Member New Leaf Home Design wins DOE Housing Innovation Award.

GHI member New Leaf Home Design, LLC, is excited to announce their Moreland Hills home project has been honored as a recipient of the 2023 Housing Innovation Award! This project is also certified under the GHI Zero Energy Home Certification program because it met the DOE Zero Energy Ready Certification, achieved a negative 2 HERS rating by a certified rater.

As a “Zero Energy Ready”, a distinction that places it among the nation’s finest in the realm of high-performance residential architecture. The Zero Energy Ready verification process confirms the home’s ability to provide exceptional energy efficiency, indoor air quality, comfort, and construction quality. 

The Moreland Hills home stands as a prime example of how thoughtful design, precise construction, and renewable energy can converge to create a residence that’s both visually stunning and environmentally responsible. Designed to take advantage of its ravine views, the home is also oriented to maximize the efficiency of its solar panels. With 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a spacious 3900 square feet of finished area, it has a HERS index of -2, a testament to its net-positive energy efficiency.

The homeowners are thrilled with the outcome. They shared, “We knew we wanted to mirror the land and build a functional, beautiful house that was sustainable and energy efficient. We have lived here for one year now, and the craftsmanship, efficiency, and livability have far exceeded our expectations. It is a joy to be in the house with the views of mature woods and new native landscaping. “

Hallie Bowie, the architect behind New Leaf Home Design, LLC, expressed her enthusiasm for the recognition: “We are immensely proud to receive the 2023 Housing Innovation Award. It reflects our dedication to high-performance home construction and electrification. Building green is no longer a cutting-edge approach used by just a few people on a handful of projects. The details and systems for sustainable construction have been implemented on thousands of homes, and researchers have verified their performance over decades of use. This award recognizes our implementation of these proven strategies.”

Cornerstone Construction of Northeast Ohio, the general contractor for the project who previously achieved LEED Platinum certification on a previous home with GHI, played a crucial role in bringing this vision to life. Their detail-oriented commitment to quality construction and sustainability mirrored that of New Leaf Home Design, LLC, resulting in this outstanding achievement.

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What are the top 5 YouTube green building education sessions of 2019? 

If we had to summarize the sessions it’s that people are craving all-electric net-zero homes that are built from natural and healthier building materials. We hope to see this exciting trend continue into 2020 and will work to bring in speakers, thought leaders, and courses around these topics.
Here is a summary of our top 5 in order. Check them out for your needed continuing education and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube to keep up with 2020 courses!
5. 7 Steps for designing economical zero energy residences. 
Views: 6,500
Professor Ty Newell joined us to discuss the Build Equinox ZEROS tool which is free to use on your next project to give you more assurance you are on track to take your next project to net-zero which includes using smart ventilation for lower energy use. Watch now!
4. Natural Building in Cold Wet Climates. 
Views: 18,500
Sigi Koko, Down to Earth Design, joins us in one of our very old webinars that’s still way ahead of its time discussing old traditions in a new way of using natural materials and insulations. Sigi shows us that we can use local, healthy and beautiful materials in a smart way to avoid the fears of rot and mold. Watch now! 
3. How to design and build affordable zero energy homes. 
Views: 20,000
Bruce of the zero energy project spreads the message that zero energy can be done with the right upfront planning for minimal extra costs and a quick return on investment in new homes and apartments. Come learn what you can do on your next project! 
2. Introduction to natural hempcrete construction 
Views: 25,000
Now with industrial hemp legalized in North America, it’s becoming easier to spec and build with healthier, locally sourced and potentially carbon-negative material. Join Chris Magwood to discuss strategies to implement this on your next project. Watch now. 
1. Introduction to fully ducted heat pumps for all-electric heating and cooling. 
Views: 30,000
Our top-rated course for the year is hardly a surprise. Heatpumps use to be confined to geothermal and ductless systems only but now work as plug and play electric furnaces that can replace old gas systems or used in new homes who still want fully ducted systems. Join Mike Schaefer from Mitsubishi who will walk you through the benefits of these new systems. Watch now!
GreenHome Institute continues to grow our YouTube channel with over 160,000 views this year and nearly 4000 subscribers!  Please make sure to subscribe today to keep with our 2020 CEU webinars that you can watch anytime, on your time!

