Vujovich Design Build – The Idea Farm: New Home Gold

New Home Gold

Vujovich Idea Farm

Vujovich Design Build has received MN GreenStar’s highest New Home honor – Gold Certification. The project named, “The Idea Farm” is the first MN GreenStar certified project built by Vujovich Design Build.

Using local materials and building suppliers, The Idea Farm combines the state’s farming history and with modern sustainability. Connecting the home with land and nature, building practices included the use of recycled materials, geothermal heating, rain-water collection, reuse of gray water, composting, and reseeding native prairie grasses and pastures.

“In designing and building The Idea Farm our goal was to combine the highest possible levels of green building with sophisticated architecture; green + beautiful,” states Peter Vujovich, co-owner and founder of Vujovich Design Build.

By Peter Vujovich, Vujovich Design Build

Idea Farm KitchenVujovich Idea Farm

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

Live Green Live Smart – The Sustainable House: Remodel Type IV Gold

Remodel Gold IVThe Sustainable House

Live Green, Live Smart’s The Sustainable House TM is a participant in Minnesota GreenStar’s Remodeling pilot program and the LEED for Homes Pilot ProjectTM. Live Green, Live Smart has transformed an ordinary post-War rambler in a suburban neighborhood into a Century hour that will be energy efficient, environmentally healthy, respectful of the natural environment, and comfortable for family life as climate and energy resources alter in the coming decades.

Environmentally-Conscious Applications

The green building materials and techniques as applied to the House are less conspicuous than alternative energy sources, but no less important to our Platinum remodel.

  • Efficient insulation and an air transfer system ensure that none of the heat or cold generated goes to waste, and that the air inside the home stays clean and breathable.
  • Solatubes provide natural sunlight all day long, even in the basement, reducing electricity needs.
  • Every lightbulb in the house is an energy-efficient compact fluorescent or LED.
  • Low-voltage radiant in-floor heating is an efficient way to reduce furnace needs.
  • Greywater is collected from the showers for reuse in the double-flush toilets.
  • Windows are triple-glazed and argon-filled to reduce heat transfer.
  • Appliances are EnergyStar rated, and an induction stove is used for cooking.
  • All electrical energy purchased from the grid is the product of windfarming – no coal-fueled energy will be used in the House.

By Peter Lytle, Live Green Live Smart

The Sustainable House BeforeThe Sustainable House Dining ROom

For more information on this project visit http://livegreenlivesmart.org.

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

 

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

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

Minneapolis Market Rate Midrise 7west is LEED Certified

Washington Ave PIC

Sustainable architecture is nothing if it’s not deeply rooted in the surrounding community. Whether it’s sculpture by a local artist or an intimate concert at the Cedar Cultural Center, 7west (1800 Washington) celebrates the satisfying connections that come from Seven Corners living. For residents, LEED is a seal of quality, providing peace of mind that they are living in a home designed to deliver fresh air indoors and improved water and energy efficiency.

The 7west building has several green features that its renters find attractive. Each floor has recycling and organic composting available for the tenants. Green roofs and terraces provide relaxing greenspace, while a white membrane roof provides additional energy efficiency.

Washington Ave PIC INT.The building also features a passive solar design and high efficiency lighting. Tenants are encouraged to utilize alternative transportation with convenient onsite bike storage set in an easily walkable community. The apartments are located within a half mile of public transit services which provide at least 60 rides per week day. However, those that do drive vehicles regularly are provided garage space with continuous exhaust to  minimize pollutants that could leak into the residence and affect the indoor air quality. Inside the apartments Low-VOC paints hardwood flooring, and sustainable cabinetry provide for a healthy, natural, and sensible interior environment.

1800 Washington label

The Buildings landscaping was created with 100% drought tolerant plants. Rain barrels provide the irrigation needed to water the green roof and plants. As a former brownfield this lot has come a long way. Additional LEED points were awarded to the project for its density of 100.9 units per acre.

 That’s just the start. Sunny gathering spaces, private study nooks, yoga and fitness studios, and common areas with billiards, fire pits, and entertainment centers recognize that many residents need a respite from the stress of daily life. Innovative Chinese Feng shui design creates a positive atmosphere.  The LEED verification team included Jimmie Sparks, Rick Cobbs, and Jason LaFleur of Eco Achievers.

Download and Share the 1800 Washington Project Profile – PDF

 

Washington Ave PIC INT Shared

 

Central Michigan University Completes LEED Platinum Dorm

CMU PIC 2

“This $28.5M project involved the construction of two new student housing buildings for Central Michigan University’s (CMU) graduate school. Hoping to emulate apartment living to attract the students who might otherwise choose to
live off-campus, each unit includes private bathrooms, kitchens and laundry facilities—with a mix of one, two and four bedroom units throughout the two structures, with 164 beds total between the two buildings.
The buildings were designed to emulate the Gothic architecture present on campus and the design and construction teams ensured that LEED sustainable features incorporated into the design were properly integrated. Large windows
were added to provide occupants with daylight in regularly occupied areas. A campus-wide green housekeeping program was implemented. Regionally manufactured materials containing recycled content were used extensively throughout the project. Equipment was selected to ensure that refrigerants would cause minimal damage to the atmosphere. Additionally, all HVAC and electrical systems were commissioned and certified that they were installed per specification and working as designed. The design also limits disruption of natural hydrology and all but eliminated pollution and contaminants from stormwater run-off. Universal design practices and sustainable design measures were integrated into the design to create an energy efficient complex recognized by its tenants as a great place to live and by the community as a model for sustainable living, earning the coveted LEED for Homes Platinum Certification.

