LGA Studio's associate Heather Attardo was recently involved in an ecological renovation. In Las Vegas' suburbs, the 50-yr old house was archtypically energy inefficient. Although ranch-style, the hallways and bathrooms more enclosed than the modern user prefers.
The project team was headed by Craig Savage, who contacted AIBD (the American Institute of Building Design) Heather is very involved in the local chapter and participated in a remote design-charette which led to her producing the demo plans and later presenting the finished work. Heather says that the interior goals were "pretty basic; the house was not open." Some minor changes dramatically changed the flow and made the plans compatible with the flexible modern lifestyle.
From the exterior, the walls were gutted and filled with efficient insulation and then re-covered - the insulation value was more than doubled with no room inside the house lost. With a new tankless water heater and solar panels, the house can reach net zero- the same of energy is consumed and provided by the solar panels.
This project has been covered in Green Builder magazine's September/October '09 and November '09 issues (pg 21-22 and 27-28, respectively).