Isn’t she a Grand Dame?
During the month of October, Twin Maples Centennial Show House located in Summit, New Jersey will be open to the public sporting a new green look. This historic grande dame is the home of the Fortnightly Club of Summit and the Summit Junior Fortnightly Club. Both clubs have a long history of charitable fundraising and hands-on charitable work benefitting many area charities.
With its old sturdy bones and new geothermal system, replacement Marvin energy efficient windows, blown-in foam insulation, Pella Doors, and a Christopher Peacock green kitchen, Twin Maples has been ushered into the new millennium of energy efficiency.
Twin Maples’ carriage house, the green jewel of the Show House, was renovated by Polo Master Builders in collaboration with Hiland Hall Turner Architects, with sustainable building materials including a green kitchen created by Peter Salerno Inc. and a high efficiency heat pump system installed by Perfection Contracting.
Many Show Houses feature great design illustrating the endless possibilities for your own home. However, co-chairwomen, Heidi Evenson, president of Cactus River Designs, and Laurie Finn, owner of La Jolie Interior Designs, envisioned a Show House designed to teach rather than just admire. They knew that Twin Maples was the perfect venue to incorporate green building and interior design as it was being revitalized. It is located in a community abundant with historic and older homes, which are drafty and inefficient. The Twin Maples message would be that green design can be beautiful, even in an historic home.
I was a docent (volunteer) at the Show House this week, and was assigned the Carriage House. I noticed that many people were intrigued with the green elements of the Carriage House. The group who asked me the most questions, and seemed the most interested was the older women who were the age of my parents. What I realized is Twin Maples’ second message was you can go green at any age.
Before the renovation, Twin Maples was your typical old drafty house with inefficient windows and a boiler on its last legs. Above is the “before revitilazation” picture of Twin Maples. ( Notice how different the walkway looks in the before picture versus the after picture at the beginnng of the article? The new walkway is more in line with the architectural details of the house.)
To make the house energy efficient, the committee decided to install a geothermal system because its estimated pay-back of seven years. The new system is expected to reduce the house’s heating and air conditioning cost by fifty percent. According to Antonio Poccia, president of Perfection Contracting, the installer of the system, a homeowner only needs a 15 by 15 foot outside area to dig a vertical well for a geothermal system. New duct work was discreetly installed throughout the house.
Foam Tight blew in open celled foam installation throughout the house to make it more energy efficient with little disturbance to the walls. Anastasia Harrison of WESKetch Architects was instrumental in the donation of Foam Tight’s time and labor in completing this aspect of the renovation.
The windows (28 of them in the main house) were replaced with energy efficient Marvin windows, which were donated via Jaeger Home Concepts in Bernardsville, in keeping with the historic nature of the house. The replacement windows did not require the change-out of any interior or exterior trim, so Twin Maples still has its historic window trim and pediments intact. Brinton Brosius Builders assisted in the installation.
Vanguard Energy Partners donated solar panels for hot water, to be installed after the completion of the Show House. In the meantime, the panels were placed on the roof in the location of their future home. They can not be seen from the street and are very unobtrusive.
As the momentum started to build to turn Twin Maples into a green jewel, many of the interior designers chosen to decorate particular rooms in the main house grabbed on to the green brass knob, and never looked back. Forty-Five Interior and Landscape Designers created an eclectic mix of vintage and antiques coupled with bright youthful, yet warm colors creating a livable, inviting space in both the Main and Carriage houses.
Many companies donated time and labor to this project. The Show House is being run jointly with the Overlook Hospital Auxiliary with the proceeds of the Show House benefiting both the Twin Maples Historic Preservation Fund and The Cancer Center at Overlook Hospital.
Note, this is a part one of a series on Twin Maples. Next post deals with the green design of the interior. Wait until you see the magic of these talented designers.