A Modern Modular At Home in Minneapolis
A small house on a small lot is the right choice for a growing family.
Synopsis: When this project began, architect Eric Odor’s clients hired him to remodel their bungalow in Minneapolis, but the renovation plans were more than the house’s foundation could handle. By the time the project was done, Shane and Erinn Farrell were living in a new, energy-efficient, three-bedroom, 2-1/2-bath home. Early in the process, Odor and the Farrells decided to go with a house that would be panelized in a factory, then be transported to their site and assembled there. Panelization would save time and materials for this project. The team also made sustainability part of the plan, and the house was on track to be rated LEED gold. The house has a well-insulated envelope and highly efficient mechanical systems. Among the materials in the house’s insulation mix are blown fiberglass, sprayed-in foam, and blown-in cellulose. The house has Energy Star appliances, low-e windows, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow faucets.
This project began with a good lesson in knowing how to pick your battles. Our clients, Shane and Erinn Farrell, hired our firm to remodel the bungalow they’d been living in for a number of years. After some preliminary investigation, we determined that the foundation wouldn’t support the planned renovation and that upgrading the foundation would cost more than building a new house. We identified all that we could recycle, slated the rest of the house for the Dumpster, and moved on to design a new house.
From the start, the Farrells were clear that they wanted a small, sustainable, modern home with an open plan, but one with a restrained exterior that would fit respectfully amid the older, more traditional houses on the block. Although they started the design process as a childless couple, they had a newborn and plans for another child by the…