CVF Homes was awarded with the ‘Residential Construction Historic Retrofit’ Award by the City of San Antonio Green Building Awards.
On the outside, Kristal Cuevas‘ future home is the picture of historical perfection, a pretty Craftsman-style cottage with bright red walls and thick, white molding.
But inside, the house has a modern, open floor plan packed with new energy-efficient features and state-of-the-art appliances.
Located in the Lavaca Historic District just south of downtown, the home is being remodeled by builder Juan Manuel Fernandez to be more environmentally friendly and energy efficient while retaining its historic charm. Fernandez, who initiated the renovation and specializes in so-called historic retrofits, is seeking “green” certification for the home through Build San Antonio Green, the city’s residential certification program.
Cuevas and her husband, Eddie, have the house under contract and expect to close on the 1,321-square-foot house by April 15.
Builders, real estate agents and green certification experts say projects like this produce a unique mix of old and new.
Because the home is located in a historic neighborhood and also is designated a historic building through the Texas Historical Commission (thanks to Fernandez’s efforts), its structural integrity must be preserved to meet certification guidelines. The process for remodeling it is more restrictive than it would be for a regular house, Fernandez said. The exterior of a historically designated home can’t be changed structurally. The interior trim and baseboards also have to remain in the home.
“The main issue is the outside because we have to be very cautious to preserve architectural features,” Fernandez said. “It would be very bad to change it because it’s part of its original charm.”
To save energy costs at the house, Fernandez insulated the home’s floors and walls and installed new Energy Star-qualified appliances. He also added low-flow toilets and other water-saving plumbing features in compliance with Build San Antonio Green’s retrofit certification program.
“It had no insulation before,” said Lina Luque, certification manager with Build San Antonio Green. “They didn’t have any (green features), pretty much.”