For more information on this project visit
For more information on this project visit
The purpose of this project was to update a 1913 Federal meets Prairie style home in Minnesota. The home suffered from poor flow and a lack of bedrooms and bathrooms. The kitchen had been remodeled in the 80’s to an all-white melamine which didn’t match anything in the house and was cramped and confining.
The homeowner wanted to be respectful of the original architecture and period of the home while adding some personal elements to the home. Design that accommodated both family living and gatherings of friends was a requirement.
An addition was placed on the back of the home on both floors to resolve the home’s many flow issues. It houses the new library, kitchen, bedroom, and yoga-room. It is now possible to circumambulate the home on both floors which greatly enhances the rhythm of the space both on the interior and the exterior.
A new metal roof, sand-float finish traditional stucco, rain-barrels, and extensive landscaping make the exterior of this home as classy as the interior. The lines of the addition greatly enhance the architecture of the home and the lines of the patio create natural flow around the home.
The home is now heated with a geothermal system, captures 40% of the stormwater from the roof for use in irrigation, and achieves a 95+% stormwater retention on site. Plantings are all drought tolerant or native, and the grass is a no-mow blend that needs little to no irrigation or mowing. All of the finishes were low or no VOC. Furnishings and fabrics are made from 100% organic or 100% recycled materials and are low VOC. Furniture is made using FSC certified wood, and many materials including doors, countertops, flooring, millwork and the entire patio were made from salvaged materials.
From the Homeowner:
“Changes to the plans were made relatively late in the process, but [the remodeler] and his team did a fantastic job rolling with the changes.”
“Finally, I want to say that I cannot think of one [of the remodeler’s] employee or one contractor that worked on my house that didn’t do a great job and wasn’t pleasant. And I was there a lot. Good character and trust are extremely important to me, and I trusted and liked everyone that I came in contact with. Frankly, that was a very nice surprise.”
By Michael Anschel, Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build
For more information on this project visit www.otogawa-anschel.com.
Our goal was to turn our newly acquired and somewhat run down bungalow into a beautiful and comfortable home that was as energy efficient and eco-friendly as possible. We wanted to do this in a way that created modern conveniences and utilized modern technologies, while preserving the craftsman aesthetic of our 1918 home. Our project is a certified Silver, Type III project, which included adding two dormers to create a master suite on the second floor, remodeling the kitchen, and generally sprucing it up. The key energy efficiency features of our home include: closed cell foam insulation in all available applications, redesign of the HVAC system, high efficiency furnace, tankless hot water, energy efficient lighting and appliances, and high performance windows and doors for all new applications. We insulated the sash pockets and reglazed the existing windows to improve the efficiency of the existing windows. Many of the materials used were salvaged and environmentally-friendly, including flooring remilled from an old barn, a kitchen countertop made of 100% paper, and salvaged or FSC-certified lumber and millwork. Throughout the project, we made every effort to reuse materials and minimize waste. The home’s proximity to a light rail station and urban amenities cuts car trips, which further reduces our carbon footprint.
By Carolyn Brouillard, Homeowner
For more information on this project visit www.metropolismn.com.
This 1960 rambler nestled along West River Parkway in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis, possessed owners who were dedicated to both the concept and the spirit of sustainable and healthy construction. The impetus for their project was to provide better living space for themselves and their two daughters by adding a second floor. The new level houses two bedrooms, a common bathroom and a laundry room.
When Buck Brothers Construction broached the idea of attaining GreenStar certification, the home owners enthusiastically signed on. From beginning planning through the construction phases a collaborative process was put into play to ensure that all the participants (designers, contractors, suppliers and homeowners) “owned” the goal of creating a highly livable, energy efficient addition.
During demolition the roof framing was salvaged and re-sawn to create the railings for the new staircase. A dozen re-claimed doors were installed in doorways by the carpenters and as a unique closet partitioning system by the homeowner. Trees harvested from the neighborhood were transformed into beautiful flooring and cabinetry by a local company, Wood From the Hood. A new high-efficiency furnace and air-to-air exchanger, coupled with super tight construction standards put a lid on energy costs while raising indoor air quality. Water conservation was achieved by installing low-flow toilets, water restrictors on faucets – and rain barrels to feed the xeriscape garden. Even the dumpster service played a part, by recycling over 66% of the construction debris.
The best testament to the success of the project, and the enduring quality of the relationships, is that the clients have contracted for another remodeling project with the same quest for “green” practices and certification!
By Bob Buck, Buck Brothers Construction Inc.
For more information on this project visit www.buck-bros.com.
The arts and crafts-style home, in the Lynhurst neighborhood of Minneapolis, features a renovated kitchen, powder room, and sitting area. An eco-friendly design respects the home’s historical character while integrating the modern elements of today’s kitchen amenities. This efficient use of space features craftsman details in the cabinetry and millwork. Recycled glass, cork flooring, and low VOC paints join a variety of other ‘green’ materials honoring our clients sensitivity to the environment.
There were some interesting challenges in designing the project. We had to conceal plumbing lines coming down from the upstairs bathroom as well as hide the support beam that divided the pantry space from the kitchen. The solution was to create an arch that housed both problems. Viola! The powder bathroom on the main level was a wish list item and we creatively built under the stair. A Perfect fit! Another wish list item was to open up the stair well to the living room. The clients commented that everyone who visits is amazed at how original to the home it looks. Like it was always there!
