House for a Magnolia Tree
This major residential remodel earned Batt + Lear a Built Green Hammer Award.
The house was disconnected from the large south back yard, and the rooms along the south consisted of a couple of small bedrooms and a dark mudroom entry. We reconfigured the main floor plan to open and connect the main living areas to the back yard. This afforded us the opportunity to open up to the south, size our overhangs for summer shading and bring the glorious beauty of an old magnolia tree right into the Kitchen.
Rainwater that hit the roof drained to the yard; basement walls were wet and sometimes leaky; and the expansive lawn at the back was gradually sloped and unadorned. Solution: an inexpensive rainwater catchment system combined with a rain swale to convey the water through the yard and a rain garden at the back edge of the yard. This was our first rainwater catchment & infiltration system. With the help of Mike Broili, we figured out how to make inexpensive liquid food ship containers fit under the back deck, and we piped the overflow to a meandering swale with a gradually sloped bottom which conveys the water to a pond-liner “bog garden.” When the bog garden overflows, the rainwater flows through another meandering swale to a large rain garden at the low edge of the yard.
Sustainable features include:
House retrofitted to incorporate passive solar principles along south half of house
Above-ground water catchment system and rain infiltration gardens
Reclaimed Doug fir cabinets with FSC core
Sustainably-harvested big leaf maple cabinets
Resin-paper countertops by local Richlite
FSC-certified framing lumber & sheathing
High insulation value
Extensive air sealing & right-sized high-efficiency furnace
Salvaged insulated exterior doors
Salvaged plumbing fixtures
Salvaged light fixtures
Energy efficient appliances and lighting fixtures