• Santa Fe, NM remodeled compound Santa Fe, NM remodeled compound
  • horse-barn-construction horse-barn-construction
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  • Santa Fe portal remodel Santa Fe portal remodel

Highly Energy Efficient Remodel in Santa Fe County

The property consisted of a studio apartment attached to a garage, barn and tack room, which were attached to three horse stalls.  The studio apartment was not part of the renovation and the clients lived in it during the construction. The goal for this renovation was for it to achieve a Build Green New Mexico gold level and become the first remodel in New Mexico to qualify for the sustainable building tax credit. The garage, barn and tack were converted into a living room, dining room and kitchen; and the stalls were renovated into a bedroom, bath and studio. These two wings had no insulation or heat, the stalls had dirt floors and the utilities were minimal.

A hydronic active solar system was installed for both domestic hot water and radiant floor heating. The overall building envelope was carefully designed and built for low heat loss and high comfort.

As both of the clients are master chefs we built a true gourmand kitchen with high quality appliances including a six burner stove, an industrial strength exhaust system, a food preparation island, designer cabinets and a walk-in pantry. The remaining portion of this wing is an open living space for a combined dining and living room.

Natural light into the central wing was minimal, as there was but a single window in the forty foot long south facing wall. This entire wall was opened up to provide views and passive solar heat.

The client envisioned a modern, almost industrial, look and feel inside these living spaces with hard plastered walls and sharp corners throughout. The floors were sealed, exposed concrete such that the floor, walls and ceilings maintained clean, undisturbed lines. Existing slabs remained in some areas and new slabs were poured over existing slabs and in areas with dirt floors.

There was a two foot elevation difference between the floor of the future kitchen and dining areas. Since the lower elevation matched that of the stall area, the kitchen was filled to make the floor for the entire wing at the same level. The elevation change was moved to the intersection of the kitchen and the bedroom wing. New exterior and interior steps are between the two wings.

To fulfill the industrial theme on the exterior, the south wall of the kitchen/dining/living area was covered with gavalume siding. The stalls and the remaining exterior walls are traditional stucco.


Related Projects towards Energy & Resource Self Sufficiency

Southwest’s First “Passive House”
Featured in Su Casa Magazine - Spring 2012
Daniel Buck Construction was pleased to build the Southwest’s first certified “Passive House”. It is in the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico’s historic rail yard district. At the time of construction there were only 15 or so Passive Houses in the U.S. This “German Passivhaus” construction technique combined with proper solar orientation uses 90 percent less energy than houses constructed with standard building methods. The project received the highest sustainability rating by the National Home Builders Association, “Emerald” - joining just four others in the state.
New Mexico’s First “Energy Star Home”
Albuquerque Journal – March 22, 1999
In 1999 the Environmental Protection Agency - EPA certified this new home with a four star rating because it was 65% above the EPA’s national model energy code. Located in Santa Fe the home cools itself in the summer and heats itself during the winter months due to the trade winds and passive solar orientation. Water Harvesting catchments were planned into the landscaping and healthy building practices specified non-toxic paints, and wood treatments to reduce toxins.

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