See inside ecoREMOD


Ever noticed the ecoREMOD house? Even if you said no, I bet you’ve seen it. It sits at the corner of Ridge and Cherry and looks like this:

Today, I got a tour. It’s owned by the city and just got a major renovation which turned it from the kind of house where police make seven arrests in one year (2006, to be exact) to a model of energy-efficient renovation. Now, it’s hosting the offices of LEAP and is meant to be a community space for workshops and learning about how to make houses greener.

LEAP’s planning on having open office hours on Fridays, 1-4pm, during which you can stop by and check out the very nice renovation job accomplished by designers in UVA’s ecoMOD program and general contractor Alloy Workshop. Look for…

A stylish new kitchen. Through the doorway you can see the front room where there are posters explaining the project, plus a computer that will be available for people to conduct home energy profiles. Then there’s…

The library and reading room, with lots of info and a big truth window (in the corner) showing the insulation added to up the house’s efficiency. There are lots of truth windows throughout, to help visitors figure out what improvements were done to this house and could be done to many other old dwellings.

Say hello to Marilyn Moedinger, who was heavily involved in the design phase as a grad student at UVA’s School of Architecture. (She graduated last year and now lives in Boston.) Marilyn is shepherding the project toward what she anticipates will be LEED Gold certification.

"What I would hope people get [from visiting]," she says, "is a way of decision-making." She hopes that folks will learn to look at every household choice–from cleaning products to renovation methods–through an earth-friendly lens. "How can we support our goal of making the house greener?" she asks.

This house is well worth a visit, whether you know a lot or a little about green building. I have deliberately left out the photo of the water-saving all-in-one toilet/sink, not because it was out of focus but to motivate you to go and see for yourself.

Anyone go by the open house Thursday evening? What’d you think?