The renovation of this 1914 Arts & Crafts style home in the Farlow Hill Historic District of Newton began with the goals of preserving the wonderful architectural character of the house, completing the renovations in a sustainable manner, and ensuring that any modifications would support the home well into the next 100 years.
As it was, the home was poorly insulated, but in fair condition with dated finishes, uninspiring landscape, and an undersized garage. Plans for the renovation included adjusting the landscape for better drainage and recreation, enlarging the garage with a living green roof, re-cladding the exterior and replacing mechanical systems. A new addition was added, connecting the home to the new underground garage and adding a mudroom, expanded kitchen with breakfast area, and expanded master suite on the second floor. Interior finishes and details were preserved whenever possible or replaced with appropriate materials. The resulting project brings more daylight into the interior, improves flow between rooms, and celebrates the home’s traditional roots.
This project was designed to LEED for Homes standards and received a Gold certification in 2012. The project incorporated cutting edge technology into the historically-sensitive renovation, as long as it was discreet enough to fade into the background of a space. Sustainable design features include water-sensitive landscaping, high performance insulation system, highly efficient HVAC systems that were tested thoroughly, a rainwater collection system for irrigation, FSC Certified framing materials, low-VOC paints & adhesives, careful management of construction waste to reduce the amount of debris, and high efficiency water fixtures.
A home is more than just shelter: homes are the most important buildings in our lives. We think that every building should be a green building – but especially homes. Why? LEED homes are built to be healthy, providing clean indoor air and incorporating safe building materials to ensure a comfortable home. Using less energy and water means lower utility bills each month. Some of the most important buildings in the world use LEED. Shouldn’t the most important building in everyone’s world use LEED, too?
Meet the design team who brought the Shornecliffe project to life:
Steve brings a variety of experiences to his role as founder of Green Phoenix Development. Wondering why so many older home renovations failed to take advantage of advances in building science to produce durable, healthy, and efficient homes, Steve decided to apply his diverse background in engineering, finance, and building science to this question. After earning two degrees from MIT, and eight years’ service as a naval officer, Steve earned an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and completed a 20-year career as an analyst and portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments. After retiring from Fidelity, Steve returned to school, completing a graduate program in Sustainable Residential Design at the Boston Architectural College, and earning his LEED AP accreditation with a specialty in homes.
Treff LaFleche, AIA, LEED AP, founded LDa Architecture & Interiors in 1992, with partner Douglas Dick, AIA, LEED BD+C. Interested in what it means to “dwell meaningfully” regardless of one’s station in life, he has spent his career focusing on providing client focused and context sensitive design, and has embraced residential projects from single room renovations to large, estate-scaled residences and affordable housing. He has achieved local and national recognition for his expertise in merging the historic and contemporary aspects of New England architecture and has designed complex, iconic projects for cultural and academic clients. Socially conscious design and environmental sustainability has been another area of focus for Treff, as both a practicing professional and a homeowner, having designed his own LEED certified gut renovation in Newton – one of the first in the area. Active in his community, Treff is a member of the Board of Historic Newton, Chair of the Historic Newton Capital Campaign Steering Committee, and a member of the City of Newton Board of Zoning Appeals.