Plumb Tree Garden Duplexes LEED Gold

Plumb Tree Garden is a newly constructed 6 Unit Senior affordable housing project located in Noblesville. Every unit includes energy, water and resource efficient features including low flow fixtures, tankless water heaters, solar tubes, durable local materials, panelized roof and wall systems, native landscaping, and energy star windows, doors, lighting, appliances and home certification. Gold certification was easily earned for this project due to its vicinity to nearby downtown, with resources such as schools, restaurants, shops, as well as its dense urban site.


A CIR was awarded for this project for the alternative method of reaching awareness and education. In addition to a tenant open house and walk through training, the builder and architect of the project was involved in an affordable housing conference. Exhibiting their LEED projects, and participating in a panel discussions regarding green design and building in affordable homes. This project also achieved additional points for reducing urban heat island effect by using 100% light colored concrete for all sidewalks, driveways and patios.

Download or View Full Project Profile PDF Here.

First LEED certified home in Grand Traverse County.

This home received 5+ Energy Star certification and a HERS score of 52. This home will be 48% more efficient than typical construction of a similar home of this size. In addition this homes toilets, faucets and shower heads are super low-flow for superior water efficiency. The home also has low-VOC paints, adhesives and finishes and uses recycled content for the flooring, decking, foundation and siding. Every possible piece of residual material used in construction was recycled. Click here to view project profile.

The home was designed by Eric A. Hughes of Image Design LLC, a national awarding winning sustainable residential design firm based out of Grand Rapids Michigan and built by the national award winning builder Joel Diotte of Frontier Construction based out of Maple City, Michigan. This home is one of 86 Michigan projects that have been certified under the LEED for Homes program, the 27th home to receive LEED “Gold” certification and the first LEED certified home in Grand Traverse County.

It was built on a pristine 60 acre parcel in Kingsley Michigan, with the home situated in the middle of a 40 acre field next to a hill of granite boulders, thus giving it the project name. This home is a site specific, Passive Solar Arts & Craft style home built with BuildBlock ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) for all of the bearing walls. The exterior elevations of the home were designed with deeper roof overhangs, determined by using solar calculations, to both maximize and minimize the sun exposure based on the time of year. The exterior used two of our favorite products James Hardie FiberCement Siding and Andersen 400 series double-hung and awning windows. The interior of the home has stained concrete floor and re-claimed tile on main level of the home which makes for great thermal mass. The home was also designed with lifetime design principles and has zero step entries. Click Here to View Project Profile

Part of the site specific design was to locate the future detached garage/barn to act as a wind break, to stop snow drifting from the northwest prevailing winds that we have here in Michigan. Part of the passive solar design of this home was to pay close attention to detail on the south side of the home, where most of the homes windows face south. In the winter, the sun will warm the living space during the day and shine on the concrete floors on the main levels which will store some of the heat gained, for gradual release. The roof overhang will shade the house from excessive solar heat gain in the summer, and west-facing glass is minimized to reduce cooling needs in the summer. ICF construction was perfect for this project because of its exposed building location.

The project is designed to be Zero Energy Home (ZEH), Net Zero and a Carbon Neutral Home thanks to the Passive Solar Design, Tulikivi Masonary Unit Heater, Solar Hot Water, the future installation of Photovoltaic’s and a Wind Generator that the home is pre-wired for. The home has no mechanical heating or cooling system. Passive solar heating is complemented with the Tulikivi masonry unit heater (That also has a bake oven) and baseboard electric heat, resulting in a Zero Carbon Emissions Home that does not rely on any fossil fuels. The Tulikivi fireplace is its healthy radiant heat output and use of a local, renewable, carbon neutral fuel – wood. Tulikivi fireplaces supersede the strictest air quality standards in the world. Typical wood-burning

fireplaces send the majority of their heat up the chimney; not so with a Tulikivi. The soapstone soaks up the fire’s heat as it burns, stores it and then gently and steadily releases it for 12-24 hours even after the fire is out. Tulikivi is recognized by the Finnish Allergy and Asthma Federation as a heating option for those households where asthma or allergies are a key concern, due to the extremely low particle and helping our project earn points toward its LEED certification.

