Project Info

Architect: Treffle LaFleche, Andrew Hinterman / LDa Architecture & Interiors, Cambridge, MA
Contractor: Jeff Birnbaum / Pioneer Construction Co., Wellesley Hills, MA


• Renovate and build a sustainable addition to achieve LEED certification • Maintain the historical character of the house by preserving finishes, details, and materials
• Apply modifications that will support the home well into the future


The homeowner of this nearly 100-year-old home in a historic district of Newton, Mass., had three considerations in mind for its remodel: sustainability, historical preservation, and modifications to support the home into the next 100 years. With the help of Treffle LaFleche and Andrew Hinterman of LDa Architecture & Interiors, the renovation and addition earned the home a LEED for Homes Gold rating. The historical character of the house has been not only preserved but enhanced by the whole-house remodel.

The architects partnered with Pioneer Construction Co. to execute their extensive plans; Sudbury Design Group developed water-sensitive landscaping with noninvasive, drought-tolerant plants to improve drainage and create recreation areas. The exterior of the house was stripped and then re-clad with PVC shingles, and the original windows were replaced with energy-efficient new thermal pane windows. The team also used FSC-certified framing and roofing materials. The undersized garage was enlarged and given a green roof. In keeping with the historical emphasis, a color specialist suggested the five-color paint scheme based on colors used in similar turn-of-the-century homes.

The new addition connects the garage to the house—adding a mudroom and breakfast area and expanding the kitchen and second-floor master suite. The architects say that “the resulting project brings more daylight into the interior, improves flow between rooms, and celebrates the home’s traditional roots.” The design team took great care to preserve the historical finishes and details wherever possible, for instance, keeping the existing hardwood flooring intact and refinishing and reusing interior door panels.

Designers used green practices and features such as high-density closed-cell spray foam insulation, high-efficiency water fixtures, low-VOC finishes, rainwater collection, and sustainable waste management strategies. The house is also Energy Star for Homes certified. Above all, the architects say, “the homeowner felt very strongly about reclaiming and reusing historically accurate architectural features.”

LDa Architecture & Interiors was also granted a Merit award this year in the Basement Remodeling Over $100,000 category for its work on another historical Massachusetts’ home.

Judges’ Comments

The exterior of the house drew compliments from the judges, who also appreciated the “crisp and clean” custom details throughout. Though they found the remodel of the whole house to be well done, the judges singled out the kitchen as a particularly pleasant place to be. —Erin Thibeau, REMODELING editorial intern.


Bathtub: Hydro Systems
Bathroom plumbing fixtures: Newport Brass
Countertops: Via Lactea Granite, Caesarstone
Dishwasher: Thermador
Fireplace: Fireplace Xtrordinair
Garage doors: Vintage Custom Doors
Hardware: Emtek, Baldwin Hardware , Rocky Mountain Hardware
HVAC equipment: Carrier
Kitchen cabinets: Divine Kitchens, custom
Sink: Whitehaus
Lighting fixtures: Restoration Hardware, Shades of Light, Tech Lighting, Kichler Lighting
Oven: Thermador
Paints/stains: Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams
Refrigerator: Thermador
Siding: NuCedar Mills PVC shingles
Skylights/roof windows: Velux
Windows: Pella Corp.

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