Minimal changes in the layout, interior finishes, and exterior landscape significantly increased natural lighting. In addition, natural ventilation was improved by opening up the kitchen and an enclosed room that was trapped without any windows. The layout was limited and is now open, spacious, and practical. Removing the carpet and exposing the original hardwood flooring improved air quality as well as natural lighting (because the floor reflects sunlight).
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Net Positive Energy
The energy efficiency of the house also improved. More natural light during the day resulted in a reduced need for artificial light. In addition, south exposure was improved by turning a shallow window into a glass door that allows the winter sun into the space, passively heating it. The same door can be opened up in the summer to improve ventilation and a reduced indoor temperature. As a result, limited heating is needed in the winter while no air conditioning is needed in the summer.
Beyond making the building more energy efficient, solar panels were installed, turning the house into an net-positive energy generator. The energy generated is enough to run the building, charge an electric vehicle, and sell the excess to the grid.