Star Residence Inside

Star Residence Goes GreenStar Silver in Wilmette, IL

TStar Residence Insidehe client is an empty nester who sought to build a green home in Wilmette.  Previous homes she had built in the Northeast included green ideas and concepts, but she desired to expand from those restricted builds and create something for her current lifestyle, while planning ahead for future physical challenges if they were to occur.

This home includes a passive solar, double wall construction, low E windows and doors, light colored shingles, and a detached garage. The home also features paneling installed by Hardie, sun shades, spray foam insulation, energy star appliances, high efficiency furnaces and water heater, reclaimed finishes, low VOC cabinetry, and clean burning fireplaces. Tremendous amounts of passive solar heating and lighting pulse through double wall construction for a tight home. Reflective color shingles were installed to reduce heat gain, while sun shades were implemented to control the lighting, giving the home a remarkable atmosphere. The home was also pre design and wired to be solar pv ready if the homeowner chooses to add solar. Water efficient fixtures, toilets and valve control kitchen sink were installed to conserve water and energy. Milwork, doors and windows contain FSC certified wood and/or 25% post consumer recycled content and are low emitting.

The home has an impressive Air Changes per Hour at 1.4 with a HERS index rating of 51 making it 49% more energy efficient. Native/drought tolerant landscaping made up about 60% of the added landscape and veggie garden raised beds give the ability to grow local food.

GreenStar Homes Points 

  • Energy 170
  • Materials 105
  • Health 106
  • Water 38
  • Place 83
  • Total 502

SIZE: 2,400 square feet

PROJECT TYPE: Single Family- New Construction

DESIGNER/ARCHITECT:

Coda Design + Build
600 Waukegan Rd. Suite 129, Northbrook, IL 60062
847-920-9700
www.codadb.com
Providing the Chicago Metropolitan area unprecedented residential real estate consultation, design services, construction services and home concierge services.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coda-Design-Build/190749694435922
Houzz: http://www.houzz.com/coda-design-build

RH PV roof shot

MI Solar works in Muskegon – Project update

Hesselink Installation – Completed May 19, 2014 - Update January 2015

Why?  Someone has to take a risk and start the ball rolling.  I have always believed in leading by example. Solar does work in Michigan and I want to provide details that actually demonstrate that solar is affordable for an average home owner, on an existing home and that it does work in Michigan. It is exciting to see that so far we are on track for the projected 80%  of my $55.00 monthly savings– Renae Hesselink

Renea Headshot & Solar Pv

Details

  • Muskegon County, Egelston Township
  • 5 KW System, 18 panels, SolarWorld, Made in USA, Solarworld purchases from businesses in Michigan exceeds $1 million
  • Footprint: Approximately 360 square feet
  • 2012 Electric Usage 12,149 Kwh, $ 1686.39 total  Average of 1012
  • 1470 square feet roof
  • 2012 Electric Usage  12,149 Kwh, $ 1686.39 total  Average of 1012 Kwh/month
  • 2013 Electric Usage 8,663 Kwh $1283.18 total  Average of 721 Kwh/month

 Related Costs:

  • Removal of a tree $500 *
  • Upgrade Electrical Panel to 200 amp $1500 *
  • Consumers Energy Application $100
  • Amount Financed: $14,580 @ 7% 10 years
  • Payments $168.10
  • Expected Payback 10 years
  • Expected Panel Life 25 years warranty, life 25 years +
  • Estimated 30% Federal Tax Credit when file 2014 taxes $4810
  • Bottom line cost after 30% tax credit $9770.00

Things to consider:

  • My house faces east so I will not get the maximum production – south facing is the best
  • Inverter replacement expected around year 15

Results after the first 26 days of production

*Not adding into the cost of the system to figure out my return on investment, as I would have done this anyway

Here is a summary of my journey:

September 2013 – was notified that the Mi Solar program is available on the west side of Michigan now

Completed the online application to Srinergy, sent them 12 months of my electric usage – copies of my

