Built originally as a corner grocery store with apartments above and a large side yard, the location had become one of the noisiest and busiest in the city. By restoring the existing building and adding a new one in an environmentally sensitive way, the project transforms this site into a green showcase.  Our goal was to use time tested methods to minimize energy use and to rely heavily on salvaged, recycled, and low-toxic finishes. Thoughtful passive design strategies such as excellent insulation, careful window placement and siting for passive solar benefit were the most important strategies used to minimize energy consumption. We were able to achieve a 280% improvement in energy use in the existing building. The new building is almost twice as energy efficient as required by state energy code. 

Our heavy reliance on salvaged and recycled materials saved tremendous amounts of manufacturing energy and reduced overall environmental impacts. Just three measures saved as much energy as the two buildings will use in a year:
· Using blown-in cellulose insulation (made from old telephone books and newspapers) instead of fiberglass.
· Substituting 50% of the cement in the concrete with fly ash (a by-product of coal burning).
· Leaving the aluminum siding on the existing building instead of replacing it with wood or stucco.

Other measures also contributed significantly to reduced overall environmental impact:
· Reused car parts for awnings, railings, gates, shelves, parking bumpers and lighting.
· Reused 3 1/2 tons of street signs for siding, eaves, gates, light shades and railings.
· Insulated floor slabs with thermal break at edges.
· Thousands of board feet of salvaged wood reused for doors, siding, trim, walls. 
· FSC certified, sustainably harvested 2 x 6 framing lumber.
· Sustainably harvested oak slab counters.
· Formaldehyde free kitchen and bathroom cabinet boxes in the new building.
· FSC certified sustainably harvested hardwood flooring.
· 100% wool carpets.
· Non-VOC paints and woodwork finished with natural oils.
· Photovoltaic panels.
· Non-toxic permeable gravel paving instead of asphalt to retain rainwater on site.
· Native and drought tolerant plants, eliminating the need for an irrigation system.
· Bicycle parking area.
· Small, gracious (average 785 sq ft, 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath) units reduce material demand.
· Rehabilitation of existing buildings and infilling within the city reduce pressure to build in and commute from greenbelt areas outside the city.

Construction by Wanaselja Construction
Photographs by: Leger Wanaselja Architecture, Scott McGlashan, and Cesar Rubio