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INSIDE: N Classified Marketplace, page 51 N Puzzles, page 52 Home Front Send notices of news and events related to real estate, interior design, home improvement and gardening to Home Front, Palo Alto Weekly, P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 94302, or e-mail Deadline is Thursday at 5 p.m. on lin e at w w w .P al o Al to On lin e. co m Sarah Cornwell Sarah Cornwell WinWin: energy savings + historical renovation Updating an older home, without destroying its architectural integrity by Carol Blitzer hen Marc Porat walks the renewable-energy walk, he’s serious about cutting back on his carbon footprint. As chairman of Serious Materials, a Sunnyvale-based developer and manufacturer of green-building materials, he decided to retrofit his 1936 home on University Avenue in Palo Alto, with the ultimate goal of “net zero” energy. That means he won’t be using any more energy to run his house than can be created on site through solar panels — giving back to the grid in some months and buying renewable energy through Palo Alto Green in others, but netting zero by end of year. His home, which was designed by artist and Stanford University design professor Pedro de Lemos, presented an intriguing challenge: How does one seal the “leaky envelope” without destroying the very walls, windows and features that make the home architecturally significant? Porat began by partnering with Sustain- Martin Taylor W The entrance hall and stairwell, with a distinctive mosaic of re-used roof tiles, was kept, with radiant heating running under the foyer floor. able Spaces, a San Francisco- the home is using and where it’s appropriate insulation the most based company that is commit- being wasted — mainly through cost-effective first step. ted to improving air quality and air leaks, lack of insulation or In Porat’s case, that meant reducing energy use in homes. old appliances and lighting that drilling holes in the plaster and Recently re-branded as Re- are not energy-efficient. blowing in insulation made of curve, the company begins with Matt Golden, co-founder of brown cellulose (made from a home-energy audit, an assess- Recurve, calls most of the fixes old newspapers) and tamping it ment of just how much energy “low-hanging fruit,” with adding (continued on page 43) *>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞÊUÊ iVi“LiÀÊ£n]ÊÓää™ÊU Page 41 Sarah Cornwell CLASS GIFT? ... Know someone who’s yearning to learn to knit? Menlo Park Recreation is offering Knitting 101 on Tuesdays, Jan. 5 through March 23, from 11 a.m. to noon, at Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Road, Suite N, Menlo Park. Instructor Lucia Tedesco also teaches at local yarn stores and schools. Participants should bring U.S. size 8 needles (single point) and two balls of light-color worsted-weight acrylic or wool yarn to first class. Cost is $168 for Menlo Park residents, $226 for nonresidents. For information, call 650-330-2200 or register online at www.menlopark. org. N so The exterior of the 1936 home was virtually unchanged. Owner Marc Porat refers to the attic, below, as his ‘Star Trek room,’ which was sprayed with open-cell foam insulation and contains the air handler and ductwork. GIVE IT AWAY ... Canopy is encouraging people to buy living trees from a nursery, then donate them for planting in San Jose through the nonprofit, Our City Forest. Drop off days are Saturdays, Jan. 2 and 9, in San Jose. Most varieties are acceptable, except Monterey pines. For a complete list and care instructions, visit www.ourcityforest. org/index.htm?/articles_xmastreelist_frm.htm. READY FOR WINTER? ... The City of Palo Alto has some advice for preparing for a major storm: Keep important papers in a safe-deposit box, discuss emergency plans with the family, keep sandbags and tarps nearby for waterproofing, keep your gas tank filled and keep leaves and debris out of the streets and gutters .The city also suggests storing emergency supplies (first-aid kit, essential medicines, dried or canned food, non-electric can opener, cash, portable radio, flashlights and extra batteries, and drinking water — enough for one gallon per person per day for at least three days) at work, home and in the car. For information about joining Palo Alto Neighborhood Disaster Activities (PANDA)’s emergency response team, call 650-617-3197. Al E M 48 HO GE EN PA OP DE, I GU HOME & REAL ESTATE PA L O A LT O W E E K LY

Palo Alto Weekly 12.18.2009 - Section 2

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