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Photographs by Corey Gaffer
The home’s clean-lined but classic form includes a garage with three side-facing doors. Standing-seam metal roofing and fiber-cement siding were chosen for their environmental attributes as well as how they suit our local vernacular, the architect says.
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The home—and its solar panels and largest windows—face south, taking advantage of solar energy and passive heating in the winter. The 61 solar panels should produce about 22,000 kilowatt hoursof electricity-—just over half of which is needed to power the entire home for a year.
Energy-efficient heat pump technology helps the home reach its net-zero goals. This includes a geothermal system that provides 100 percent of space heating, cooling, and hot water. The innovative water-condensing dryer also uses heat pump technology. Behind the scenes: Smart ducting, equipment, and controls ensure healthy fresh-air exchange and circulation, retaining about two-thirds of all heat energy in the process.
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Cabinets in the living room and throughout the house are built with an EcoWood veneer that looks like quarter-sawn cherry but is made using a more sustainable process. Some doors are painted purple, then topped with a sustainable, lace-like Lori Weitzner wall covering. The LED fixture in the adjacent dining area features a slim profile but produces big light. LED lighting has come a long way, designer Lisa Peck says, but if you want the warm glow of incandescence, get as close to that color temperature (measured in Kelvin) as possible.The closer to 2,700 degrees Kelvin, the better.
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The built-in nightstands and headboard (made mostly of EcoWood) take up less space than freestanding furniture. The decorative pillows are made of fabric from Peck’s line, Sylvie and Mira.
Mark and Kate Hanson’s 2,400-square-foot home uses less energy than most homes half its size. The couple’s two electric cars account for almost 50 percent of the energy budget for their home, architect Marc Sloot says—and that’s just part of the story. Nearly every design feature and product is environmentally friendly, and additional costs will more than pay for themselves in the relative near future.
Energy-efficiency and sustainable Andersen windows, Cambria countertops, and Kohler plumbing fixtures are all made close to home. Porcelain tile in the living and dining rooms is made by Crossville Inc. in Tennessee. The drywall, a special formulation from CertainTeed called AirRenew, actually absorbs formaldehyde out of the air. And low-off-gassing paints and stains mean harmful chemicals don’t enter the air.
The living room sectional, dining room table and chairs, and all other furnishings are made in the U.S. using sustainable materials and processes, too. The dining chairs, for instance, are upholstered with fabric made of recycled soda bottles. Outside, landscaping incorporates four rain gardens, which allow water to be absorbed into the ground rather than drain into storm sewers. Plants, including a small amount of turf grass, are drought-tolerant.
Reducing the Footprint
“The greenest material is the one that didn’t get used,” architect Marc Sloot says. Among the many examples: No extra finish material was needed for the lower level’s concrete slab; rather, the concrete was polished as the finished surface.
Collaboration and communication are key, builder Kerry Hage says. “We had to make sure every subcontractor and every person sourcing materials was aware of all of our details and that there were certain materials and chemicals we couldn’t use.”
Furnishings were chosen for their recycled content or because of a green manufacturing process. Even items such as flat-woven wool rugs are green, designer Lisa Peck says. “The most traditional handmade things are often the most sustainable.”
Architects: Marc Sloot, AIA, Greenstar Professional, Associate, SALA Architects, 326 Hennepin Ave. E., Ste. 200, Mpls., 612-379-3037, salaarc.com // Interior Designers: Lisa Peck, ASID, and Christina Rymer, Allied ASID, LiLu Interiors, International Market Square, Mpls., 612-354-3271, liluinteriors.com // Builder: Kerry Hage, Hage Homes, 10218 Hage Dr., Rogers, 763-498-7611, hagehomes.com // Landscape Designer: Matt Burton, Southview Design, 2383 Pilot Knob Rd., St. Paul, 651-203-3000, southviewdesign.com