Will Gallmeyer, Green Projects Group joins GHI Board of Directors in 2019, Elected Treasurer

Will is President at Green Projects Group, currently focusing on LED lighting supply. His background is in utility rebate programs, residential energy auditing, and construction/remodeling. He is passionate about affordable housing, energy efficiency, natural building, and cooperation. He is also on boards at Circle Pines Center and Fountain Street Church. His wife, Samantha, is passionate about birth work. Their dog, Tawny, is just an adorable dog. He was recently very inspired by Drawdown and wants to create a vehicle to implement those solutions hyper-locally.

Will serves as the Treasurer for GHI.

Kay T. Rose, Hope Network Housing Development Corp joins GHI Board of Directors in 2019

Kay Rose, a West Michigan native, has an extensive background in professional administration and customer service in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. She brings an overall understanding of business and a passion for being environmentally conscious to the Board. Always looking to learn more about green building options, she is excited to join efforts with GHI to educate and encourage residents to explore greener alternatives. An avid believer in reuse, recycle, repurpose, she enjoys breathing new life into ‘funky junk’ in her spare time, as well as travel, exploring the outdoors, hiking, camping – always with camera in hand. Currently, Kay works with the Hope Network Housing Development team focusing on affordable housing solutions and integrating supportive services for those most in need of help.

CEO of Mitsubishi US picks up Zero Energy Capable Certification

Clean Energy Credit Union – New GHI membership benefit!

Well, it is not often we add new benefits but this one we are really excited about!

As a GreenHome Institute member, as well as your clients, are now eligible to join Clean Energy Credit Union (, an online-only financial institution that focuses exclusively on providing loans for clean energy products and services such as electric vehicles, solar electric systems, geothermal systems, green home improvements, and electric bicycles.  Clean Energy Credit Union envisions a world where everyone can participate in the clean energy movement, and it helps fulfill this vision by:

(a) making it easier for everyone to afford to use clean energy (or save energy) by offering loans with better terms; and

(b) making it easier for everyone to invest in the clean energy movement by offering federally insured deposit opportunities whereby the deposits are solely used to help others pursue their clean energy projects.

In case it helps, here’s some background about credit union membership eligibility requirements:  although credit unions provide similar services as banks, they are different from banks in many ways. For example, a credit union is a not-for-profit, financial services cooperative that exists solely to serve its members and to fulfill its mission, whereas a bank exists to maximize financial returns for its stockholders. Another difference is that a bank can serve the general public whereas a credit union can only serve its “field of membership,” which is defined by regulators as the people and entities that are legally eligible to join the credit union. Ultimately, a credit union’s field of membership is comprised of one or more groups of people and entities that all have something in common that binds them together in some way. Many credit unions have a field of membership that includes people who work for a certain employer, or who live in a certain geographic area, or who are members of the same professional association or religious organization.  Clean Energy Credit Union’s field of membership consists of mission-aligned organizations like Greenhome Institute that are partners in working to grow the clean energy movement.

GHI will continue to help you breakdown the barriers to upfront costs for energy effecient and net zero housing!

Learn about our GHI membership here and all our benefits!

Kris Hunter, Battery & Solar Expert joins GHI Board of Directors in 2018

Kris Hunter is an owner of two West Michigan based companies—Hunter Energy Resources LLC, a solar PV system design and installation firm and Global Battery Solutions LLC, an advanced chemistry battery solutions provider. She has been an active advocate for the advancement of energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy for over 10 years and has participated in many grassroots efforts to educate community members—leading seminars for faith-based organizations, educational institutions and local youth groups. Kris has been involved with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association,, and has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (

Members Tom Bassett-Dilley Architect & Habitat for Humanity Kent County featured in USGBC LEED Homes Awards

New LEED Green Rater Courtney Royal takes her own house LEED and Zero Energy in NY!

Welcome our brand new credentialed LEED green rater who is serving the Upstate New York Region and behind to help people (re)build healthier and greener buildings.

Courtney has provided consulting services for a wide range of buildings, including commercial and multifamily projects. She currently provides consulting and technical support to project teams on sustainable building design and manages the LEED certification process from project inception through certification. Courtney specializes in LEED-NC, -EBOM, and -CS rating systems. Courtney holds a BA in Business Management from Western Michigan University and a MS in Energy Management from the New York Institute of Technology. She also holds a Certificate in Green Building Design from Cooper Union in New York City. Courtney became a LEED AP in 2008 and a LEED for Homes Green Rater in 2017.

