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A Green Renovation on Newton Street


I love having the opportunity to see the insides of homes that I walk by all the time. I was fortunate enough to be invited over to this home on Newton Street to see some of the Green features. The owner, Jimmy Edgerton, and the housemates were beyond kind in giving me a tour of the entire home yesterday. Following is an explanation of the renovation by Jimmy.

The home features 6 Bedrooms & 4.5 Baths on 3 floors – central heating and A/C (2 zone) – solar photovoltaic panels that generate electricity – solar hot water heating system – partly vegetated roof – recycled materials installed & waste diverted from landfill.

The house originally was roughly 1200 SF liveable (1st and 2nd floor) with a 600 SF crawl space basement. After renovation by a previous owner who went bankrupt, the house had a 20ft rear extension, added a third story, and dug out the basement to make it liveable. Now the house is 4000 total square feet and is the “greenest house on the green line”!

Eco-efficient features include: solar photovoltaic and solar thermal panels on the roof, no or low VOC paint on the interior and exterior, bamboo flooring on the first floor, carpet made from 100% post consumer recycled material on the second and third floors, incredibly high percentage of re-used and diverted from landfill building materials and fixtures, energy efficient central heating and air with two zone flexibility, optimization of natural light, and inviting social spaces throughout the interior. Green features coming in 2010: partial green roof, front and rear landscaping to reduce stormwater run-off, rooftop rainwater harvesting, and an exterior “living” wall from bamboo.

Jimmy stands by some of the Green features. You can learn more about Jimmy here.

The solar photovoltaic panels that produce electricity and reduce the house’s energy bills by 40-60%. The panels are on an open loop system so a certain times the house acts like a power plant and supplies energy to the grid! For example, on a summer day when the air conditioner is off the house will producing more electricity then it is using so the power flows into the grid! At this time I have not sold the RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) to Pepco because then I am effectively allowing Pepco to pollute and the house losses its ability to say it is a carbon off-setting facility.

The solar thermal panels that pre-heat the houses hot water. There is a back-up electric water heater that kicks in if the solar panels are not keeping the water hot enough. If showers are not taken all at once then basically all the house’s hot water comes from the Solar panels (80-90%).

Before photo:

Newton St - Jimmy's First View - 1.4.09

See lots of photos of the interior after the jump.










1 - Solar Photovoltaic Panels

2 - Solar Thermal Panels

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