Midcentury For the Next Century

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL

This special project is an extensive renovation of Better Homes And Gardens’ “The House You Asked For” of 1953. While the California Case Study-inspired architecture was an interesting break from 1950’s boxes, its extensive single-pane glass, internal roof drains, and slab construction were leading to structural deterioration through condensation and leaks, and a massive carbon footprint. The renovation took the form of slight plan adjustments–giving the kitchen more space, combining two entry doors into one entry space, adjusting the bedroom-bathroom area–and reworking the roof. We added a raised portion to carry ducts for conditioning and ventilation, which was also an opportunity to create spatial interest and bring in light from above, and we re-sloped the roof to drain to the perimeter instead of the middle of the house. Carbon-sequestering wood fiberboard insulation was added to the walls, and the windows were replaced with triple-glazed units. With new heat pump heating, cooling, and water heating, the operational carbon footprint was reduced by 93%.

Expected Completion Date
2023

General Contractor
Sturm Builders

Structural Engineer
Frederick Lam Structural Engineer

Third-party Testing and Verification
Insight Property Services

Energy Use per Architecture 2030
With Solar: EUI = 3.6, 93% reduction; Without solar: EUI = 23.9, 52% reduction