The Mill Ave house, located within a special historic district, is walking distance to downtown Fairhaven in Bellingham, WA. The historic house, built in 1891, had many additions over the years that detracted from the original architecture. The bones of the original house were straight and true. The additions were poorly built and experiencing extreme damage from the elements. The decision was made to deconstruct the house back to its original form. With the existing 1891 architecture as a base a large addition was added. The new addition took cues from the strong Victorian architecture while adding more contemporary space planning, opening the building to the expansive views of Bellingham Bay.
In addition to preserving and complimenting the aesthetics of the existing architecture, the building envelope was completely re-imagined for structural and energy efficiency improvements. The entire building was lifted and a new foundation replaced the original rubble sandstone. The wall system design eliminated most thermal bridges, all windows were replaced, a heat pump was chosen for radiant heat and domestic hot water, and an HRV to provide the entire house with fresh air and heat recovery. With these improvements, the historic house significantly exceeds energy codes and is ready for another 100+ years of life.