Live/Work/Ski in Utah

Live/Work/Ski in Utah

Cambria Bold
Oct 15, 2009
(Welcome to Ashley, one of the finalists for our Green Architect blogger search. She's writing from Baltimore. Comment away!)

After all this 2016 Olympic discussion, I was inspired to seek out an existing Green Home renovation of Olympic proportions. Enter: the ski home of Ken Wilson, founder of leading sustainable architecture/interiors firm Envision Designs...

Situated 30 miles east of Salt Lake, and minutes away from the Utah Olympic Park, it's an end unit within a 1976-built townhouse. This particular swank —and very green— home was one of the first five in the state to be awarded a "Build Green Utah" certification.

Photo 3: What really works about the aesthetic epitomizes what the 'green industry' is finally moving towards. Rather than touting the "new, hot, green" product of the minute; Ken's condo reveals how little one really needs to have a efficient, beautiful and mindful home. Using a concise + congruous combination of classic sleek finishes, with purposeful touches of emphasis, the home is both livable and pleasantly structured.

Photo 4: The fireplace surround and hearth in the living room utilize locally-sourced stone. The fireplace itself is a new, direct vent gas fireplace which burns more efficiently and cleanly than wood-burning. It uses combustion air from the outside, while not allowing conditioned indoor air to escape through the chimney. Sitting below the classic-modern furniture and completing the fireside atmosphere is the New Zealand wool rug- rapidly renewable...rapidly inviting you to sink your toes into...

Photo 5: Exemplifying the live/work way that is becoming more prevalent: the efficient yet spacious office area incorporated into the living area, allows for wireless and constant (argh!) communication when off the slopes.

Photo 6: Each appliance in the home meets EnergyStar's requirements when applicable, each using 20-66% less energy than a standard appliance. The fridge is a German Liebherr, slimmer (30" inches wide) and more efficient than most models on the market. Many materials used are sustainable in some way; the dark cork flooring and the bamboo plywood cabinets shown above are both rapidly renewable. Considering human health, the paint is zero-VOC, the composite wood free of urea-formaldehyde and the carpeting meets low-VOC-emissions requirements as well. All of the light fixtures in the home are energy-saving fluorescent. This creates reductions as high as 76% when compared to typical home-light-energy usage.

Photo 7: The hand-woven hanging over the master bed was sourced by Wilson's father, a retired archeologist. It is a traditional Navajo Yeii-bi-chai rug. Yeiis are the intermediaries between Navajos and their gods and are said to restore health, physically and spiritually. The carpeting in the bedroom contains 20% post-consumer content (the pad underneath is 100% recycled content).

A cozy reminder of the confluence of sleek and sustainable. Cutting-edge-green needn't employ every new product that hits the market. It comes in many shapes and formats...and now, more than ever. less is more.

Thanks Ken for the peek into your space full of fun + fancy ski[dom].


Photos #1 and #4 by Ashley Compton; the rest of the photos by Ken Wilson

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