Remodeling is big these days, and Boulder-based VaST Architecture has a knack for transforming rundown places into vibrant spaces (as they did with a co-work space called the Candy Shop).  VaST recently helped Gregg Olsen convert his Boulder, Colorado, 1960s, split-level home into an efficient abode with modern interior design.  The interior and exterior renovation was completed at a cost of $107 psf.



  • Refinished the existing oak flooring;
  • Added natural Forbo linoleum and wool flooring;
  • Used low-VOC paints and coatings;
  • Installed new plumbing, wiring, and lighting;
  • Installed new fiberglass Serious Materials windows;
  • Added new icynene insulation for a tight envelope;
  • Used Energy Star appliances and HRV for air replacement; and
  • Installed a dual-flush toilet.

This efficient house had a winter electrical bill of $60!  Not bad, but what’s more impressive is that the owner was able to renovate it without blowing the top off the place.  Some people take a home like this and add a ton of square footage (or raze and build some monstrosity), but I say leave it all in tact as Mr. Olsen did.  I hope to see more of these in the next couple years …

[+] Video Tour the Olsen Residence by Zachary Epps



Olsen-stair Olsen-bathroom

Photo credits: Dan O’Connor for VaST.