LEED Certified Home in Newport County
A4 Architecture projects earn high praise from multiple publications.
We are pleased to report that A4 Architecture’s project at 485 Spring Street in Newport, Rhode Island was honored with a national EcoHome design award. The EcoHome awards seek to identify 20 homes constructed around the United States that used sustainable building practices and demonstrating innovative design and thoughtful use of site and materials. The project at 485 Spring Street, Newport County’s first LEED for Homes Gold certified structure, was honored not only for its high degree of energy efficiency and use of sustainable materials but for accomplishing those tasks while seamlessly fitting the structure in Newport’s historical architectural fabric.
Newport Life magazine also featured this renovation project in their annual “Newport Home” issue. The article highlighted many of the passive sustainable techniques such as water retention, air quality, and insulation that helped the project earn its credentials by the US Green Building Council and photographed our clients in their new home and interviewed them about the process of commissioning a LEED project. We are humbled but gratified by the attention this project has received.
The design of this renovation was based on the idea that a project could be both historically appropriate and highly sustainable at the same time. The original structure, a small depression-era cottage, was sited in a historic, high-density residential area of Newport, Rhode Island, and its location became the first of the renovated structures’ many sustainable features. It is within easy walking distance of everything a family needs including groceries, green space, schools, churches, shopping, and restaurants. The building has a small, efficiently laid out plan, which helped reduce its energy and material consumption. High-Density spray foam insulation, EnergyStar rated appliances and windows, WaterSense plumbing fixtures, and an extremely efficient HVAC system all contributed to its achieving a LEED Gold Rating. For nearly 80 years, the original building had stared blankly into a high stone wall. Following the renovation, by adding a gable, dormers, and a small amount of height to the existing footprint, the new building looks into the beautiful sunken gardens of the Elms Mansion. The renovated home now stands tall and proud among its Victoria-era neighbors, all the more so because it is a quiet model of energy efficiency and sustainability.
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Ross Sinclair Cann, AIA, LEED AP, is an historian, educator, author and practicing architect living and working in Newport for A4 Architecture and is founding Chairman of the Newport Architectural Forum and holds honors degrees in Architectural History and design from Yale, Cambridge, and Columbia Universities.