Consumers Energy billsUpdate Solar Usage

  • Srinergy determined that I would be eligible with the removal of a tree in my front yard – proposal received
  • October 6, 2013 – tree removed
  • October 18, 2013 – applied for a loan through Genisys Credit Union (I did not have a relationship with a credit union in Michigan which was a requirement for a loan) – approved at 7% interest rate
  • October 21, 2013 Received and signed contract from Srinergy
  • Late October determined that my electrical panel needed to be upgraded to a 200 amp – this was a slow process as I tried to find someone locally to do this work. Finally received a proposal in early January and work was completed in early March. With the harsh winter we had some of the delay was due to having work to be completed outside.
  • December 20, 2013 – Generator Interconnection Application completed and submitted to Consumers Energy with a check for $100 and a site plan
  • Then the harsh, harsh winter sets in and we waited and waited until the deep snow piles surrounding my house disappeared and it warmed up enough to work outside – a very long winter and spring didn’t appear until May it seems like. During this time we attempted to find a local electrical contractor that was willing to learn the skills to install. I originally tried to get the contractor that I had worked with to be the one and they were very slow to respond. Finally Sirnergy found Belasco Electric of Muskegon to work with and train.
  • Pulling the building permit from my Township took about three weeks. Not sure why so long but it finally came through the week of May 5, 2014.
  • May 19, 2014 – installation begins and is completed by May 21st. Before we could turn on the system it had to be approved by the electrical inspector and building inspector which all occurred by May 23rd.
  • May 23rd at 5:00 p.m. I flipped the switch on.
  • A week or so later I received my online account information for Watch-A-Watt so I could view my energy production over the web.
  • May 31, 2014 – completed my installation documents. Afadavit for the Renewable Energy Credits, and completion of the work.
  • June 5, 2014 – completed my loan paperwork, first payment due mid-July
  • Consumers Energy needed to install a bi-directional smart meter – I had a smart meter that had been installed last year but needed to be change and they did that on June 11, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.
  • June 9th received a request that our Township Building Inspector wanted to come on-site to inspect – that was done on June 12th and no issue – received a sign-off

solar2 003

Other things to consider:

Somewhere in that timeline (early on) I also contacted my home insurance company to inquire about extra coverage which was not needed.

Local Fire Department – which I have yet to do as of June 19th – received a document from Srinergy (my request) on how to handle a fire on a structure with rooftop solar. I want to take this and meet with my local fire chief. Training and awareness opportunity.

Things that I will be watching and reporting:  Property Value

Project Team

o  Installer: Srinergy  http://srinergy.com/

o  Electrical Contractor: Belasco Electric http://belascoelectric.com/

Sign up for a free home solar assessment today!

IMG_9796[9]

New Habitat Home Positioned to Receive LEED v4 Certification

IMG_9796[9]Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, a long time partner but new member of the institute, hopes to complete its first LEED for Homes v4 certified home in the spring of 2015. In fact, this home is positioned to be the first LEED v4 home in Michigan.

Introduced a year ago, LEED v4 is the newest version of the popular internationally accepted accreditation program, offering new categories (such as human health and natural resources), time-saving support tools and enhanced opportunities for building performance management.

Located at Oakland Ave. SW, Habitat Kent’s newest project is part of the Grand Rapids Community College 100th anniversary build. The majority of the home will be built by students studying green construction in the GRCC Tassell M-Tec program. This home, which started in August, is one of three homes that M-Tec students will partner with Habitat Kent to build this year.

IMG_9787[9]The home will have features to reduce its carbon footprint. Special attention to detail at each step of the construction process has been performed with the students on site, including:

  • Cutting-edge water heater designed to improve efficiency through a closed combustion system that pulls fresh combustion air in from the outside – eliminating the need for a fresh air intake
  • Extremely tight and well-insulated house envelope to save in heating costs
  • Additional testing measures, including pre-drywall, infra-red camera testing and blower door tests, to help ensure quality of the thermal envelope

The GRCC students have been eager to learn about sustainable design and the LEED for Homes program. Working on this house provides them the opportunity to understand efficient building practices that go beyond a typical code built home.

“We purposefully chose a GRCC build to be our first LEED v4 home because of the commitment of the GRCC M-TEC programs to sustainable building practices,” said Brandyn Deckinga, Habitat Kent project manager. “As with any LEED-certified building, the partnership with all trade contractors, material suppliers, energy raters and others is vital in the overall success of the build.”

Jamison Lenz, GHI program manager has been working with the students to meet the LEED V4 train the trades requirements and helping them understand many components of a LEED home through on site and classroom education.

