Green Renovation Details of Thorwood

An 1880 National Register building first a home (1880-1915), then a hospital (1915-1953), then a six plex (1953-1983), then a bed and breakfast inn (1983-2007) and now three condos - Thorwood Rentals and Retreats in Hastings, MN is indeed itself one of the best examples of recycling.

The division into three vacation rental condos has been done with total respect for the home’s original integrity. The formal part of the home with the original parlors and kitchen space and three second floor bedrooms is the largest and most formal of the trio and includes full basement accessible from private elevator. The servants’ quarters is another condo (also first and second floor and basement) and the third is the entire 1700 square foot attic space with 10 foot ceilings and 24inch deep window sills tucked in the impressive French mansard roof.

Fiberglass Insulation blown into the attic, all wall cavities, and floor joists This not only prevents heat loss but provided a fire barrier for the old balloon constructions, and a sound barrier between floors and units.

We retain the original windows to preserve the historic integrity of the National Register Property, so we completely reconditioned all rails and glazing, we replaced the old anodize aluminum triple track storm windows with high efficiency single light storm windows approve by the National Park Service. The single removable lite windows require that both upper and lower windows be movable We replace the old zinc weather stripping with more sealable rubber and foam the old zinc track were also replace with foam fill flexible track providing a better seal and allowing the window to slide more easily. New antique window locking hardware was installed to provide a snug window fit between rails. We believe all this measured provided window system efficiency close to the modern triple gaze system with original 1880 windows with original thick wavy glass.

We used a very tough material called Dura last. This 40 year roofing material is light colored tan or white which reflects the sunlight. We used white on the unseen third floor roof. It reflects 60% of the sunlight cutting the cooling cost by 15%. The tan reflects 40% of the sunlight cutting cost by 10%.

The Greenhouse is built facing south on the third floor It provides unobstructed passive solar with dark tile floor that heats itself even in the dead of winter. To capture this heat we installed a boiler with a microprocessor. The boiler has a 150,000 BTU capacity but will calculate and use only the BTU required to bring the water to temperature. The boiler heats the domestic hot water and via a heat exchanger the forced air for the unit. The water from the greenhouse is already preheated thus the boiler fires at a much lower BTU level. The passive solar benefit can be a further benefit to the condo by opening the door during the day and closing it at night. The greenhouse is also equipped with a thermostat which will automatically opens ventilator windows in the summer and turns on a ceiling fan.

High efficient Air Conditioners and furnaces were installed. All appliances are rated high efficiency as well.

Toilets were replaced with low water usage units

Driveway and Parking lots
All asphalt was removed and replaced with water absorbent pavers. Rain barrels are being used instead of in-ground sprinklers.

Tile Warmers
Tile warmers for the basement floor offer a low cost heat. It also aids in keeping basement humidity levels lower

Low wattage compact fluorescent including exterior parking lot lighting Landscape lighting is solar.

Recycled materials were used throughout the project including:
  • century old beams made into a fireplace mantle and also planed down for screen doors
  • a perfect piece of walnut cured from a tree from the grounds that had been struck by lightening made into steps
  • marble from the demolished Sheraton Ritz Hotel in Minneapolis used in the bathrooms and fireplace hearths
  • Iron fencing from the Minneapolis Public Library surrounds the house
  • Elevator doors from the buildings original hand crank elevator are now doors to the laundry room in one of the units.
  • Antique light fixtures including an 1870 gas French newel post lamp and gas and electric fixtures now retrofitted for electricity and new LED bulbs.
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Thorwood Rentals and Retreats Green Efforts
"Had a wonderful time with my Sisters and Nieces stayed in the Lumbar Baron Suite. Lots of room and the bath was fabulous. Pam and Dick were very accommodating and gracious. Kudos to them for preserving a little piece of history and sharing it. We will definitely be making it an annual trip. Highly recommend the Arts Aloft painting experience. Dave made it fun, while learning something new."
Thorwood Rentals and Retreats :: 315 Pine St   Hastings, MN 55033 :: 615-437-3297 ::
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