Going Green

I recently ran across and am amazed by Showcase for a Green Eichler Remodel. This blog outlines a family's vision, plan, and actions taken to remodel their entire Eichler Home in Monte Sereno using the latest green building innovations and techniques.

Owners Bryan and Jo-Anne Mekechuk purchased their 1969 Claude Oakland designed Eichler home from the original owners' estate in 1997 and have been living in it since. On re-evaluating their living space needs as their family has grown, they decided to remodel the main floor and build a second lower level underground!

Per their website:

"Unfortunately, Eichler houses consume an immense amount of resources (i.e., energy and water). Importantly, we want to have an environmentally friendly house that will have a minimal adverse impact on our environment.

Our design objectives for the project are to:

(1) increase comfort levels (e.g., cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter, and quieter throughout);

(2) simplify cleaning and maintenance requirements; and

(3) lower ongoing operating costs.

.... Our building objectives include:

(1) using innovative building materials (e.g., hollow core concrete panels);

(2) using innovative building practices; (e.g., building as much of the structure off-site and only assembling the components on-site; and

(3) managing the costs of construction.

Hats off to the Mekechuks -- they are a real inspiration!

Here are some resources that I have personally used locally for greening-up our 1961 MCM ranch:

Castle Window Covers - magnetized window covers that go on the inside of your existing windows and provide extra insulation for a fraction of the cost for replacement.

Our ranch has single pane aluminum and jalousie (Florida slat style) windows. You can imagine how poor they were at keeping out the weather, bugs and noise as a result. One of the first things we did at the house was to cover most of our windows with magnetized plastic covers from Castle Window Covers.

Green Fiber Insulation - During our recent master suite remodel, we had an opportunity to insulate some walls decided to further insulate our attic with an environmentally friendly mulch. It also is fire retardant and dampens noise really well. Green Fiber claims their product:

* Delivers high-efficiency thermal insulation and effective R-value.
* Offers permanent and proven fire resistance for the life of the structure.
* Reduces nuisance noise when used in walls.
* Offers a more comfortable living space.
* Is made from 85% recycled paper fiber.
* Supports energy conservation programs focused on environmental responsibility.

Click on the picture above to see more pictures of how it was installed in our remodel.

The Eichler Network also has a list of preferred service companies that you may contact with further questions on how to make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient.

Feel free to add any other products or services you have personally used to "go green" at your home in the comments section below.


SacEichler said...

I love those Castle window covers! I wish the previous owner of my house had left the windows alone instead of improperly jamming in white vinyl windows of the wrong size. It would have been cheaper too!

Gretchen said...

They work surprisingly well and even though we considered them a temporary solution, they might be on our windows a long, long time. Good windows are expensive!

Bryan said...

Hi Gretchen, great to see that you like our project and our blog!

We put a link to your blog on our Resource page (hope that is ok with you).


If you are in the South Bay at some point, we'd love to host your visit to see our project as it is underway.

Best, Bryan

Gretchen said...

Well thank you Bryan -- your project is truly a remarkable undertaking. Thanks for stopping by and for adding my little blog to your resources page :)