To keep up to date with the build, connect with Habitat Kent on Facebook.

Stove Reeves

Michigan’s First GreenStar Gold Certified New Home

Plaque 2 - Version 2

Marsha Traxler Reeves and John Reeves, Homeowners

During the time when Marsha & John Reeves were in the market for a new home after deciding to move from the Ann Arbor region, they happened upon a green home educational session put on by the SE region’s sustainability design expert, Michael Klement. There were sold from there.

According to my teachers, the two primary guidelines for being a good person in the Anishinaabe world are: 1. Don’t take more than you need, and 2. Don’t waste. Since I am always working to be a good person, it was essential to follow these guidelines in building a house. Green building helps people to avoid taking more than they need and to avoid waste as much as possible. We are blessed in this part of the world to have people with a great deal of knowledge and experience in green building, so the choice to build 'green' was easy.” – Marsha Traxler Reeves, Homeowner

Reeves House PicIt was no surprise that when choosing to move to Newaygo, the Reeves contacted Vos Energy Concepts, a small residential construction company in Rockford that only commits to building green homes. The home the Reeves wanted to build was no ordinary new home. It was to be located in the Manistee National Forest on acreage connected to the beautiful Muskegon River - and the goal was preservation. The project removed neither heritage nor important trees from the site. Dan Vos, a builder from Vos Energy Concepts says: “Small tree logs from the land were split in half, left with bark, and were placed inside between the window frames. Support posts for the patios and entrance roof on the home are logs also from the property.” In addition, rainwater will be captured on site with rain barrels. The water will be used to water the medicinal plants that grow around the house along with the gardens. The gardens are not conventional, rather, they follow the practice of huglekultur. Huglekultur is an alternative type of raised bed garden system that stays fertilized and moist from a decaying log planted underneath it. Any unused rainwater, because it comes off a food-grade metal roof, will not harm the local aquifer as it immediately goes back into the ground.

Stove ReevesInside the house you will get a sense of biophilliac design elements including use of tree branches, natural shapes, and ample interior natural lighting which provides views of the natural world outside. Many of the materials, finishes, trims, and cabinets were locally made using regionally sourced or reused materials. As the Vos Energy Concepts website states, “Old School chalkboards were up-cycled, cut to size, polished, and placed as the window sills. Small tree branches standing up, stripped, and finished placed throughout the home are used for hanging scarves, wet gloves, coats, baskets, towels, and whatever else needs a place. A local artist, Kendra McKimmy, put together a design of a tree from the shore of Lake Superior. Stones collected by the homeowner and artist were used in the making of this beautiful tree that is located on the bathroom curved wall facing the soaking tub.”

Loft view 10:14

View from the Loft

“I believe that there are finite resources for all of mankind. So to be a steward of resources becomes a requirement for all of us. I have 11 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren that are counting on those of us in the decision process today to make responsible choices in the use of our finite resources. Building green is one of those responsible choices. ” – John Reeves, Homeowner

From an energy standpoint, this home rated at a HERS index of 16 which makes it 84% more energy efficient than the standard built-to-code home. The HERS index score comes from local Energy Rater, John Kuyper, who reviewed all of the components and mechanicals of the home to accurately project it’s efficiency. The super tight and efficient concrete foam shell of the home sits on insulated concrete floors which retain the heat of the sun in the winter. Above the home, the attic is insulated and air-sealed with a reflective metal roof to keep down the heat from the sun in the winter. All energy star appliances and LED lightbulbs are installed throughout and a Heat Recovery Ventilator keeps fresh air circulating in the house while avoiding a lot of heat loss during the winter. The home also utilizes a very high efficiency and sealed wood stove for cold winters and radiant floors in junction with a mini split air source heat pump powered by solar PV and hot water to keep the energy costs down and the homeowners comfortable.In addition to the fresh air, the air quality in the home is not diminished because the home only uses low- or no-VOC paints, primers, and sealants, as well as tiled bath surrounds that prevent interior mold growth behind the walls.

Certificate Image ReevesThe Reeves joined Consumer's EARP program and started generating electricity in November, 2013, but didn't get a statement from them that included generating information until June, 2014.  Therefore, they only have information from 5/14/14 to 9/12/14, a third of the year and months with long days:

kWh generated 5/14/14 - 9/12/14:  3923

kWh used         5/14/14 - 9/12/14:   1737

2186  generated above used

They expect to achieve see Net Zero Energy but stay tuned!

