south to north, and vice versa, the more public living, dining, and kitchen on the main level now face south and are flooded with natural light while the master bedroom and bath are located on the north side of the house.  Extending the living area southward not only enlarges and improves the multiple functions of the living room, but it also introduced tectonic interest by breaking-up the linear and flat “double-wide” look it had when they bought the house.  A deck extension to the south further encourages outdoor dining and other interaction with the spacious yard.

Process sketch - early floor plan

Process sketch – early floor plan 

First Floor Plan

First Floor Plan

Because the siding needed replacement, it provided an opportunity to retrograde the home to be safer during an earthquake, and vastly improve the thermal envelope of the house.  Sheathing insulation between the siding and wall structure introduce a thermal break and increase the R-value of the walls above code minimums.  The added thermal resistance and overall tightness of the new exterior meant the obsolete furnace could be replaced by a different and less energy-consuming heating system.  In-floor radiant heat and a heat recovery ventilator were chosen for their superior energy efficiency, healthier air quality, and reduced operational costs.  Properly-sized and located operable windows and vertical duct stack ventilation passively cool the home in summer, with no air conditioning needed.  These design decisions, all of which are financially-appealing to the clients, will allow the home to receive a certified LEED Gold rating.

West Elevation

Process sketch- early west elevation

West Elevation

West Elevation

Craftsman-style detailing includes a substantial welcoming porch, timber posts and beams, exposed rafter tails, trellises, cedar water tables and opening trim, and leaded-looking windows with coffered ceilings, antique lighting, period door hardware, and built-in furnishings inside.  The cultured stone and textured fiber-cement siding reduce the large facades to a more human scale, as well as portray the aesthetic of the early 1900s while using more durable contemporary materials.

South Elevation

South Elevation

Wall Section

Wall Section showing typical construction

Construction photos:

IMG_5897_cropped IMG_5899_adjcropped

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