Utah 2013 Green Homes Tour

Tour homes built and remodeled in the Salt Lake Valley that were designed with the environment and efficiency in mind. The Utah Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council is hosting the Utah 2013 Green Homes Tour on Saturday, August 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free, but you must pre-register to attend and receive a map to the participating homes. On the tour, see wonderful green design examples from Curina Vanina, Garbett Homes, Brach Design Architecture and Lloyd Architects. Email utahusgbcchapter@gmail.com or Amy Mills at amy.mills@okland.com for more information or to register for the event.


The home of the director of sustainability is featured in the Green Homes Tour. Photos courtesy of Lloyd Architects.

One of the homes on the tour will be a newly-renovated structure in the 9th and 9th neighborhood that belongs to Office of Sustainability Director Myron Willson and his partner Beverly Hanson. The home’s renovation earned it an Emerald rating from the National Association of Homebuilders’ National Green Building Standard certification program. Emerald is the highest rating possible.


Before the renovation.

Here’s a preview of what you’ll see at the house on the tour:

Before: The home was an unexceptional example of mid-century modern architecture, with simple lines and designed to support the automobile culture. Visitors and neighbors could not find the front door.

Enhanced front entrance.

Enhanced front entrance.

New front entry: One of the covered parking spaces was removed to create a welcoming entry and front porch to blend into the walkable neighborhood. In addition, the entry carport was enhanced with inexpensive skylights and drought-tolerant landscaping.

Improved insulation: Additional insulation was added to the interior to prevent drafts (R30+). Although the new wall insulation took away a bit of interior space, the existing home was built without either wall or roof insulation. Ten-inch thick structural insulated panels (SIPs) were added to the roof to provide a value of R50.

Finished living room with energy-efficient lighting.

Finished living room with energy-efficient lighting.

Efficient lighting: The main living space was enhanced with inexpensive LED lighting, new FSC-certified wood floors, and no-VOC paints and adhesives. Most existing materials like the rock wall on the right were maintained.

Renovated kitchen with eco-friendly materials and natural and LED lighting.

Renovated kitchen with eco-friendly materials and natural and LED lighting.

New kitchen: FSC-certified woods and formaldehyde-free cabinets, recycled-content counter tops, no VOC finishes, LED lighting, daylight, EnergyStar appliances, and electric-induction cooktop help make this kitchen green. It’s a wonderful place to cook homemade meals from the farmers market and our garden.

Solar purchased through community bulk purchase.

Solar purchased through community bulk purchase.

Solar system: Finally, we were pleased to be part of the Salt Lake Community Solar program. We installed a 3.6 kW system on the roof. Not only do we plan to be “net-neutral” for electrical use over an average year, we also hope to have enough power to fuel a new Electric Vehicle (EV) in the future.

The newly-remodeled home has a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score of 52, which is 48% better than a standard, code-compliant new home and more than 80% better than the home prior to renovation. The higher the Index Score, the less efficient the home. An average new home has a rating of 100 on the HERS Index. In addition, average total water use (exterior and interior) has been reduced by more than 60%.

Architect: Lloyd Architects
Contractor: Benchmark Modern, Inc.

3 responses to “Utah 2013 Green Homes Tour

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