Kaid Benfield Archive


Old is the new green: renovating for sustainability

Kaid Benfield

Posted June 15, 2010 at 1:40PM

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In Ann Arbor, Michigan, Matt Grocoff and his family are restoring a 110 year old ‘Folk-Victorian’ home to make it green and energy-neutral.  This isn’t necessarily unique (and we don’t want it to be), but it is unusual because we have it captured on video

In particular, the interesting web site OldHouseWeb.com has partnered with Grocoff and Greenovation.TV to highlight innovative and practical green design and preservation techniques, ranging from the easy (e.g., switching to florescent light bulbs) to the more sophisticated (solar panels on the roof).   Interesting stuff.

  location of the green renovation in Ann Arbor (via Google Earth) 

One thing the site and video don’t emphasize, but should, is that the house has the right location for sustainability.  Located just west of Ann Arbor’s downtown, it is well within the region’s development footprint and likely to score well on destination accessibility measures, meaning that residents of the neighborhood are likely to drive fewer miles, on average, than those who live elsewhere.  The house is within a short walk of two major bus lines and has a respectable Walk Score of 65 – perhaps not ideal, but very good for a residential location.  Less than a half mile away, according to Walk Score, are a grocery, a book store, a coffee shop, a couple of parks, and a karaoke bar.  What more do you need?

Enjoy the video below and, to learn more, visit OldHouseWeb.com or watch Grocoff’s more specialized videos, "Going Green Without Replacement Windows" and "Clean and Green Bathroom Remodel.


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