Innovation That Matters

The renovation kept the classic, 1950s structure of the house, but added modern sustainable elements | Photo source Pfau Long Architecture

Home insulated with recycled denim

Architecture & Design

Architects have renovated a home in California using a range of sustainable features, including insulation made from recycled jeans

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Spotted: Too many old jeans in your wardrobe? Thinking of how you could best recycle them? A private residence in San Anselmo, California has recently been renovated with a variety of sustainable features, including insulation made from recycled denim.

The 1950s home belongs to a local architect, and sits on a 1.4 acre Marin County hillside. The architects decided to retain the floor-to-ceiling glass windows and masonry stone walls of the existing main structure, instead adding a new wing with two bedrooms and an updated, open-plan family room/kitchen.

The renovations also included redesigning the home for low-energy use, using sustainable building elements such as wood and steel, replacing the glass walls with low-E insulated glazed glass, and installing solar panels, solar and hydronic heating, solar pool heating and a greywater system. The new extension is integrated into the hillside, which reduces its water and power usage. 

The architects also chose to add insulation made from natural cotton fibres recovered from recycled jeans and scraps, and clippings from denim clothing manufacturing. According to the architects, the sustainable features of the house also include, “post-consumer products, high fly ash concrete, and FSC-certified wood.”

In an attempt to find an insulation that is greener and easier to work with than fibreglass, a number of designers have turned to wool, wood, hemp, jute and even recycled glass bottles. Moreover, if the number of alternatives we have covered at Springwise are any indication, the trend for sustainable insulation is set to continue. Recently we have seen insulating materials made from both recycled paper and hemp plants.

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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