Rehabilitating any house is enough of an undertaking, but nearly doubling the square footage and making it “green” is a feat few are willing to even consider. The once “Plain Jane” 1941 stucco bungalow had very little curb appeal and no historical significance, despite its backdrop against the foothills of Monrovia, where vintage and historical homes are ubiquitous and highly prized. Owner and real estate broker Vicky Hansen purchased the home in 2013 and set out to deliver a result that embodies charm of the classic New England home, but took it a step further and decided to “go green” during the process. After receiving a Green Designation as a real estate agent, which is recognized by the National Association of REALTORS®, Hansen has successfully transformed the quaint bungalow of 322 North Mayflower into a GreenPoint Rated home, a designation from the national organization, Build It Green.
Eco-friendly and green might be trending buzzwords, and while many envision an ultra-modern or contemporary style when thinking about residential architecture and design, this home has proved that being green does not have to mean being cold or uninviting. While difficult, as many products and fixtures do embody a modern twist, it is not impossible to achieve the vintage charm while being environmentally conscious. The home’s location in Monrovia was a perfect setting to facilitate the transformation into a style not often seen in new homes. The city has enjoyed a surge of new residents over the last few decades, thanks to its historical charm and absence of cookie-cutter homes and booming mansionization, often seen in surrounding communities such as Arcadia. With the help of their design review committee and historical commission, the city embraces and encourages the rehabilitation of the older homes and their architecture. “I wanted to honor that concept and make sure this home was in keeping with the neighborhood, while bringing it into the 21st century,” says Vicky Hansen.
The newly completed 3 bedroom 2 bath 1,707-square-foot home has the highest rating in Monrovia under the GreenPoint Rated label, according to Hansen. From planning to completion, the program “verifies that the home exceeds state energy code requirements and excels in health and environmental performance,” according to the GreenPoint Rated website. A percentage of the demolished materials were recycled and diverted from a landfill. An attic radiant barrier was installed to avoid temperature loss, making the home more energy-efficient and reducing the need to use the new central heating and air conditioning system. “Air escapes in and out of houses,” Hansen said. “People can lose 40 percent of heat energy in the walls due to bad insulation and bad ductwork. A lot of time was spent making the home air tight. And it’s healthier.” The architect commissioned for the project called for numerous windows allowing for an abundance of natural light. That coupled with ultra-efficient, long-lasting LED bulbs installed throughout reduces energy costs. Energy Star appliances were installed in the kitchen, and the exterior was landscaped with many California natives and other drought-tolerant plants for their low-water needs. While energy-efficiency is a hallmark of being green, the materials used in construction are of equal importance. Many homes throughout the US are loaded with contaminants from formaldehyde-based fiberglass insulation and other chemicals commonly used during construction. Pretty packaging often masks the toxins beneath, and many homeowners are none the wiser. The notion that one can have a healthier home was a driving factor in the remodel process for Hansen. The wall insulation came from recycled denim cotton and contains no formaldehyde or fiberglass. The walls, ceilings were finished with water-based, non-toxic paints. All of these components make for healthier living while saving on energy costs. It’s a win-win situation.
322 North Mayflower Avenue in Monrovia is listed with Podley Properties and offered at $949,000.
For more information contact Vicky Hansen at (626) 408-1678.
For more information on GreenPoint Rating, visit builditgreen.org.