The GreenStar process, while being fairly easy to utilize, was made easier by Dan Vos’s experience with building many LEED certified homes. The Reeves’ goals on this project did not align with LEED for Homes, but GreenStar certification made a lot of sense for them. While we approached this home using GreenStar in the middle of the construction period, the reviewers were still able to retain what they needed to verify the home’s completion. “Brett and the GreenHome Institute staff were wonderful to work with! They went far beyond my expectations in assisting us through the application and certification process. Their personal attention to the details of our needs was truly impressive," said Marsha Traxler Reeves.

You can review all the greenstar details that went into this home here. 

Don't miss the June 6th 2015 Tour - Continuing Education

Plaque & label

This home was designed and built by Dan Vos, Vos Energy Concepts.

ICF walls & slab work was done by Eldon Howe of Howe Construction

Energy Efficiency and Green Built features include:

-Hers score rating of 16.

-ICF walls-Concrete stained floors.

-Energy Star North star Triple pane windows.

-Solar hot water and Photovoltaic (PV) panels.

-High efficiency wood stove when needed.

-Radiant heat throughout the house.

-HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator)

-Mini Split Heat Pump that heats and cools the air.

-Insulated blinds for all windows, keeping the winter warmth in and coolness in the summer.

-Insulation under concrete floors.

-Energy star appliances.

-Metal roof.

-Stucco walls on outside of home, giving the homeowners little upkeep on outside.

-Energy star lightning LED throughout the entire house.

-Locally milled rough sawn wood planed by builder and used for floors in loft area, ceilings in bedroom area and also for countertops in bathrooms (Oak and Walnut).

-Tiled in bathrooms-backsplash areas, tub surround & walk-in shower.

-Hanging pendants lights, ceiling lights, and ceiling fans with LED bulbs purchased at the Habitat for Humanity Resore.

-Old school house chalkboards up-cycled for window sills.

-Barrier free design.

 

America's Oldest Net Zero House color corrected v.2

Mission Zero Home: A Greenstar Gold Remodel

While sitting in his living room, spending the day documenting his home to verify all the measures and requirements for GreenStar, I showed Matt Grocoff the GreenStar checklist tool and manual to give him an idea of what was needed for his project. After looking through it, his immediate response was, “I Certificatewish I would have known about this when I started.”

Back in 2010, Matt began a journey. He purchased a 110 year old home in Ann Arbor, MI that has led him on the international road promoting net-positive homes and buildings. When he bought the home, he reviewed the LEED for Homes program but decided against it. He found it to be too invasive for what he wanted and could afford to do to his existing home. Matt, in partnership with Meadowlark, was a pioneer in the world of Green Home deep energy retrofits in the Midwest and has helped influence what can and should be done to bring an existing home to net zero energy.

Grocoff Heashots (1 of 4)Despite lacking a good tool (like LEED or GreenStar), Matt and his family persisted on with the renovation. First they underwent a home energy assessment utilizing the HERS index. The results were off the charts – far above 100. “From there we needed to work backwards. Using the PV watts calculator, we determined we could get roughly 9,000 kwh of solar given size of our roof and available technology. For 9,000 kwh to be sufficient, we realized we needed to improve the home’s HVAC, insulation, air sealing, appliances, lighting and other areas to get us down to that level without sacrificing comfort or a normal lifestyle,” Matt explained. Through the detailed but simple measures listed below, Matt’s home is a proven Net Zero home - even while driving a Chevy Volt and charging it at home! They plan to add a little more PV so that they can update their vehicle to a Tesla and still remain net zero.

America's Oldest Net Zero House color corrected v.2One thing that I learned while sitting down with Matt and discussing the push back to an all-electric home is the claim that it’s a waste because of electric line loss of up to 10% energy. Most utilities and even the HERS score incentivize the use of Natural Gas. Matt enlightened me to a partnership between Google and the Natural Resource Defense Council that is utilizing Google vehicles to show major natural gas leaks in gas lines all over the country. These leaks are not accounted for in line loss of energy, while electric is.

