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But a far more radical and green-inspired change was in the offing. In a traditional split-level ranch, the geography of the home is cut in two by a staircase that eff ectively divides the living space of the house from the sleeping space.


Scardina’s idea was to move the staircase to the southern side of the structure, creating a large central space that would then serve as a blank canvas and give him the flexibility to transform a three-bed-room, two-bath home into a five-bedroom, three-bath new-century sustainable dwelling within the existing footprint.


“It was a remarkable transformation,” Scardina said. “There were no more hallways, and it allowed us to open the kitchen into the dining room, and then we took the insulation up into the roof pitch, so we had this giant thermal envelop, including the attic, thereby optimizing the energy efficienccy of the whole thing.”


Once the envelope was right, the Paolo Design Group turned its attention to the window pattern of the house. The basic building had a long southern exposure, so Scardina enlarged the windows along the south wall installing energy-efficienct systems as he went to create a passive solar heating system for the house.


 


In the upgraded home, energy-efficient fiberglass windows replace outdated 1950s window technology. Conventional turf makes way for water-efficient landscaping. Locally furnished natural wood accents at the new entrance hint at the owner’s sustainable consciousness.


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01.2011

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