Brett Marlo Design Build: 4-Star Tacoma Remodel

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It can often be hard to convince homeowners to certify their remodel projects, but not for the Brett Marlo Design Build team. Building to green standards and certifying their projects is part of their values and what they hope to be able to do on all their projects. Their latest project, a vibrantly painted 4-Star home remodel, can be found on a quiet street in the North End neighborhood of Tacoma.

Vital Stats

Section

Points

Location:Tacoma Site and Water 35
Star Level: 4-Star Energy Efficiency 139
Checklist: Remodel Checklist Health and Indoor Air Quality 116
Verifier: Evergreen Certified Material Efficiency 73
  Total Score 363

Working with the homeowner throughout design and construction, the Brett Marlo team was able to provide a full house remodel with a second story addition, while maintaining a similar aesthetic to the original house. The second story addition converted an underutilized attic space with low ceiling to new living space comprised of a large bedroom and bathroom. They also revamped the main floor to give it a fresh new feel, adding windows and removing some walls to bring in more daylight and open up the space.

This remodel made the house more energy efficient, as well. By replacing all the old windows with composite frame windows with a much lower U-value, upgrading insulation to meet today’s code standards, converting the old space heating to ductless mini-splits, upgrading the water heater to a high-efficiency gas tankless, and air-sealing the house, they were able to make the house nearly 30% more energy efficient than a new code-built house. Beyond the impressive energy efficiency measures, they also replaced the old wood-burning fireplace with a direct vent gas fireplace to keep some of the old charm while improving indoor air quality.

Many of the design choices were made with sustainability and indoor air quality in mind. The new house has no carpet to trap allergens in the home and the prefinished flooring is FloorScore certified. The millwork is solid wood to minimize off-gassing. If, however, there is some formaldehyde off-gassing, the AirRenew drywall will clean the air by absorbing it!

Built Green Highlights

Site and Water

  • No change to the foundation footprint, second level addition
  • Large covered front porch
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • Electric vehicle car charger installed

Energy Efficiency

  • Over 28% more energy efficient than 2015 new construction code
  • PV system added
  • Upgraded windows to U-0.24 average
  • Ductless mini-split space heating
  • High-efficiency gas tankless water heater
  • All LED lighting

Health and Indoor Air Quality

  • Detached garage
  • Direct vent gas fireplace
  • Water filtration system installed
  • Bathroom exhaust fan timers installed
  • No carpet and solid wood for millwork

Materials Efficiency

  • Open concept main level
  • Material salvaged from original house
  • Composite frame windows
  • Paperstone countertops

Author Details
Principal , Diggs Custom Homes
Don’s love of all things real estate has motivated him to spend the last 30 years in buying, building and selling, rehabbing, flipping, lending, Developing land and large scale plats and is a nationally recognized award-winning real estate professional.
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Principal , Diggs Custom Homes
Don’s love of all things real estate has motivated him to spend the last 30 years in buying, building and selling, rehabbing, flipping, lending, Developing land and large scale plats and is a nationally recognized award-winning real estate professional.
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