Notable Highlights:
Rain Permeable Gravel Driveway. Property (60 acres) is managed for wildlife habitat and water quality. Lifetime Design (Barrier Free) Zero step entries. Energy Star Andersen 400 Series Windows. Energy Star LED & CFL lighting. Energy Star Ceiling Fans. Energy Star Appliances. Energy Star rated Kasselwood metal roof shingle (with 30% recycled material) Soy Based Open Cell Wall & Attic Insulation. Advanced Framing (Studs @ 24” o.c.) BuildBlock ICF Construction (with 40% Fly-Ash) James Hardie FiberCement siding Concrete Countertops Locally Harvested Hardwood Floors Re-Use Tile Floors Concrete Floors (Stained) No-VOC Paints and primers. Low-VOC caulks and sealants. Finger Jointed Studs on all interior walls. FSC certified woods. FSC certified Kitchen Cabinets. Duel-Flush toilet by TOTO. Re-Use Tub & Sink Low flow shower heads and faucets. Pex Plumbing. Radon Venting. SunTouch® electric radiant heated floor mats ERV (energy recovery ventilator) Tulikivi Masonry Unit Heater (30% Tax Rebate for 75% Efficient Bio-mass Burning Stoves) Passive Solar Design. Solar Hot Water. (30% Tax Rebate) Pre-wired for future Photovoltaic’s Pre-wired for a future Wind Generator.

Click here to view/download project profile.

Watercress. Pentwater LEED Platinum

This homes siding is a hand hewn cedar log siding from Homestead Timbers with Anderson windows. The project will
be topped off with a burgundy metal standing seam roof. The interior will be using a lot of recycled content, including
cabinets for the wet bar and laundry room. Vanity tops for two bathrooms various columns and the mantel will come from tree’s at building site. This home will sit on the shores of Pentwater Lake with two spring feed creeks that flow into it. The creeks are lined with Watercress, which is where the project gets its name. View Project Profile

Logix ICF Foundation, SIP’s Panel Construction, Michigan White
Cedar Log siding & trim, Low-E argon gas filled Andersen
Windows Barrier free/Lifetime Design, Soy based insulation,
Stained Concrete Floors,Bamboo flooring,FSC Certified Kitchen
Cabinets,Recycled glass counter tops by Vetrazzo, Programmable
thermostats, Mechanical ventilation Radon venting,
Dual flush toilets by Toto,Zero VOC (volatile organic compounds)
paint High efficiency lighting fixtures

Fairway Pine Golf Cottage. LEED Silver

It’s Green! It’s Golf! It’s Grand! Fairway Pines is Minnesota’s first golf community to feature homes exclusively with the
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification. This “green” cottage is nestled on The Pines golf course amongst Grand View Lodge Resort’s amenities. It consists of 1,344 square feet of one-level resort living.

View & Download LEED project Profile

Sustainable, luxurious finishes include reclaimed beams, wainscotings, hand scraped, engineered wood flooring with
recycled content, granite countertops, ceramic tile baths, Energy Star® appliances, dual-flush toilets, lighting and mechanical equipment efficiency along with Low-E Integrity® windows for an energy-efficient and air-tight building envelope.

Michigan’s second LEED Platinum residential remodel.

The Nautilus House sprung from a need to fix a leaky roof, and a vision for energy and water independence on a beautiful wooded building site. Form follows function in this building designed to capture sunlight, water, and air currents. Like a
nautilus, it unfolds in an organic shape spiraling upward and outward on the original foundation, with existing materials and spaces re-inventing themselves within and around the structure. The owner, architect and builder worked together to
create a unique vision of home that will become Michigan’s second LEED Platinum residential remodel.

View/Download Complete Project Profile Here

All water from house collected and re-used. 600 gallon tank for a exterior shower on one side, and a 400 gallon recycled grain hopper on the other side. The shower can also be used to water plants, as can the grain hopper, and both overflow to rain gardens on the lot. The house recycles the heated air radiantly through an advanced duct system Energy Recovery Ventilator. The form and openness of the home also take advantage of another product of solar energy – wind – to create convective currents that cool the home passively. A 4 kW Solar Photovoltaic’s system with Sharp fixed panels and a Sunny Boy inverter.

