Historic House Deep Green Remodel 

716 17th Avenue E, Seattle, WA

OPEN 11am - 3pm

Velocipede Architects | Sunshine Construction

Green Features

Site Description

NOTE: This site will be open from 11am to 3pm.

This beautiful Capitol Hill home was built in 1904 by partners of the Pantages Theaters. Oak floors with marquetry borders, ornate plaster ceilings, beveled glass windows, molded trim, and carved figureheads create an elegant home. Unfortunately a multiyear leak had ruined a corner of the dining room, so specialists were found to match the original decorative plaster and basket weave inlaid flooring. Workers painstakingly set 10,000 finish nails into the flooring.

The owners requested a deep energy retrofit.” We undertook a thorough sealing of the old walls and attic, insulated the basement with polyiso, and blew piles of cellulose in the attic. Windows on the second floor and basement were replaced with triple glazed units, while the elegant first floor windows were refurbished and fitted with interior storms. Barred from removing the interior plaster or exterior stucco, we insulated the first floor walls from above. Analysis of dollars per BTU saved guided our decision to not remove the stucco to outsulate with mineral wool. In the end, we cut heat losses by 84% from an EUI of 121 to just 19.

“We expected lead paint, but we'd never seen asbestos in plaster before.” The hazmat crew did all necessary plaster demo. Trim and doors were carefully removed, labeled, and stored for reinstallation. RRP and construction IAQ procedures were vigorously followed. When the new HRV and flexible ventilation tubing arrived on site, we set up a clean room where all HVAC materials were stored and cut prior to installation to assure pristine air quality.

“The owners hoped for 4 more inches of head room in the basement.” We demolished the old slab, excavated without undermining the shallow footings, installed new gravel, insulation, vapor retarder and concrete slab. The northeast basement corner was thermally isolated to become a root cellar which will store food produced by the entire yard'’s conversion to Permaculture.

“We didn't want to draw our fresh air from down near the ground.” The old laundry chute, our only existing vertical chase, had been promised three times over for plumbing, wiring, and ducts. So we routed the new fresh air duct from the basement HRV up through the old furnace chimney to the sky, a symbol of clean green replacing dirty fossil fuel.



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