Shelter Alternatives Inc. wins Green Innovation Award for Montgomery County home
The Virginia Sustainable Building Network announced the winners of their 2012 Green Innovation Awards this week and Shelter Alternatives, the Blacksburg based design-build firm, was among the winners.
Shelter Alternatives was awarded the Single Family Residential Project of the Year Award for a home that they designed and built in Montgomery County.
Project supervisor Keelan Utzinger, who also designed the house, worked closely with the client to achieve a sustainable and creative home. Photos of the project can be accessed at shelteralternatives.com.
The small footprint of the completed house, nestled in the woods of Montgomery County, almost exactly mimics the former house that was on site. In its place is a new, more energy-efficient, functional and appealing home that fits naturally with the environment. Sustainable exterior features of the home include a small two-story contemporary design with regionally sourced hemlock siding, a durable standing seam metal roof, triple pane windows, and extended overhangs with exposed rafter tails that minimize material use and provide design accent. Using the Home Energy Rating System, through the third-party verification process of Earthcraft Virginia, it was determined that the home was built to be 36 percent more energy-efficient than a home built to standard building code requirements.
Inside, exposed beams from North Carolina accentuate the woodland setting, with creative, locally crafted balusters for the stairs, some harvested from the site. Most of the light fixtures (several made in the U.S.) use LEDs, and some utilized locally made pottery. The tile flooring and backsplash came from Tennessee, made by a manufacturer that consumes more waste than it produces. The wood flooring is from Virginia. The baths have a re-finished clawfoot tub, high-efficiency toilets, a Solatube for day lighting, and locally sourced wood for built-in shelving. The kitchen features locally crafted concrete countertops, Forest Stewardship-Certified kitchen cabinets and a custom built fold-out pantry to maximize storage space, as well as Energy Star refrigerator and washing machine. The HVAC system is a 17.5 SEER mini-split heating system, and the home has an Energy Recovery Ventilator for filtered fresh air integration.
The winners gathered with their peers at VSBNs 17th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Meeting on June 28 at the solar-powered DuCard Vineyard in Madison County, Virginia. The meeting highlighted local and global sustainable community initiatives and included speakers from the New River Valley Planning District Commission and the Royal Danish Embassy.
– Submitted by Caroline Bennett
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