Danny Forester Unique LEED Gold in Michigan

View / Download Project Profile and Video Here

Architect: Danny Forster (Harvard graduate) Host of Build it bigger on the Discovery Channel The first LEED Gold Certified home in all of Northern Michigan “While we are well-versed in latest high-tech gadgetry, we see sustainability largely as a matter of careful logic and inventive planning. In other words, why pay for air conditioning if mother nature if dolling it out on the cheap?” Their vision is exemplified in this 2700.sq ft lake house, the first private residence in northern Michigan to achieve LEED gold status, (there are 7 total in the state). The Omena Lake house is a project that combines sophisticated energy modeling software, never-before attempted active systems, and basic common sense design strategies that create a contemporary sustainable home whose goal is to connect its residents to the dynamic site on which it sits. Although flat roofed and geometrically abstract, the house is very much a part of the history of Northern Michigan Lake homes—it’s a modern, sustainable interpretation of the a Lakeside cottage

The main living area has a 15 ft long thermally broken, fully operable ‘Nano-Wall’, which acts as the main wind intake to passively cool the entire house. The interior floors are made of rapidly renewable, locally harvested bamboo. The counter-tops are richlite, made from recycled newspaper. The house is equipped with compact fluorescents, low-flow fixtures, two button toilets, and energy star rated appliances. The façade of the building is clad in vertical cedar. 60% of the home is wrapped in an Ipe-clad rain-screen, used both for solar deflection as well as passive cooling. there’s no traditional forced air HVAC, just the geo-thermal powered, thermally-active ceiling that can both heat and cool the house. The house is one of the country’s first to use an in-ceiling hydronic radiant heating AND cooling system— Also 100 % of the roof surface is covered in a unique vegetative roof, used for both solar deflection and storm water filtration. The house was designed using the energy modeling software Eco-tech, to leverage and calibrate both passive cooling, passive solar, as well as basic site orientation.


Julkowski Inc. LEED Silver

Once we got into the process, we learned that certifying our home meant we were getting a guarantee that it was built correctly and operating efficiently.  How many homes come with a guarantee?  Through the testing and third party verification required by LEED we had documented proof that all the important elements of a home’s construction and operation (mechanicals, windows, SIPS, etc.) were not only installed properly, but were operating at levels of of excellence.

We are pleased to announce that Julkowski, Inc.’s LEED Certified Silver Home won a national award for Building Excellence at the Structural Insulated Panel Association conference this year in Chicago!  2010 SIPA Building Excellence Awards Peoples Choice Winner Our HERS score is 44.  That might not mean much to some of you, but I bet this will – our home is 3200 square feet and we heat it for an average of $35/month (with a 96% efficient furnace)




Download & View Project Profile PDF

Vanessa Way LEED for Homes Platinum

Designed by Image Design LLC and constructed by Hybrid Homes LLC, both of Western Michigan, the home is built with insulated concrete forms and uses Andersen Windows’ 400 series to complete its extremely air tight, energy efficient shell.  A solar hot water system and wind generator help the home conserve and produce its own energy.  Green building products used in the home include finger jointed studs, CertainTeed cement board siding with fly-ash added to it, and solar reflective asphalt shingles.

This home is one of 37 Michigan projects that have been certified under the LEED for Homes program. It is the first Platinum level home certified in West Michigan and only the 23rd in the nation.



The home was built by Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes, LLC (Muskegon) who is well known throughout the State for his commitment in building LEED Homes and designed by Eric Hughes of Image Design, LLC (East Grand Rapids) who is recognized for specializing in sustainable residential design. For more information please visit or

Located in Onekama, Michigan, just minutes north of Manistee ‐ 3047 Vanessa’s Way incorporates the following features:
• Low‐E argon gas filled Andersen Windows
• CertainTeed cement board siding
• High efficiency lighting fixtures
• Compact fluorescent bulbs
• ICF construction
• Soy based insulation
• Passive solar design
• Solar Hot water
• Radiant floor heat
• Wind generation
• Programmable thermostats
• Mechanical ventilation
• Zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint
• Bamboo and cork flooring
• Radon venting
• Barrier free/Lifetime Design
• Dual flush TOTO toilets
• Energy Star appliances