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1618 Muscatine is a 100% electric home purchasing 84% less killowatts than a code compliant new home of the same size. As MidAmerican Energy (the energy provider) adds more wind power to the electric grid, the home will operate with net zero carbon. 

 

All appliances in the home are Energy Star rated, and the home received Energy Star 3. All lighting and lighting fixtures are LED lightbulbs with dimming capabilites, using only 10-20% of the energy of traditional incandescent lightbulbs. Occupancy sensors are located in the garage and foyer for ease of navigation and additional efficiency.

 

The home features whole-home insulation with 1" rigid foam fiberglass board and batt in the walls and basement walls, and 3.5" of spray foam fiberglass insulation in the roof, keeping the structure sufficiently sheltered from Iowa winters. Home heating and cooling is serviced by an energy saving mini-split system located in individual rooms throughout the home to regulate temperature according to need and occupancy activity. Emissions standard home materials (from cabinets to carpets to couch) coupled with an energy recovery ventilator ensure consistent and healthy indoor air quality.

 

Compact water systems of only 25 gallon tanks paired with low-flow faucets and fixtures reduced both water consumption and energy consumption due to less need for hot water.

Sustainable Siting

1618 Muscatine was developed on the site of the Young home after demolition. Development of existing sites helps perserve undeveloped farmland or natural areas. Muscatine Ave runs through the heart of Iowa City connecting the downtown area at the Northwest to suburban nieghborhoods of the Southeast. 1618 Muscatine is located within a mile of two grocery stores, several parks, Longfellow Nieghborhood, Towncrest Shopping Area, and City High Senior High School. Four bus lines are located within walking distance of the home, with one bus stop right across Muscatine Avenue. Multiple convenience stores and independent markets are located within walking distance along Muscatine Ave, as well. Transportation accounts for 28% of a persons carbon footprint. Locating your home in a more densely populated area close to amenities significantly reduces the carbon footprint.

 

The accessory dwelling unit located on the second floor of 1618 increases the population density of the lot and the neighborhood, further reducing GHG emissions from transportation, reducing habitat destruction from urban sprawl, material production emissions, and more. 

Landscaping

Landscaping at 1618 Muscatine was performed by Fiddlehead Gardens and features entirely native Iowa plantings. This provides native ecosystems for insects, animals and pollinators native to Iowa that are often lost to urban and suburban development. Native plants also eliminate the need to water gardens requestly because the plants are naturally serviced by the Iowa climate. They also naturally sequester carbon, reducing the overall carbon footprint of the home. 

 

Grass seed on the lot was mixed with 25% clover, a nitrogen-fixing plant that serves as a living ferilizer and feeds pollinators. Using this grass seed mix instead of a one-size fits all sod allowed the homeowner to significantly reudce the water needed to establish the lawn. 

 

72% of the site is planting beds, providing extra habitat for pollinators and improving the water infiltration of the soil on the lot to protect against soil runoff, pollution and flooding.

Aging-in-place

The homeowner of 1618 Muscatine wanted to build a home that was flexible in its utility at her different stages in life, with the ultimate goal of aging-in-place. The interior of the home has spacious rooms with wide hallways and doorways with wheelchair access to the main floor, making it wheelchair accessible and ADA compliant. Spacious rooms allows for flexible furniture arrangement to allow the homeowner to create aethetic interest in her space and assure the needs of future homeowners are met, as well. 641 square feet of basement space is able to be converted into bedrooms for future homeowners.

 

The main floor bathroom is ADA complaint as well, with accessiblity features such as handrails and seated bathing. There is also an attached garage at the main floor of the home for safety from the car to interior, and generous integrated storage space, making small living approachable but not limiting.

 

The second floor of the home features a 476 square foot accessory dwelling unit (ADU) with private enterance. All residential zoning codes in the city of Iowa City permit accessory dwelling units. The ADU is particularly advantageous to the homeowner because it could serve as private lodging for a family member or 24-hour nurse in later years, or as a tenant dwelling providing a secondary source of income to supplement retirement funds and federal Social Security -- allowing residents to maintain financial independence after retirement. Currently, the ADU is being used for the latter. 

 

 

Energy Efficiency

1618 Muscatine Ave is an all electric, 876 square foot home located in the heart of Iowa City. The home was constructed in 2017, and received LEED-H Platinum in 2019 -- the second home in Iowa to receive this certification, and the first in the corridor. The mission of the project was to construct a home tailored to "aging-in-place" for the homeowner, while not compromising on green features and flexibility for future occupants. The home has been recognized at the 2017 Iowa City Parade of Homes, and during the 2020 Iowa City Climate Festival. See a video of 1618 Muscatine here.

 

This home features a 6.4 kW rooftop solar array, ADA compliance in necessary sectors of the home and a 476 square foot, second-floor accessory dwelling unit. 

1618 Muscatine Ave

Rooftop Solar Array

1618 Muscatine features a 6.4 kW rooftop PV array atop a low-pitch roof. The low-pitch of the roof and the additional of a secondard dwelling unit was important to integrating solar into the initial design of the home due surrounding mature trees in adjacent lots. 

 

Electricity produced from the PV array exceeds the demand of both the main floor dwelling and second floor accessory dwelling unit for 6-8 months throughout the year. 

 

In these months, the homeowner only pays $8.59 a month as a base-rate for her electricity service provider and averages $45 a month in combined monthly energy costs annually. 

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