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Case Study: Monomoy Road Residence

Case Study: Monomoy Road Residence

This case study discusses the renovation of the historic Monomoy Road Residence in Nantucket, emphasizing the preservation of the island's unique architecture. Emeritus collaborated with Existing Conditions to document this iconic fine home, utilizing the state-of-the-art RTC 360 laser scanner for precise and detailed interior and exterior documentation.

An Angle View of the Monomoy Road Residence
Exterior Rendering

Nantucket's History

Nantucket is a historic district located 30 miles off Cape Cod with a settlement dating back to the mid-17th century. It was a hub for the trade of whale oil, which was the primary source of fuel at the time, leading to its dramatic development in the 20th century. This high concentration of development on the island created a unique architectural language, which is preserved by the Historic District Commission (HDC) by enforcing all designs to maintain the style. Nantucket is a unique community in the country due to its preserved style, and there is a responsibility to maintain its architectural language.

Nantucket Railroad Leaving the Town, Circa 1917
Author: Nantucket Historical Association

History of the Monomoy Road Residence

The town of Nantucket has strict regulations for the construction of homes, including specific materials used for the exterior. This project involved a historic home built in 1920 with a unique interior. This particular house is located in the Monomoy neighborhood, adding to its historical significance. Monomoy is a historic neighborhood that has reached a hundred years of age. The possibility of working on historic homes in Nantucket is an exciting job for Existing Conditions and offers the chance to work with Emeritus. The neighborhood's age and unique characteristics set it apart and make it a noteworthy location.

Historic Image of the Monomoy Road Residence
Image Source: Nantucket Historical Association Research Library

About the Monomoy Road Residence

The Monomoy Road Residence is located in a prestigious harbor neighborhood near the water, where real estate values range between $7 million and $20 million. It is one of the larger single-family homes in the area and is easily recognizable as a marker for entering the neighborhood. There are public beach access points and areas where boats are moored nearby. The neighborhood is beautiful and attracts both residents and non-residents. The owner, a developer, usually purchases a house, renovates it, or builds on the land and then sells it. In this case, the owner underwent a lengthy review and approval process with HDC due to the iconic nature of the structure.

Current West View Image of the Monomoy Road Residence
Image by Emeritus

Partnering with Emeritus

In September 2021, Matt MacEachern, the Founder & Principal of Emeritus, reached out to Existing Conditions regarding a few renovations that needed documenting. He wanted to learn more about our work process. As a result, we quickly kicked off our first two projects in Nantucket. In November of 2021, we held a scan data review meeting with their team where we refined our modeling process to align with their standards and in-house templates. This meeting proved to be extremely beneficial as we took into consideration their comments on their in-house templates and made sure to model to meet those specs accordingly, eliminating the need for any additional re-work on their part.

Existing Conditions has established a successful partnership with Emeritus on Nantucket Island, where they specialize in residential work. Our previous work with Emeritus has developed a strong trust and understanding of their deliverable expectations. 

The closing of the deal for this project took place in May of 2022, and promptly the following day, our team at Existing Conditions scheduled a site visit and began the scanning process.

The Existing Conditions Team
On-site Image

Scope of Work Evolution

To ensure that every detail of the Monomoy Road Residence was captured accurately, the team at Existing Conditions deployed the RTC 360 laser scanner as their primary tool. This cutting-edge technology is specifically designed for capturing the architectural details of homes, both inside and outside. We scanned the exterior elevations on all four cardinal sides, providing a roof plan and interior architectural floor plans, including all necessary details such as doors, walls, windows, and partitions. This level of detail and accuracy was crucial in the renovation process and will serve as a valuable resource in the future. Existing Conditions completed the scanning process by the end of May 2022 and began modeling. Emeritus received all deliverables from Existing Conditions in June 2022.

Facade of the Monomoy Road Residence
Full Exterior Rendering of Building Information Model

The Challenge

Traditionally, Emeritus would have one of their team members go on site with only a measuring device. Emeritus had to rely on traditional methods to document the building’s existing conditions. Accurate measurements were crucial for zoning, setbacks, and other reasons, particularly for older buildings with settling and irregular angles. The Monomoy Road Residence project also faced challenges due to the strict guidelines and regulations on Nantucket, requiring HDC approval for any renovation to retain the historical architectural language on the island.

The Solution

Emeritus partnered with Existing Conditions for a renovation project, where accurate drawings and situational awareness were crucial. With 3D scanning, Existing Conditions can now capture the portions of the building that are not square, plumb, or level. Our up-to-date laser scanning technology allows us to document the building's existing conditions accurately and efficiently with greater detail. This eliminates the need for Emeritus to send a team member or rely on local staff to check measurements, saving time and money. With the 3D point cloud model, they can now reference the model in the virtual site visit without having to go on the site. This allows the Emeritus team to work more efficiently and effectively, focusing on designs, project management, and client communications.

How This Project Was Unique

Any time Existing Conditions work on a project in Nantucket, that makes the project unique on its own. On the island, the architecture is exquisite and it is a beautiful area with magnificent homes. Emeritus needed to get existing conditions drawings from Existing Conditions for this renovation project. It helped them determine the original footprint of the structure, especially when it has been added multiple times over the years, like in the case of the Monomoy Residence. This addition, which was a photography studio for the owner, was added in the 1968-1969 time frame. Before this, there were also one-story additions to the back of the property.

Area of Nantucket
On-site Image

Where Does This Project Stand Now?

Emeritus has recently been approved by the HDC and is now working on obtaining the building permit for the Monomoy Residence. The team is providing site plans, window and door sizes, and manufacturer information to the HDC. The approved drawings serve as a starting point for the final product and the Emeritus team used color coding to indicate demolition, with red shading indicating the removal of partitions and light red shading for later additions. Emeritus used a 3D model and multiple Revit models to differentiate between historic and non-historic portions of the building.

Existing Conditions Versus Proposed Floor Plans
HDC ATS Submission Provided by Emeritus

Emeritus added a new contemporary addition to the back of the historic structure, and the elevation and floor plans are shown for comparison. The perspectives, including the facade perspective, were instrumental in getting approval from HDC, and they demonstrate the original structure being moved over six or seven feet. When viewed from the public way, the addition is barely visible, and telescopes are at the back of the property. Existing photos of the house are also provided to show its current appearance.

Existing Conditions Versus Proposed Exterior Elevations
HDC ATS Submission Provided by Emeritus

About the Client Emeritus

Matthew MacEachern founded Emeritus in 2000, with a degree in Architecture. Initially, Emeritus focused on residential projects such as single and two-family homes, but after seven years they expanded into commercial projects, including a 20-room boutique hotel. With 22 years in business and ten employees, Emeritus has two office locations and has completed numerous residential and commercial projects, primarily located in Nantucket where they have a strong presence.

Matthew MacEachern Photograph by Wendy Mills Photography
Principal and Founder, Emeritus

“When Existing Conditions explained how their process worked, it seemed incredibly appealing to me because it is one less task our staff has to worry about. Their accurate data is a great reference for the model without having to go on-site. Not only is it a time-saver, but it also allows staff members to focus on design, project management, and client communications.”  - Matthew MacEachern, Principal, and Founder of Emeritus.

Our team has decades of experience when it comes to delivering accurate building documentation for fine homes. We've had the privilege to work on some of the most historic and high-profile residential projects in the United States, and we know what's required to get the job done right. If you're interested in seeing examples of our work in similar projects, follow this link for a brief overview.


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