Hawthorne Renovation

Hawthorne Renovation

2014 Lieutenant Governor's Honourable Mention Award Winner

This renovation project added a new garage and gave a modern facelift to a simple Halifax side-hall plan home. The main-level interior was gutted, opened up and given a bright bold look to go along with the homeowners love of colour and Orla Kiely graphics. Beyond aesthetics, the clients were also looking to ensure their home was cutting-edge energy efficient.

The house insulation was beefed up with new sprayfoam insulation and windows throughout. A new concrete topping was poured on the main level for hydronic heating. Heating for the house is dual-fed by a German-made "Walltherm" system and solar panels that feed a stratified hot water storage tank in the basement. The Walltherm is the first natural down-draft hydronic wood gasification stove. The Walltherm is not just a wood stove, it's a hydronic wood stove and provides space heating and domestic hot water. The Walltherm has consequently low fuel consumption with an efficiency of 84% (HHV).

This hydronic wood stove can be connected directly to the central heating system and/or to a thermal storage tank. The "Walltherm" wood fireplace compresses the heat from the fireplace and pumps it to the basement where it heats water. The water is stored in a tank that has four strata, each at different temperatures. Water gets pumped off at a lower level for the hydronic heating and at a higher level for the dishwasher. In seasons where the wood stove is not required, the solar panels can produce heat for the system. If not enough solar hours are achieved, the tank does have a back up electric heater, although Nova Scotia is well known for having good solar heating capabilities.  

The large windows above the kitchen countertop are shaded in the summer time by a pergola over the deck that doubles as a brise-soleil for the windows. During the cold winter months, the lower sun angle dips below the pergola allowing the sun to penetrate and warm the interior.