JL Wageman Homes: New Home Bronze

MNGS New Home Bronze Logo

JL Wageman Homes

J.L. Wageman Homes, a true custom Builder, is now experienced in achieving the MN GreenStar standards with building of this certified home.  Planning from start to finish is the main key to incorporate the 5 elements of building green.  The energy efficiency of geothermal heating system, the resource efficiency of the reclaimed granite countertops in the kitchen and baths, indoor environmental quality of low voc paints and hard surface flooring, the water conservation using low flow toilets and faucets, rain gardens, and native plantings in the landscaping and the site and community impact of restored prairie lands and maintained excavated soil to reuse on site.  These are just a few of the highlights that makes this home energy efficient and durable now and being sustainable in the years to come.  Let J.L. Wageman Homes expertise work for you.

By Jerry Wageman, JL Wageman Homes

JL Wageman Homes - Fireplace  JL Wageman Homes - Kitchen

For more information on this project visit www.jlwagemanhomes.com.

Creek Hill Custom Homes: New Home Bronze

New Home Bronze
Creek Hill Custom Homes

When Rick and Adrienne Harrison contacted Michael Hillesheim of Creek Hill Custom Homes Inc. to build their new home according to MN GreenStar qualifications, Mike eagerly accepted the opportunity to learn more about “Green” building hands on.  Creek Hill Custom Homes has always built a great quality home for their buyer(s) but now the challenge was to build a home with respect to the future.

The building site/lot was formerly park land that had been used as a fill site.  Soil corrections were accomplished by using the soil on site.  The house was built with energy efficient walls.  A metal roof was used as well as other energy efficient fixtures and building materials.

Our subcontractors were made more aware of environmental impact and material conservation.  They have carried this awareness and conservation on into other new construction.  Our framers now use materials more efficiently and conservatively after building a MN GreenStar house.

The Harrison’s and Creek Hill Custom Homes Inc. are proud of the achievement of building a certified MN GreenStar home and contributing to a better future for everyone.

By Barb Fisher, Creek Hill Custom Homes

For more information on this project visit www.creekhillcustomhomes.com.

Lumber One Cold Spring: New Home Bronze

New Homes Bronze
Lumber One

I remember becoming very excited about the possibility of being included in the MN GreenStar pilot program.  Sustainability along with energy, water and resource conservation have always been a high priority for me and my family.  My background includes growing up on a farm in Southwestern Minnesota.  Learning how to best use natures resources was a high priority of my Dads.  I remember being proud of him when he was featured in a local farm paper for his soil conservation/preservation practices i.e. contour terraces to keep the soil from being washed into the local watershed.  Looking back he was well ahead of the EPA’s storm water programs.

My interest in science led me to St Cloud State University to study for a triple (comprehensive) major in biology, chemistry and physics.  Prior to working in the home building and remodeling business I taught chemistry, biology and physics.  While teaching I built my 2nd home utilizing advanced insulation techniques, one of the first 82% efficient furnaces along with one of the highest rated air conditioners being controlled by a set back thermos stat.

In 1982 I began my career as a new home salesperson with Lumber One Cold Spring.  Since then I have helped nearly 600 families build their dream homes.  From starter homes to executive homes to homes where families can age in place utilizing universal building techniques.

Working with everyone at MN GreenStar through out the planning, building and inspection and certification phases has been seamless.  I finished my home just in time for the Central Minnesota Spring Tour of Homes in the spring of 2008.  Since then I have had it open for the fall tour of 2008 and spring tour of 2009.  I have had approximately 3000 people thru the home.  When folks enter the home, I say welcome to my green built home.  I get two responses, that is why I am here or what do you mean?  A perfect opportunity to explain the complete process.  When asked how much the “green” features added, the universal response was wow, that is less than I expected.

Thanks again for the opportunity of working with MN GreenStar on my 3rd party certified home.  I look forward to utilizing as many of these concepts I can in all of my future custom built homes.

