Remodeled ranch goes eco-friendly with green home upgrades
Contributed by Jonathan Wierengo, director of marketing for The Tapco Group
Eco-entrepreneur Paul Shahriari wanted to incorporate the latest green building techniques to upgrade his yellow ranch house, clad in stucco and in need of a new roof and windows. It would eventually come to be known as the Lemonade House in Cape Coral, Fla., after the color of the vinyl cedar-shake siding.
Shahriari, USGBC LEED faculty member from 2003-2008 and GreenBuild Conference steering committee co-chair from 2004 to 2009, wanted a green home for his family and also wanted to showcase the affordability, value and benefits of a “greenovation.”
After the extensive green remodeling, the house has been reborn as the Florida High Performance Green House, a demonstration home for Shahriari, a sustainability consultant and founder of three companies.
During the project, the 1,823 square-foot home became an affordable, efficient 3,032 square-foottwo-story with an additional bedroom, two more baths and an office.
The solutions in the house are attainable and essentially low-tech. Shahriari balanced cost and pay back on every item before adding it to his plan.
One example is the wall systems.
“For the existing exterior walls, we chose The Foundry’s vinyl cedar shake siding because we would never have to spend any money on paint, but it would still make the exterior really nice with a modern, beach-style look,” Shahriari said.
To get the insulation on the old wall systems up to the same performance level on both new ends of the house where insulated concrete form walls are used, Fullback Foam panels from The Foundry were utilized. Underneath the foam panels, furring strips also created an insulating air gap.
Aesthetically, the siding’s lemonade color and cedar texture contribute to the home’s bright Key West feel. To contrast with that yellow, cellular PVC IQm Trim was used in crisp polar white. Like the siding, IQm Trim is a limited-lifetime warranty product manufactured by The Tapco Group that comes in various colors and never needs painting. The exterior is topped with an attractive Energy Star-rated silver metal roof.
The home’s zesty curb appeal is also a vibrant backdrop for a family food source - various citrus and tropical fruit trees. The sustainable landscape in turn is quenched by several cisterns that provide potable and non-potable water.
Interior and exterior solutions also included spray-foam attic insulation, vinyl impact windows, LED lighting, solar water heating, low-VOC adhesives, efficient appliances and plumbing fixtures, and2x6 framing with spray foam for the office addition.
The trim and siding systems will cut maintenance time and repair significantly. Neither will need to painted, and the weather stripping controls moisture in the walls to reduce maintenance headaches in the humid climate.
“A house is greener if you spend less money and time taking care of it. If you can build something in a way that all you have to do is hose it down once a year, that’s green,” said Shahriari.
Shahriari estimated renovations cost about $350,000, but he believes the energy and maintenance savings will recoup the expenses over the life of the home. His utility bills are about $400 less per month than they were before the renovation.
(Photos courtesy of The Tapco Group)