Beyond energy, Matt and his family were inspired by the Living Building Challenge (which they are pursuing) and are now, in partnership with U of M Blue Lab Engineering and a Ford Foundation Grant, exploring Net Zero water. The goal is to be able to design a system that captures 100% of rainwater off the roof, stores the water, and cleans it to potable and non-potable standards. The final step would be attaining approval by the municipality to install the system. One interesting challenge the Grocoffs must overcome is that their asphalt shingle roof has been proven to contaminate runoff water toxins such as lead. These toxins are very expensive to remove. However, the cost to seal the existing shingles or replace the shingles may prove cheaper in the long run than maintaining a clogged water filtration system. Another element that Matt and his family are working on is to prevent 100% of the home’s storm water from getting into the city sewer. This could be done partly by capturing water from the roof, partly by adding rain gardens. The most unique idea is a partnership with the city that would replace the sidewalks in front of the house with a system that will direct rainwater from the sidewalk to his rain gardens. If it works, replacing sidewalks this way could model in Ann Arbor and in other cities around the country how to reduce the expense and pollution caused by run off and storm water.

Why water?

Even though we live near the Great Lakes and have access to more water than we need, it’s no secret that quality and quantity of water is diminishing. “While all the news media was going on about California this year, much of Michigan was experiencing a major drought and lack of underwater aquifers. It’s important that we have deeper conversations about water in our state and how to protect it through simple things we can to do our buildings,” says Matt.

Because of Matt’s diligence during the renovation process, his home was easily back certified to GreenStar standards. He blew the gold standard “out of the water." explained Brett Little. We also are grateful to work with him to develop recommendations for existing homeowners using the GreenStar tool to achieve our new zero energy certification. We are very excited to award Matt and the Mission Zero Home with the GreenStar Gold Type 1 Remodel Certification and to induct him before anyone else into our Zero Hero Hall of Fame. We will be monitoring Matt’s house and following his case study as he supplies us with Return on Investment, future energy use, water use, indoor air quality testing data, and other interesting aspects as he continues to do more to his home.

Net Zero VerificationLearn more

Free Webinar worth 1 hour of continuing education – GBCI, AIA (HSW), NARI Green & LFA and review utility data. More here.

Ingredients Label Mission Zero

 

 

 

 

 

Project Details

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

Living Space: 1300 sq. ft.

2,600 sq. ft. of conditioned space

General Contractor: Matt Grocoff, Thrive Net Zero Consulting

Whole-House Performance Contractor: Meadowlark Energy

Greenstar checklist submittal with full details on the home.

Website: Happy Home How! http://www.happyhome.how/

 

Energy

Attic Insulation/Air Sealing: R-30Demilec Sealection 500

Wall Insulation: R-13 Farmers dense-packed cellulose insulation

Rim Band Joist: Air sealed and insulated

Windows: Trapp low-e storms

Air Tightness: 4.75 ach50

Alternative Energy: SunPower 8.1 kW photovoltaic system

Heating/Cooling: 3-ton Water Furnace Envision

Window Restoration: Wood Window Repair Company

Lighting Controls: Watt stopper motion sensor light switches

Power Strips: Smart Strip Power Strips

Window Treatments: EcoSmart Insulated cellular shades

Water Heater: Geothermal + Air Heat pump

Dryer: Heat pump technology

Appliances: Induction Cooktop

HERS Index: 37

Residential Energy Performance Score: 61 (rated at 9,000 kwh/year)

 

Water Conservation

Toilets: Caroma Dual-Flush

Showerheads: Bricor 1 GPM (HET)

Faucets: Bricor .38 GPM!

Irrigation: Rain barrels (salvaged from St. Jullian's Winery)

No Garbage Disposal

 

Health

Whole-House Ventilation: Ultimate Air ERV

Furnace Filter: MERV 8

Paints: Zero VOC - Benjamin Moore Aura, AFM Safecoat, Sherwin Williams Harmony

Floor Finish: Bioshield Hard oil #9

Molding Finish: Hock natural shellac

Bedding: NaturePedic mattress

Flooring: Mostly wood through out

Knob & Tube Wiring Removed

 

Materials

Salvaged Doors: Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Picture Frames: Urban Ashes

Salvaged Wood Stock: Urban Wood

Outbuilding: Chicken coop salvaged from neighbor's playhouse

Carpet: Wool stair runners from G & K Flooring

Retained Existing home through minor remodel!