By Jim Green, Lumber One Cold Spring

For more information on this project visit www.lumber-one.com.

Pillar Homes: New Home Bronze

New Home Bronze
Pillar Homes

Pillar Homes goal was a stunning new retro house that takes you back to a nostalgic era with memories of family farms.  We wanted to purchase sustainable products, utilize energy saving systems and products, and minimize the footprint on the environment.  We created a home and separate out building that integrate together on the site creating a very inviting and usable relationship.

The exterior green parts of the home:

  • “Cool roof” (a galvanized aluminum roof)
  • An intensive long-term prairie restoration project
  • Rain garden for roof runoff
  • Vegetable and flower garden
  • Cement fiber board siding

Energy saving aspects are the geothermal heating and cooling system, closed cell insulation, off-peak utility service, light bulbs, dimmers, and the Warmboard radiant subfloor system with hot water integrated in it.  Radiant heat is also in the lower level.

The interior design is truly a showcase with a careful balance of the old mixed with new.  The interior product showcases are:

  • Reclaimed wood throughout:  Pine kitchen walls, antique Elm floors, fireplace mantles, fireplace doors, great room ceiling beams, and a suspended custom stairwell.
  • Hot water radiant floor heat on main and lower levels
  • Stained concrete floors in the lower level and main level
  • Cambria, Verazzo, Avonite, and Paperstone countertops
  • Enameled trim and MDF doors
  • Low VOC and no VOC paint
  • Master bedroom closet system with no urea formaldehyde

The end result gives our homeowner an updated nostalgic farm house reminiscent of the past with sustainable state-of-the-art products.  It is truly an environmentally smart building project.

By KC Chermak, Pillar Homes

For more information on this project visit www.pillarhomes.com.

Lake Country Builders: New Home Gold

New Home Gold
Lake Country Cottage

The goal of the project was to construct a home in the Linden Hills neighborhood that would be both respectful of the neighbors living space, that would be architecturally fitting and pleasing to the community and that would be sustainable construction.  We wanted to reuse the existing foundation.  Additions are a front porch and a screen porch/ mudroom on footings and an office sunroom with foundation below.   We wanted to stay within a compact a floor plan while creating open light filled spaces that would work for a young family as well as empty nesters and anywhere in between!

The MN GreenStar GOLD certified Lake Country Cottage was designed to be as beautiful as it is energy efficient. The existing home was hand deconstructed by DemoGreen to reuse and recycle materials. The home features a metal roof, Hardie® siding, Marvin windows, geo-thermal heating and cooling, water conserving fixtures and Energy Star appliances. We incorporated recycled materials, local quarried stone, FSC wood and Marmoleum flooring, FSC and formaldehyde-free cabinets and low VOC water based finishes. The Greenscape includes native, drought tolerant plants and a rain garden, irrigated by a rainwater captured drip irrigation system.

By Sue & Pete Jacobson, Lake Country Builders

For more information on this project visit www.lakecountrybuilders.com.

College City Homes: New Home Bronze

New Home Bronze

College City Homes

We built our certified green home in Shakopee and enjoyed being part of shaping the pilot program.  At College City Companies we feel it is our social responsibility to understand how to build green homes and green remodeling projects and present these ideas to our customers.

We discovered during the process different ways to do things that were cost effective. One of these ideas was different ways to insulate a home.  We have been able to use this idea and present to new customers on ways to improve the efficiency of their home.  As we went through the program we have found other situations like this that someone might not be doing a certified project, but we could bring green aspects to the project by understanding better ways of doing things.

Since completing the project we have presented green seminars with our Trade Partners to potential customers, designers, realtors, and mortgage officers.  What we found is there is a great variation in people’s knowledge and the expectations of what a green home should be.  Many of them have a greater understanding that all green homes do not have to have geo thermal, solar power and wind generators, to be considered to be green.  Even though these are viable alternatives there are many different ways to do a green project.

