By Jason Hammond
The exterior of the house fits well with the natural surroundings of the lot.
photo courtesy of Jeff Gallo.
The interior of the house has an open floor plan, giving it a greater sense of size.
photo courtesy of Jeff Gallo.
This rendering of the site shows the integration of the landscaping and structure.
Although there seems to be a growing rise of green friendly modern homes going up across the country, few can claim to be as remarkable as the the Twin Cities own 5ive house. The project is the brainchild of Jeff and Salena Gallo, who after taking a tour of one modern modular home, set themselves out on a course to building what would become Minnesota’s first LEED certified platinum home.
The Gallo’s were not your typical couple entering into the process of building their first new home. They began with the decision to build something modern and environmentally friendly well before it had become all the rage. In 2005 the LEED for home program was just in its infancy stage, but the Gallo’s signed on to be pioneers in the program. They made a conscious effort to look for an architectural partner who shared their same set of values and vision, while being mindful of their budget when designing their new home. After a long thorough process, they settled on Minneapolis Based architectural firm Shelter Architecture. The project and the partnership would prove to be a fruitful one for both parties.
Green from start to finish.
Jeff and Selena had purchased a lot on Minneapolis’ west side that was occupied by a home in disrepair. The lot was cleared of the old structure, but Jeff and Salena made sure that everything that could be saved or recycled, was (about 60% of the old structure was recycled). They then began to break ground on what would come to be known as the 5ive house. The Project would include a variety of alternative materials and building practices both inside and out, all geared toward a green friendly building. Like many green projects, the 5ive house had a focus on making sure the building envelope was as energy efficient as possible. This included pre-cast Thermomass® walls with an R-31 rating, and Energy Star windows and doors. Additionally, they made the exterior elements of he house work for them as well. This included a landscaping plan that was for prairie restoration, a 93% permeable site and rainwater harvesting and irrigation systems.
On the inside of the house the green theme continued. Highly efficiency faucets and toilets, that use a fraction of the water of most household fixtures. A 97% efficient hot water heater was put in, and Jeff and Salena were conscious to select Energy Star Appliances and lighting fixtures. Even cosmetic elements such as countertops, paint, window treatments and even plumbing were selected for their No or low-VOC (Volatile organic compound) ratings, helping to ensure that the homes indoor air quality lived up to the houses environmentally healthy image.
As Minnesota’s first LEED certified residential project and a winner of the Minnesota RAVE award 2008, the 5ive house has also become an incredible resource for other people, including home owners and architects, looking to do the same on their projects. Just another way that this house has had an impact on our future environment.
By the numbers
R-31 insulated walls
75% drought tolerant landscaping
93% permeable landscape Over 40% construction waste recycled
Over 60% of of land clearing waste recycled
16 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) cooling
9 AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) heating