Architects around the world are trying to incorporate green elements into their creations nowadays. In an urge to fabricate eco friendly buildings, many of them have tried to convert old existing buildings into sustainable ones. Reusing these old buildings and fabricating them by employing green techniques to make them as substantiate as possible also leaves a minimal impact on the environment. The green designers of this era are turning the retrofits of old buildings into possibilities of better approaches to reduce the consumption of energy, water and time, while creatively constructing comfortable and efficient building according to the clients’ requirements. This way of construction is ecological as well as economical. Hit the jump to see five creative examples of green architecture using old buildings.
The old age looking residence pictured above is the Blanco residence in Austin, Texas. Jackson & McElhaney Architects has been awarded with various local, state, national and international prices for the coveted design. The building was actually an old barn before being reconstructed. The edifice includes two stories. The first level comprises three wide bedrooms and two spacious bathrooms. There is a big kitchen space and around 3600 square feet of living area on the second story. The dormers fitted in the north and south roofs allow natural light and fresh air inside the house along with letting you see the landscape. The designer has preserved many element of the old barn and has reworked upon few portions all by reusing the old materials and sticking to green techniques. The entire house is ventilated and illuminated naturally, thereby reducing the reliability on power and preserving energy.
Renovation of old building and turning them into brand new modern dwellings does save us time and money. Along with that, it will also help us reducing the carbon footprints and saving energy. Zecc Architects is known for reconstructing old buildings and turning them into comfortable and sustainable edifices. They have converted an old manufacturing plant located in Utrecht, the Netherlands, into a spacious livable dwelling. There is a 250 square meter of living space, which is partitioned into living, working and eating spaces that are covered with colorful mats. There is minimum furniture and decor to preserve the historic features of the original building. The inclined skylights of the loft allow natural light to brighten up the inside space reducing electricity bills.
An old house built in 1967 and located in the outskirts of Hilversum, The Netherlands was converted into a modern bungalow by renowned architect Dick van Gameren. Many sustainability plans were included while remaking the house and giving it a new touch. As it was the fourth time that the house was renovated, the architect specified his project with the name Villa 4.0. Gameren, without pulverizing the old edifice, retrofitted the structure to its best. He also installed energy efficient systems in the house to avoid wastage of energy. The plants and bushes were replanted in the same way as they were before. The fallen trees were used as firewood for the kitchen stove. Instead of wooden floors, bamboo floors were used in the bedrooms. The old structure was taken as the base and modern insulation was implied in the windows and walls. The natural daylight entered inside the house from all directions through a glass pavilion.
Kelly & Matt’s house in Ann Arbor, Michigan is a beautifully renovated 110 year old house that was once deprived of electricity. But now, the house is refurbished and retrofitted magnificently, making it America’s oldest net zero energy house. The roof of the house is covered with solar panels producing efficient green energy. Insulated glass is used for the windows and at the same time the walls are given an improved insulation. A low pressure plumbing that reduces the dependency upon water is employed in the house. Overall repair and renovation cost of the house was $47,130. Since photovoltaic panels were utilized, 12,500 kWh of green power was generated annually out of which 10,000 kWh was used in house and the rest went to the grid.
Architect Anne Fougeron was asked to renovate an 8500 square feet of an old warehouse, which was bought by Jason Shelton and Amy Shimer. The old warehouse is located in San Francisco’s SoMA District and has been beautifully converted into a contemporary and sustainable dwelling. The floors have radiant concrete floor heating and there is an exuberant supply of natural light and air in the house. The kitchen cabinets are finished by using low VOC and the entire house uses highly efficient dimmable lighting system. The efficient reuse was noticed and was rewarded with an Honor Award from the AIA.