This 1950s ranch home in Princeton, New Jersey was marketed as a "tear-down", but the owner ignored that recommendation and decided to renovate it instead. They hired Dowling Studios to expand the home, provide more useful space for the family, make use of the sun and add modern touches. Along the way, the renovation turned into an exercise in recycling and sustainability. Called OneHouse, the place doesn't have a LEED certification, but it does meet most of the standards in the areas of indoor air quality, water management, material use, low energy use, site selection and site planning.
Rather than tear down the home, the owners wanted to renovate it and avoid sending the materials to the landfill. Located in a desirable location of New Jersey within walking distance of the town and many amenities, the home and site had plenty of desirable qualities. The key design goals were to supplement the existing footprint, maximize daylighting, provide an effective windbreak, lend more privacy on an exposed corner lot, minimize impervious coverage, and provide a family entrance for daily use. Originally on one level, the 2,058 sf home was expanded to include a central three-story tower with master suite and a top floor office.
The site was improved through the use of permeable paving, minimal use of turf, drought tolerant plantings, drip irrigation where needed, a salt chlorinated pool and a green roof balcony off the back. Inside, the home features strategies to improve indoor air quality, energy efficient appliances and HVAC equipment, and low flow fixtures. The end result is a modern, eco-friendly house, that made use of much of the original home, but significantly improved its energy efficiency and quality for the family.
Images ©Dowling Studios