By Steve McDonald, College City Homes

For more information on this project visit www.collegecityhomes.com.

Rinnovare Inc./Acacia Architects: Remodel Type III Gold

Remodel Gold III

Rinnovare/Acacia Kitchen
Photo by Dana Wheelock

Empty Nesters

This small rambler was a great find – to the right couple. Only modestly modified since its original construction, this home had good bones, a great location that abutted a marsh and was ripe for an extensive renovation.

The customer and Acacia Architects spent a significant amount of time and effort specifically designing the home to meet their needs as well as to achieve at least a Silver Certification from MN GreenStar. Nearly a year later, the project was complete and exceeded customer’s expectations of achieving a Gold certification within budgetary guidelines.

Rinnovare, now working on its 2nd MN GreenStar remodel, provided a smooth and well planned project to insure green planning through documentation was executed in the most efficient manner. From deconstruction services to reuse as much of the old cabinetry and woodwork to asbestos abatement to radon mitigation, zoned heating and tankless water heating, the project was truly green. Finishes were deliberately all low VOC and surprisingly, after construction and the client moved in, the house was without that typically noticeable “new car smell” of chemicals off gassing. The project was completed with an exceptional landscape design which will minimize water needed for irrigation.

This project exemplified the standards of holistic green building and will be a showpiece for the client for years to come.

By Mike Williams, Rinnovare Inc.

For more information on this project visit www.rinnovareinc.com and www.acaciaarchitects.com.

Design Forty Five LLC – Lake Of The Isles Project: Remodel Type IV Gold

Remodel Gold IV

2002 w. Lake of the Isles Parkway, Minneapolis, MN

Having been well preserved for nearly 70 years, this 1899 home, overlooking a lake in the heart of the city, was looking for a fresh 21st century update. While the owners loved the house, they saw lots of potential to make things just perfect.

The whole-house renovation features a super-green design for modern living balanced with a strong respect for the history and character of the home. All of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are new. All siding and sheathing was removed and replaced, allowing new foam insulation to be applied from the exterior, thus preserving select interior finishes.

Almost all of the spaces in the house were remodeled in some way—taking a great house and making it better.

Two existing areas received special focus: the kitchen and central stair. The owners are gourmet chefs who do a lot of entertaining. A small but strategic kitchen addition allows an expanded and modernized kitchen with every amenity and expansive views of the lake and side yard. A new southeast-facing breakfast nook provides a cozy alternative to the remodeled historic dining room.

The existing central stair was very tight and awkward in places. To create a spacious and beautiful new stair, the center of the home
was demolished, roof reframed and center hall topped with a large skylight spilling light all the way down to the main floor.

A new outbuilding was constructed to house the owner’s workshop and a new 2-car garage. This “carriage house,” which is designed to echo the historic proportions and detailing of the main house, is linked to the house through a tunnel beneath the yard.

A welcoming, open front porch was built with lake views and a low-slope green roof.

Green Strategies:

The project earned Gold-level MN GreenStar certification by employing dozens of sustainable strategies, including:

• On Site Energy. 13 wells beneath the garden provide highly efficient geothermal heating and cooling, and a 2.2 kilowatt rooftop solar array offsets electrical loads.

• Energy efficiency. The building envelope was made airtight and reinsulated to Energy Star levels; all windows are reconditioned or new.

• Resource efficiency. Advanced framing techniques reduce lumber required. All lumber used is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

• Healthy Air. Energy Recovery Ventilator provides fresh air exchange while saving energy. Low/No VOC paints throughout. Radon capture system installed beneath basement slab. New cladding with rainscreen detailing helps prevents mold from moisture intrusion.

• Site & Community. Green roofs capture rainwater on site while reducing heating/cooling loads. All material reused if possible; all possible construction waste was recycled, including concrete, wood, and asphalt shingles

To learn more about this project and Design Forty Five please visit us at www.designfortyfive.com.