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CarMic House on Green Building Advisor

Carri and Michael’s home renovation is being featured as a Guest Blog on Green Building Advisor!

CarMic exterior 3

ECOhistoric renovation: brennan+company architects turn historic building into their environmentally-sensitive office

Brennan+Company recently renovated the 1840 Merryman House at 8333 Main Street in the Ellicott City Historic District.  They incorporated environmentally sensitive and energy efficient construction practices into the project while maintaining the historic integrity of the building. The project features a synergy of the latest green materials and strategies while preserving a valuable historic resource in a 200-year-old fragile urban environment.

Site runoff, always an issue in the hardscape of Ellicott City, will be improved by a front and rear yard of native flowers and grasses.  New oak rain barrels will collect rain for reuse.  Shade trees will be planted to contribute to the tree canopy.

The entire building was fully insulated with blown-in formaldehyde-free fiberglass batt and substantially air-sealed which will help to reduce energy consumption by 60%.  An additional 3-1/2” of rigid insulation was added to the low slope roof on the south side, to be topped by a reflective cool roof to reduce air-conditioning loads.  The existing non-historic replacement windows were replaced with simulated divided light, aluminum clad, insulated insert double hung windows by Marvin, approved by the Historic District Commission.

The entire building was replumbed for hot water baseboard heat fueled by a new high efficiency gas boiler.  Air conditioning is provided by (4) high efficiency minisplits for the hottest days, with the new operable, screened windows being used for a good portion of the year.

Inside, the new space features solar light tubes and, when darkness descends, LED and CFL lighting.  Materials in use for health and sustainability include marmoleum, cork and bamboo flooring, wool carpet tiles, concrete and paperstone countertops, NAUF and bamboo cabinets and shelves and zero VOC paint.

ECOhistoric renovation: 8333 Main Street, landscaping

Earlier in the fall we had a beautiful landscape plan drawn up by our colleague Jeff Plusen of Plusen Designs. The plan incorporated native plantings, reuse of material, rainwater capture and clean architectural lines.

The landscaping will be done in phases, with the first phase being clearing.  The yard had not been maintained for years. many years. A lot of work went into clearing and it was exciting to see the yard be uncovered.

An extended brick patio was found as well as a height difference of roughly 14" from the brick patio to the yard. Several large pieces of granite were also discovered and used as a mini retaining wall for this change in height. Though this discovery alters the original concept a bit, we will adhere to it as much as possible.

To get us through to Spring, grass was planted in the 'lawn' and the beds were mulched. Phase II will be installing the native plants, followed by future Phases to rework the brick patio, and install the water feature/rain capturing system.

Until then, we are extremely excited to look out to a lovely, CLEAN yard and cannot wait for the nesting birds of Spring, flowers blooming and enjoying tea out on the patio! An additional thank you to Jeff Plusen for providing a great design.

holiday midnight madness in ellicott city!

Please join us for our First Friday Midnight Madness celebration in Ellicott City! This Friday also celebrates the beginning of the holiday season. Ellicott City will be decked out in lights and bells, music and santas! Brennan + Company and alterego will be hanging out on our new front porch selling bamboo cutting boards and handing out yummy treats. Spend your Friday night in quaint Ellicott City and stop by and see us in our new space.

ECOhistoric renovation: 8333 main street, final thoughts

First, a huge apology to all friends, clients and potential friends and clients for disappearing from the communications world for 10 days. Due to some unavoidable mishaps with various service providers, I will mention no names, we have finally resumed communication with the outside world. So please, we are still here, try us now.

As we begin the second week in our new space and witness the end result of months of drawing, coordination and construction, we come away with lessons learned and a beautiful demonstration space. There are still small things to be completed such as getting a mailbox, waiting on the installation of some light fixtures, and having the courtyard cleared and planted. But nonetheless we find ourselves in a comfortable, well-lit space with no evil 'new smell' fumes.

Drop by for a visit!

it’s moving day!!

tomorrow morning we will be unlocking the door to our new ellicott city office space! today is moving day. i sit with my computer amongst a few scattered boxes, leftover desks and the emptiness of our temporary basement office. i look forward to a quiet space, operable windows and a garden view in which to contemplate the meaning of architecture.

our new address: 8333 Main Street, second floor, Ellicott City, MD 21043 – stop by for a visit!

ECOhistoric renovation: the merryman house, roof

As part of the renovation, we added substantial insulation to the second floor shed roof space, which will ultimately be our working studio.

The existing roof structure was 2×4 framing! We filled that with Johns Manville, formaldehyde-free blown-in fiberglass batts and on top of the roof structure added 3 1/2" of polyiso insulation.

We also added (3) Velux sun tunnels for added daylight to the studio and showroom space. The photo above shows the sun tunnel cut through the 3 1/2" of polyiso.

We placed a new reflective white roof on these shed roof spaces, which were originally black tar.

all in all, we've achieved a R-value of 35.4 plus the reflective roof. not bad for a 171 year old building!

ECOhistoric renovation: the merryman house, drywall

drywall is up! the space seems so clean…

and look at those new, historic, energy efficient windows!

ecohistoric renovation: the merryman house, equipment

Having achieved at least a 60% energy use reduction, we were able to reduce our equipment sizes and replace outdated and non-existent units with new, smaller, high-efficiency ones.

The project incorporates a 96% efficient Buderus Condensing Gas Boiler for radiant baseboard heat throughout the building. The system has three zones for the three leasable spaces.

baseboard heat….

For cooling, each leasable space will have a 1 TON mini-split system by Fujitsu. Wiring and tubing for unit is shown in photo.

ECOhistoric renovation: the merryman house, product arrival

on our visit today, we found lovely piles of great products!

velux sun tunnels

marvin insert windows

cork underlayment, floating cork floor, marmoleum, wool FLOR carpet tiles

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contact us · F · best of houzz houzz 2017
8333 main street, 2nd floor · ellicott city, md 21043
410.313.8310 baltimore
washington