Leed Certification
Sustainable Sites

Tatum Residence


Jay and Shana Tatum


Houston, TX

LEED Consultant:

Chip Henderson

Project Goal:

The Tatum home is a residence for a family of five in northwest Houston. This significant rehabilitation project is distinct in that the family chose to remodel and update so that they could remain in their neighborhood close to friends, family, school and work. The home, originally built in 1939 as a duplex, was remodeled in 1998 to a single family residence. Therefore, the goal was to re-purpose existing spaces from a traditional floor plan to one that supported a larger family, in addition to upgrading systems to ones that were more efficient, all while reducing environmental impact during and after construction. Design protocols focused on resourceful solutions that met budget requirements and addressed risks such as interior moisture, air infiltration and ultra violet radiation. Ultimately, overall expansion was limited while design enhancements liberal, as the house was redesigned to incorporate day lighting, open spaces for family gatherings as well as private spaces upstairs to offer each child his/her own private room. By keeping total square footage under 3,000 square feet, the owners achieved a more manageable energy and maintenance plan for the home. The six bedroom, three bath house is intended to be flexible as the family’s needs change.


After an eight month period of construction, the home was built with a simple gable metal roof, a light exterior color so as to reflect heat, and wide eaves to improve solar thermal gain. A vented skin system and radiant barrier at the roof contribute to this goal. Gutters and downspouts collect clean rainwater from the roof and direct it to an underground tank, in addition to HVAC condensate, with both sources being harvested for landscape irrigation. Because 90% of the existing framing was reused, the goal of material reuse was met. Relying on more day lighting and LED interior lights when necessary, electricity usage was reduced. A high-efficiency HVAC system and an energy recovery ventilator to bring fresh air into the home help meet Energy Star criteria. Low VOC finishes and paints contributed to better air quality. Matching floor materials with salvaged Oak flooring from a neighboring house allowed seamless design transition while meeting material objectives.

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