The most energy efficient home is one that's already built. Keeping a home out of a landfill saves all the materials in the house, as well as all the energy used to create the materials—the building's embodied energy. And historic homes preserve a slice of culture that would otherwise be lost forever. And what's better than keeping one 100-year-old house out of the landfill? Keeping two 100-year-old houses out of the landfill.

Tom White, publisher of Home Energy Magazine, and his partner Dmitri Belser are both interested in historical preservation. When they heard of a house scheduled to be torn down on the University of California, Berkeley, campus that was being offered for $17 and the costs to move it, they decided to go for it. The Swiss-chalet-style house, located above Boalt Hall, was built in 1902 by Warren Cheney, a publisher and editor of The Overland Monthly and a real estate developer of the Panoramic Hill area.

 If Tom hadn't already earned his green building chops after almost 3 years as publisher of Home Energy, this house move would certainly do it. They own a plot of land on 62nd Street with plenty of room for a house. But there was already another 100-year old house on the plot that had to be moved first. It's a one-story 1870s Frontier Italianate style cottage. Are you getting the picture here? These guys are willing to back up their green convictions with money, sweat, and many days spent with pegged frustration meters. Did I mention the house they decided to move has two stories?

Here's the plan:

Phase 1. Slice Cheney House in half. Lift second story. Move first story to rented space in Albany. Move the second story to Albany. (Note: The perpetual construction on Haste, telephone poles, parked cars, and other obstacles.)

Phase 2. Lift the cottage on 62nd Street. Move it back on the lot about 100 feet. Dismantle the brick foundation.

Phase 3. Bring the second story of the Cheney house from lot in Albany to lot on 62nd Street. (Note: Perpetual Road construction on Sacramento, telephone poles, parked cars, and emergency vehicles trying to get by.) Lift it up. Move first story of Cheney house from Albany to 62nd Street and place it beneath second story.

Phase 4. Build new foundations for both houses.

“I think we visited—at least once—every single department in the city of Berkeley in the last week before Phase 3,” says Tom. “The departments don't always communicate well. The police didn't know we were moving a house—half a house—and so there were still lots of parked cars blocking us along Alcatraz. But they had them cleared in no time. The whole trip from Albany to 62nd Street took about two hours.”

The first story of the Cheney house has yet to be moved to the 62nd Street plot. Still to do: Phase 4, and a long vacation.

Views: 35

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Twitter

Latest Activity

Amber Vignieri posted a status
"In the market for a #solar home? We're bringing you improved solar #MLS listings. http://bit.ly/2auldQ8"
4 hours ago
Tom White's video was featured

CalCERTS Plenum Pressure Matching

This video describes how to perform plenum pressure matching to measure system airflow.
5 hours ago
Rob Madden, Solar Home Broker replied to Rob Madden, Solar Home Broker's discussion Indoor Air Quality Monitors and Meters
"Awesome respnose...thanks for your insight!"
yesterday
Zane Goff replied to Rob Madden, Solar Home Broker's discussion Indoor Air Quality Monitors and Meters
"We use the air advice quick test device and I'd recommend it for the depth of home…"
yesterday
Amber Vignieri posted a status
"#Solar does WHAT?! #SunShot busts myths aboutt #SolarRealEstate http://energy.gov/eere/articles/5-common-myths-about-residential-solar"
yesterday
Profile Iconnaryking, Rob Hoehn, Hannah Wood and 2 more joined Home Energy Pros
yesterday
Chris Laumer-Giddens posted a blog post

Building with Rocks, Rocks. Check out the Drying Potential

Building with Rocks, Rocks! Check out the Drying Potential.Check this out! This 24" x 48" x 2"…See More
yesterday
Evan Mills's blog post was featured

Looking Back and Looking Forward: Home Energy Pros at 5 and 5000

Over the past five years, the Home Energy Pros social network has grown from a twinkle in our eyes…See More
yesterday

© 2016   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service