By Sue & Pete Jacobson, Lake Country Builders
For more information on this project visit www.lakecountrybuilders.com.
This project is in the home of two adults and three children. The owners wanted an open gathering space with informal dining, a mudroom/entry area, a remodeled powder room, and provisions for a future laundry facility. Because they cared so much about the environment and the health of their family, they specifically wanted it to be “green” for energy-efficiency, earth-friendly, and health-conscious reasons.
Other sustainable design elements included in this project are the use of dimmer switches and timers on electric lights, the avoidance of recessed lights, the installation of a HEPA filter and the use of a refrigerator with a bottom-mount freezer. Low or no-VOC paint and wood finishes were also used.
By Katie Jaydan, Castle Building & Remodeling
For more information on this project visit www.castlebri.com.
This family was growing. They had a small turn of the century home in the Macalister Groveland neighborhood of St. Paul. They enjoyed their neighbors, were walking distance from their church and local shops. They didn’t want to move, but could no longer squeeze into their 2 bedroom 1 bath house – especially with a 2nd baby on the way.
Initial design discussions were focused on listening to the client and understanding their needs and desires. After many design iterations, we landed on a perfect fit. We proposed enlarging their home while optimizing space to accommodate their growing family which allowed them to stay in the neighborhood they loved. Nearing the close of design, Rinnovare learned about the MN GreenStar pilot program just being released. After talking with the client, they supported green, wanted to learn more, but could not afford to pay a premium to the total project for any green upgrades.
Rinnovare accepted the challenge and modified the design, specs and methods to build green and to meet the existing budget. To Rinnovare’s credit, many of its standard building practices had green attributes – spray foam insulation, protecting the site during excavation, hydronic radiant heat and others. But thanks to MN GreenStar, many more practices were learned and shared with not only the client, but it’s partnership of subcontractors. Things like caulking top plates before drywall, creating a waste management plan, using low VOC paint, low flow faucets, reclaimed doors, countertop remnants and pre-finished North American hardwood flooring, extensive use of informal passive cooling and thorough project documentation became new standards of performance.
The end result was a Bronze certified addition, that exceeded the clients expectations, met the original budget and provided a healthy and energy efficient home for years to come.
By Mike Williams, Rinnovare Inc.
For more information on this project visit www.rinnovareinc.com.
For more information on this project visit www.building-arts.net.
The new plan opens itself to the beautiful 2 acre lot, focusing attention to the outdoor spaces and pool. A gorgeous new kitchen and great room feature exceptional cabinetry design details. Stroll through the piano room, complete with wine chillers, to the spa-like master retreat, with its nearby gym added over the existing garage.
For more info about this project visit our website at www.lakecountrybuilders.com.
FROM THE HOMEOWNERS:
Our 1978 house had a unique feature which we hadn’t seen in other homes built in the same era: a vaulted ceiling which leads up to the living room framed by soaring arches. There was one Achilles heel, however. The connected kitchen was very small and even worse, was enclosed on 3 sides by walls, further limiting the usable space. It also had only an arm’s length worth of counter space, which could only lead to marital strife during team-cooking sessions!
We enlisted the help of Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build, who were able to design a spectacular space within the existing footprint while somehow transforming the entire house! We now have wonderful storage, counter space, clever built-ins and custom- designed Cambria countertops and bar. When you step past the front door, your eye follows the striking angles of the tile floor through the kitchen and the natural elm floors, up the stairs to the modern black iron railings, which complete the flow of the house. The best part is how much strife was avoided by our investment!
FROM THE REMODELER:
When homeowners Eric and Christina purchased their split level home in Mounds View, they loved the neighborhood and the additional square footage. However, the kitchen was an eyesore. Upon entering the home, one was confronted with a small, dark enclosed kitchen cut off from the rest of the house. Whenever the family wanted to entertain, the cook would be isolated from the guests and excitement. The awkward situation prompted them to call Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build for an eco-friendly design solution that better fit the family’s lifestyle.
The homeowners wanted a contemporary kitchen that possessed optimal storage solutions, supported the entertaining of guests and allowed for an abundance of natural light. They desired all of this without adding to the original footprint of the home. It was also important that this project have energy efficient appliances and use sustainable materials.
Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build dramatically improved the function and flow of the entire first floor by removing the interior walls of the kitchen, brightening the area during the day and creating multiple opportunities for hosting in the evening. Now the kitchen is open to the dining room and even to the living room beyond. Bar seating allows the chef and guests to interact. A narrow free standing wall placed between the entryway and the kitchen creates an entry space on one side and a well situated storage center on the other while both areas feel open and spacious.
Proving that green design can be cool and stylish as well as functional, the project boasts eco-resin panels set within the cabinets add a clean vertical counterpoint to the horizontal rift-cut wood and sleek minimalist hardware pulls. The white Cambria split counter block diverges from the straight line of the cabinet wall and adds personality and flare to the home.
Our firm’s Green solution includes cabinets which are custom-made locally with FSC-certified no-formaldehyde-added white oak. The floor is locally reclaimed elm (from trees felled by Dutch Elm Disease). We used recycled-content tile and locally produced Cambria countertops. All paints and stains used were low VOC. The appliances are all Energy Star rated.
For more information on this project visit www.otogawa-anschel.com.
PO Box 68164
Grand Rapids MI 49516
Tel: (616) 458-6733
Toll Free: (888) 533-3274