Perimeter plantings kept up to 24 inches away from the home.

Milwork, countertops, cabinets, trim, floors, and windows all refurbished and reused.

 

Site & Community

Conventional turf grass reduced

Home recycling and compost center

Walk Score – 70 +

Public transportation and biking is good

65% of undeveloped site is permeable

40% native / drought tolerant plantings

Rain gardens to stop storm water run off

*Some of this list was borrowed from Matt’s house being featured on Green Building Advisor.

Sumac Grove

West MI Home Nears Zero Energy – One Thing Missing

Sumac Grove

Sumac Grove

We reached back out to Sam Pobst to take a look at his LEED Platinum home and he sent us his latest utility bills of energy use vs energy produced. You can review it here.

What we found was that from Aug 13 - Aug 14 he had roughly used about 3,000 KWHe (heating and cooling) of energy over what he produced.

"In our original energy model we had included a solar hot water collector which we never installed.  This would have generated about 10% of our total energy requirements for the home, and put us slightly energy positive.  I hope to install it one day, but it is not in the budget yet," says Sam.

We also asked Sam to talk a little bit about the ROI versus a conventional home built in Michigan. He says, "The ROI with all of the technology we implemented I estimate at about seven years.  The PV has a payback of three years largely because of the EARP grant, the tax credit, and my labor to install it.  The cost premium for the Serious 925 windows over a standard Energy Star window is less than two years."

EARP or Experimental Advanced Renewable Program is a program from consumers energy where homeowner's and business owners can be selected to receive almost double the going rate for the electricity sold to the grid.

"I have somewhere around $20,000 invested in the insulation and sealing of the building envelope.  I can’t say what the payback on this is because I don’t know what the baseline cost would be for code built construction.  This includes all of the insulation, extra framing, and the extra plywood sheathing.  Assuming a code built home with 2x6 construction, a quarter of the insulation, and OSB sheathing, would cost at least half this much, I estimate that the payback is around ten years for this.  This payback continues for the life of the home which I estimate to be around 200 years if well maintained," remarks Sam.

Sam's home was a targeted passive house but he never made it. Below he details how he surpassed some areas of the program but not in others.

He says, "While we did not meet the heat demand requirements, we more than met the air infiltration requirements, and we devastated the actual primary energy demand by over half."

                                                    Required                  Actual

Heat demand                           4.75                             6.47

Pressure result                         0.6 ACH50                0.44 ACH50

Primary Energy Demand    38 kBTU/ft2yr            17.5 kBTU/ft2yr

"Based on these metrics, and what I heard at the last PH conference, a restructuring of the organizing principles of PH to weigh these three critical PH components to arrive at a score make more sense," says Sam.

Catch a video about Sam's project from start to finish, review the profile, and stay tuned to learn if Sam goes Net Positive.

Garfield House - in progress

YouthBuild Akron Ohio LEED Platinum Rehab

Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. (Akron YouthBuild) partnered with Saint-Gobain through the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation with support from the Saint-Gobain family of companies, to complete a green renovation at 887 Garfield Street in PIC of house - afterAkron, OH.  Saint-Gobain was founded in 1665 to manufacture glass for the Palace of Versailles in Paris, France. They are the Worlds largest building materials company. Recognized as a 2009 & 2010 Energy Star partner of the year by the US EPA, Saint-Gobain earned the 2011, 2012, & 2013 Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. The YouthBuild program started in 1978 in East Harlem, New York. The program concentrates on youths aged 16-24 who work full-time for 6-24 months while working toward their GED's or High School Diplomas while at the same time learning job skills by building affordable housing in their communities.

The Garfield Project is the first YouthBuild Akron home to achieve the prestigious LEED Platinum certification.  Saint-Gobain and its family of companies have donated a range of building materials and many hours of on-site support from CertainTeed Building Scientists to complete the green home renovation. The homGarfield House - in progresse features a heat recovery system and very efficient CertaSpray Closed Cell Foam Insulation which contribute to its energy efficiency. The home received a HERS score of 65 meaning that it is 35% more efficient than other comparable homes. In addition to energy efficiency measures the home incorporates several landscaping features that reduce it's irrigation needs. For example, drought tolerant plants were installed along with a slow-growing grass that needs no fertilizers, little mowing, and relatively little water. The home harvests rainwater from its roof. These aspects have accumulated a 59% water reduction due to the sites landscape architecture alone. 