Taitem Engineering, PC, is a consulting engineering firm focused on energy efficiency, green building design, and renewable energy.  Our team of MEPS engineers, energy analysts and sustainability consultants help buildings perform better, and help local and NYS energy programs deliver savings. Taitem’s award-winning solar division has installed hundreds of solar photovoltaic systems for homes and businesses. Additional services include Aeroseal duct sealing, commissioning, LEED certification, research and training.  In 2013, Taitem earned B-Corporation status, meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. “Taitem” stands for “technology as if the Earth mattered,” reflecting the firm’s commitment to the environment.

Courtney is taking her own home in Ithica through the LEED for Homes process and aiming for Platinum along with the Zero Energy Capable Certification. 


Below are the highlights and features of her home the Hemsin House.

  • Located in Ithaca, New York
  • Hemsin is the name of the region Umit is from in Turkey, it means “always fun”
  • 2,240 sqft single family home, two-floors, new construction
  • Zero Energy Building, LEED for Homes Platinum certification pending
  • WaterSense and Indoor AirPLUS certification pending
  • Energy Star certified
  • 1.8 ACH 50
  • HERS score 8
  • R-45 mineral wool cavity exterior wall insulation, R-60 ceiling blown-in cellulose insulation, R-16 underslab insulation, R-16 vertical slab insulation at 4 inch length.
  • Advanced framing methods applied; for instance, 24 inch OC for exterior walls
  • Slab on grade
  • 14-15% Window to Wall Ratio (WWR)
  • Half of the house windows are R-5 and other half are R-3.5
  • DHW will be provided by an air-source heat pump
  • One mini-split air source heat pump provides heating
  • Supplemental electric resistance baseboards are installed in the bedrooms, but should only if space temperature goes down to 64°F
  • Energy Star appliances throughout
  • Energy Star-certified metal roof
  • Heat Pump Clothes Dryer
  • 6.9 kw solar pv array
  • Achieved lots of daylighting by using a wedged wall around the windows and highly reflective surfaces and paints throughout
  • Low-VOC paints, coatings, sealants, and adhesives
  • Incorporated local hardwood and local reclaimed hardwood
  • No invasive and native landscaping
  • Stormwater management design features swales that feed a pond on-site
  • 100% post-consumer recycled paper and petroleum-free resin kitchen countertops

Make sure you contact Courtney before your next new or residential renovation to ensure it is cerified and built, BETTER.

A ventilation system that monitors the air for toxins when they are present?

Build it tight, ventilate it right is now the mantra of the green building industry. With codes, programs and just general awareness new and existing home renovations are making homes tighter and saving energy. Because of these, things like ventilation are made mandatory and necessary to maintain health. Studies showing supply or exhaust ventilation only may not be healthiest and that even general balanced systems can waste energy for the trade off of the importance of fresh air. Cue the growth of Energy or Heat Recovery Ventilator, a system that acts as the lungs in the places we live but also captures 75% to 95 +% of the lost heat energy. These systems are good at saving energy and ensuring health but can over ventilate when not needed or not exhaust enough pollutants when they are introduced to the house!

The solution? 

Build Equinox manufactures the CERV (pronounced “serve”) smart ventilation system. On-board CO2 and VOC sensors combined with heat pump energy recovery make the CERV the most capable air quality management system for high-performance homes. Real-time monitoring of the home’s air quality along with temperature and humidity give control and peace of mind to homeowners that their house is being kept healthy and comfortable. Designed and built in the United States, the CERV is UL Listed and assembled in a 100% solar powered facility located in Urbana, Illinois. Live Healthier, Live Longer. Live Better with a CERV.cerv

The CERV is a fresh air ventilator for residences that automatically maintains excellent indoor air quality by active control of carbon dioxide and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). A heat pump is used to exchange energy between fresh air and exhaust air streams when energy exchange is beneficial. Online monitoring capability, local exhaust boost mode, Geo-Boost heat exchanger, and zone dampers (multi-family) are some of the CERV’s options.
Follow them and learn more!
Twitter: @buildequinox