Preserving the Environmental Heritage of Heritage Hills in Chapel Hill
Performance (Green) building has come a long way. While a decade ago many may have perceived green building to be a fad, today it’s about more than just reducing a carbon footprint. Financially, it makes good sense with eco-friendly designs that deliver appealing functionality and healthy indoor air quality. For the second year in a row, Jeff Wiblitzhouser with Paradise Found Construction has received the National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB) 2014 NAHB Green Certified Remodel of the Year Award, this time for a home in Orange County.
Located in southern Chapel Hill, the 40+ year old, two-story Gambrel Roof home remodel demonstrates how easy it is to preserve the charm and security of an older neighborhood and the many benefits it offers, making the home healthier for its occupants while reducing its ongoing cost of ownership. This amazing whole hose remodel demonstrates how to preserve the heritage and charm in older neighborhoods with modest investments that create a healthier living environment and yearly savings that compound over time.
“While any home can be built or remodeled with green features, a home that meets the National Green Building Standard’s certification criteria offers financial gains when the cost of ownership is reduced and a home’s value is increased,” says Jeff Wiblitzhouser President of Paradise Found Construction. “Plus, growing market evidence shows new and remodeled homes that are green certified are increasing in value and holding it better than those traditionally built or remodeled.”
The Heritage Hills home was structurally sound but needed improvements in energy usage, water efficiency, and indoor environmental quality. By replacing the original single-pane windows with more energy efficient double-pane ones, right-sizing the HVAC system, adding a dual zone controller, replacing and sealing all duct-work and a variety of other energy-efficient upgrades, the HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating was reduced from 98 to 59. In total, energy was reduced by 40% and projected savings are projected to be $900 yearly.
Water efficiency was also addressed by incorporating EPA Water Sense-rated toilets and plumbing fixtures as well as upgrading appliances like the washing machine, which reduced the overall water usage by over 40%. Furthermore, natural hardwoods with no volatile organic compound (VOC) finishes, formaldehyde-free materials and no-VOC paints were used to improve the indoor air quality. The original wood burning fireplace was replaced with a direct-vent natural gas one and exhaust fans were installed in bathrooms to help create a healthier indoor environment.
In addition, Wiblizthouser helped the owners incorporate the latest design trends that would harmonize with the rest of the home. He increased the usefulness and aesthetics of their screened porch by creating an appealing room that could be enjoyed year round. He also brightened living areas with lighter colors to increase sunlight reflectivity.
The homes in Heritage Hills represent the explosive growth of home ownership that occurred during the economic expansion that followed the end of WWII, and they were designed to foster a sense of community, where families could come together. They were also built with denser wood that offers superior structural support compared to the same homes built using lumber from today’s faster-growing trees. Rather than demolish structurally sound homes to make way for larger ones with larger carbon footprints, a green certified remodel is increasingly attractive.
“We can preserve older neighborhoods with established traffic patterns and charm by changing the inefficiencies,” said Wiblitzhouser. “With a relatively modest investment, a green certified remodeling provides a short investment payback and continued yearly savings over time as energy and water costs outstrip the cost of inflation. Plus, when it comes to resale value, green certified homes sell at the upper end of the range and more quickly.”
Just last year, Wiblitzhouser completed a green certified remodel that enabled a Raleigh home owner to sell the home within three days of completion. Compared to equivalent traditional construction, green certifications offer a significant value and advantage in the marketplace. Paradise Found Construction also won the National Home Builders Association (NAHB) 2013 Project of the Year for Green Certified Remodeling.
About Paradise Found Construction
Since 2009, our mission and passion has been to help our clients throughout the Triangle NC create their personal Paradise in their homes. We work closely with them to understand Their Vision, and leverage our vast experience in residential design to bring it to life in a 3D Color Visual Design before helping them Rediscover the Paradise in Their Home.
WE SPECIALIZE IN:
- HOME ADDITIONS
- AGING IN PLACE
- KITCHEN REMODELING
- BATHROOM REMODELING
- ATTIC AND BASEMENT FINISHING
- SUNROOMS AND SCREENED PORCHES
- HEALTHY HOMES
- PERFORMANCE RENOVATIONS