CertainTeed (an affiliate of Saint-Gobain) donated many of the building materials. These materials contributed significantly to the overall efficiency and sustainability of the home. Grenite Engineered Stone Countertop's were used and constructed with up to Garfield House - After 185% post-consumer recycled content. Air-Renew Gypsum Board boasts industry only technology that removes VOC's from the air and converts them into safe inert compounds, once they are captured in the board they cannot be released into the air. This Gypsum Board also aids in the reduction of moisture and mold. On the rooftop, LandMark Solaris - Solar Reflecting Roofing Shingles were utilized. They reflect the suns rays and reduce roof temperatures up to 20%.

Garfield House - Label

 

Print and Share the Project Profile - PDF

Press Release

Video - Garfield Project

Saint-Gobain & YouthBuild Akron (Garfield House) - PDF

Elm St. PIC

Indianapolis Restored Home Gets LEED Platinum & Sells Fast!

Elm St. PICThis home located on Elm St. in Indianapolis, IN was an abandoned space, built in 1910, that was bid on for redevelopment through the Southeast Neighborhood Development (SEND) organization's Transfer and Transform program, which seeks to reinvigorate the community

Elm St. B4 INT

Interior before

 

"William Wagnon of Green Path Homes  had been looking for an opportunity to do a LEED Platinum certified redevelopment on a house that could serve as an example of green building for contractors, home owners and a city in need of sustainability." The house on Elm presented a perfect opportunity to showcase the economic viability of a green project as well as its added health and enjoyment benefits.

 

No subsidies or donations were taken to help the project along. "We wanted to do it as a market-rate project so that nobody could make an excuse for not doing it. That's the point I wanted to make," Wagnon said.

Elm St. B4

Exterior before

"The house now features around $7,000 worth of insulation, putting the home's heating efficiency well-above most standards. The floor plan was changed to allow for a contemporary living style. Raised ceilings and other space improvements provide for maximum storage in the home. A rain garden now sits at the front of the house fed by a drain pipe from the roof. The backyard deck looks out onto a single-car garage, raised planters for growing vegetables and a patch of lawn." Additionally, 100% of installed plants were drought tolerant further reducing irrigation needs. In total, the outdoor water savings plus the water savings due to the indoor installation of highly efficient faucets, showers, and toilets etc. results in a monthly water savings of 69% based on total water use. We were able to utilize the V4 Homes Workbook: Water Reduction Calculator to derive this number. A copy of the information is attached to the project profile at the bottom of this post.

Elm St. INT PICThe small 960 sq ft. 2 bedroom 1 bath home is located in an area with outstanding access to community resources such as public transportation. This well sealed home uses energy efficient appliances and  is expected to save 47% on energy bills. Insulated piping adds to the efficiency of this home. 

A central HVAC system equipped with an additional dehumidification mode adds to the health of the home along with the use of hardwood with a preference for FSC certified woods.

So much care was put into this home on Williams blog he writes ... "Walter, who has does the exterior sheathing, rigid foam insulation and now the siding work is putting flashing tabs behind each butt joint on the siding.  These joints will all be caulked, but it's just a fact that caulk fails in a couple of years.  But with the flashing tabs, any water that penetrates is redirected right back to the outside.LEED Label Elm

Brad nailed every shingle of the roof by hand.  Yes, it takes much longer, but he knows each one is set.  In building the soffit end caps, he cut fairly complex pieces so it could be 1 piece of solid wood, instead of having multiple joints that would require caulking."

This project was the first residential home in the area to achieve the prestigious LEED Platinum certification.

Certificate(Final)

News Post Featuring this Project

http://www.nuvo.net/indianapolis/redeveloped-home-is-template-for-green-building/Content?oid=2567639#.UyCC7_ldWPM

Green Path Home Website and Blog

http://takethegreenpath.com/1055-elm-project/

 

Download and share the project profile - PDF (Includes V4 water reduction calculator and EPA WaterSense Info)

Warren rd. PIC1(2)

South east MI home scores LEED silver and is a top energy performer

This newly constructed LEED Silver Home is located on the north side of Ann Arbor, on a 5 acre lot.  The home is 4,500 square feet with 6 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, and has a walk-out basement.

Warren rd. PIC1(2) The project team wanted to build a very energy efficient, comfortable home for the family to raise their children in.  Throughout the project, the team emphasized purchasing sustainable materials including adhesives and sealants with zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) to attain a higher air quality. They worked with a HERS rater to hone in on their energy efficiency strategies. Northern Michigan Oak hardwood flooring was used throughout the first floor of the home because of its close proximity to the project.  All carpeting and underlayment were Green Label Plus certified by the GreenGuard Certification Institute. Blown-in cellulose insulation, which is made up of 100% recycled newspaper fiber, was used instead of fiberglass.  The fitness room boasts a 100% recycled rubber flooring and the TREX deck had a high percentage of recycled materials as well. A drought resistant turf grass mix limited irrigation requirements, as well as a wildflower mix on the perimeter of the turfed-in area.  Additionally, only native species of bushes and trees were installed.  The system is controlled by a RainBird Sensor that automatically adjusts the irrigation schedules if it senses rainfall.

LEED Nutrition LabelA Home Energy Rating Standard (HERS) Score of 44 was achieved for this house, which makes it in the top 10% of MI homes.  The score means that the home is 56% more efficient than a conventionally built new home, and 42% more efficient than Energy Star’s standard for homes.  To give you an understanding of what this equates to, the energy bill for this 4,500 sq. ft home during the month of July, was $110 for both electric and gas. The project team chose to focus on the Energy & Atmosphere and Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) credit areas to compensate for the sacrifice of Location & Linkages credits due to the projects distance from an urban setting. The high rating of LEED Silver was achieved by taking a whole systems design approach to building, and eliminating any weak points in the house.

  Download and share the project profile - PDF

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WI Platinum 2.5k Square foot Home averages $30 energy bills

Thanks to Jetson Green for sharing this awesome post! (Article written by Christine Walsh on Nov. 28, 2013)

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Architect Virge Temme of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin recently received the LEED Platinum for Homes certification for a private residence she designed near Gills Rock. The home was built by Bay Lakes Builders, and the plans were based on the collaboration of all members of the construction and design team so as to ensure proper integration of all systems. The electric and fuel bills for this 2,600-square-foot house were less than $30 per month on average during its first year. This is only the seventh home in Wisconsin to receive the LEED Platinum certification.

The building process started with the excavation of the meadow where the house stands, while the top soil was stockpiled and used for final grading later. Once the foundation was complete, the foundation forms were stripped and the below-slab plumbing and electrical runs installed. The builders continued with laying thermal tarp to protect the home from freezing rains. This was followed by the installing of under-slab insulation. All the joints were staggered and sealed in this process to prevent air movement between layers. Furthermore, all the penetrations through insulation were foam sealed, which protects against cold seepage and potential Radon gasses.

The roof was then installed, using 16″ I-joists to reduce thermal transmission and to provide additional insulation depth. The I-joists were placed directly over the studs below and the framed walls with studs at 24″ on center to reduce redundant top plate, which also reduced the overall framing materials need. The rafters were then screwed and strapped to studs to provide additional protection from wind. All the intersections were then foam-sealed.

To provide a continuous envelope 3/8″ OSB was added to the under side of rafters. Double 2-4 plates were screwed below the rafters to provide an electrical chase, eliminating the need for roof penetrations. The builders also used ladder framing, which greatly reduced the amount of redundant materials at wall-to-wall connections. Double-wall construction also eliminated thermal bridging and provided space for additional insulation.

construction

foamsealing

The house has insulation values of R-45 for walls, R-60 for the roof, and R-30 for ground insulation. Together with passive solar orientation and specially-coated windows to introduce solar warming, and which also feature overhangs to protect from summer over-heating, there is no need for a furnace or a boiler for space heating.

Other sustainable features of the home include:

- Sustainably-harvested framing materials
- Recycled/recyclable metal siding, roofing and insulation
- Drought-tolerant plants replanted around the home
- Rain gardens for roof runoff
- Only low- or no-VOC paints, adhesives and insulation were used to ensure better air quality
- Floors are made of concrete and sustainably harvested bamboo
- Only highly efficient appliances, lighting fixtures, and plumbing were installed
- The building process resulted in almost no construction waste

View LEED project Profile Here 

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siding

bambooflooring

concrete-flooring

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