SUSTAINABLE HIGHLIGHTS

CMU PIC interiorSUSTAINABLE SITE
The pedestrian scale buildings support CMU’s and the City of Mount Pleasant’s mutual goal of a walkable community. The new Graduate Housing units are located on the north end of campus on Bellows Street, just steps from the Health Professions/College of Medicine building and close to Mission Street as well as downtown Mt. Pleasant.

WATER EFFICIENCY
The landscaping was designed to require 50% less irrigation, reducing the use of potable water. In addition, a 33% reduction in potable water and sewage usage was achieved by careful selection of water efficient plumbing fixtures, faucets, and flush valves.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY
The overall energy performance of a new building can not be measures until after the building has been built. Thus, the energy performance of a building must be predicted using energy analysis software. The Residential Energy Services Network has developed a set of guidelines for accessing the relative energy performance of these units. Commissioning of all HVAC, lighting and domestic water systems were conducted to ensure that all systems operate as designed. All equipment was selected to cause minimal damage to the atmosphere.

CMU LEED Label

 

MATERIALS AND RESOURCES
During construction, 94% of all construction waste was reclaimed and recycled. Sources for the building construction materials were evaluated, recycled content materials make use of materials that would otherwise be deposited within landfills. The use of local materials support the local economy and reduce the harmful impacts of long-distance transportation.

INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

An indoor air quality (IAQ) plan was implemented and low-emitting materials were selected in order to reduce any adverse effects on the IAQ once the building was occupied. The HVAC system was designed to meet the minimum IAQ requirements. No smoking is permitted within 25 feet of any air intake louvers. Low VOC (volatile organic compound) materials such as paints, carpets, sealants, adhesives, and casework were employed in order to provide a healthy indoor environment. The HVAC system was designed to maintain temperatures and humidity in accordance with ASHRAE standard 55-2007.”

The Christman Company – Builder/Contractor &  Neumann / Smith Architects

Please Download and Share CMU Project Profile – PDF

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 

roof

siding

bambooflooring

concrete-flooring

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Glenn Retreat LEED Home has Innovative Blackwater Design Feature

The “Glenn Retreat” project exemplifies water use reduction both outdoor and indoor, with a 72% reduction in irrigation due in part by
photothe AdvanTex(R) Wastewater Treatment Systems manufactured by Orenco (R) that is a environmentally sustainable wastewater treatment technology that treats blackwater and greywater so well that the treated effluent can be re-used for subsurface irrigation (We achieved a additional LEED innovation point with this system). Along with Infiltrating Rain Gardens, Edible Forest Gardens, Extensive use of Native Drought Tolerant Plants and Eco Turf Grass on the outside and with low flow WaterSense certified toilet and fixture on the inside this project achieved almost every point under Water Efficiency in the LEED for Homes checklist. Our approach to handling waste water and storm water turned a negative attribute into a positive one; and created a drought tolerant and low maintenance landscape.

glenn label

The site’s soil composition has high clay content, and coupled with a high water table makes for a less desirable building site. Fill dirt and sand were added to the center of the site to elevate the house a few feet above grade. Drain tiles and French drains were installed around the house to channel water into swales and rain gardens which we developed along the north, east and west property lines. This watering system has proven sufficient to support the wide variety of plant life added to the property. Our system eliminated the painstaking task of cleaning rain gutters too because we didn’t need to install any. The high water table also presented a challenge for the septic system. We selected an advanced system  that uses a smaller drain field, and generates effluent certified by NSF International for subsurface irrigation. A native wildflower and prairie grass landscape is being developed on the septic drain field. Key Features Fabral Metal Roof (Energy Star) Exterior Construction is Advanced Framing @ 24″ o.c. 8″ of Agri based Open Cell Foam Insulation in attic. (R40) 4″ Ridged Foam Insulation under the Slab. (R-20) 3″ of Agri based Open Cell Foam Insulation on interior crawl space foundation walls. Exterior walls are Air Sealed with 5″ Cellulose Insulation (R-22) with 1″ Dow Styrofoam SIS Sheathing (R-5.5). (stops Thermal Bridging) James Hardie cement board siding. (with recycled content) MiraTec trim. (formaldehyde free, SCS Certified) 93% of Construction waste was diverted fro the landfills.

Watch a two part video series where we go into the homes and interview the homeowner and architect. 

See more pictures & details on Houzz

PDF project profile 

Sketch up drawings 

 

 

Michigan's First Registered New Living Building & LEED Home – Burh Becc @ Beacon Springs

sketch of house on land

Beacon Springs: The Vision

Beacon Springs (Near Ann Arbor) offers hope for life springing from a sustainable dwelling, polyculture gardens amid oak savannah, and a lively gathering place. It is a beacon of hope for a happy, healthy and sustainable future for all.

Sustainable dwelling

Our house at Beacon Springs is named Burh Becc, meaning, in Old English, a dwelling by a creek. This is the origin of our family name Burbeck. Several natural springs on the north edge of the land feed a small creek which runs past the house. Wildlife is drawn to this source of water and vegetation, as were we when we first came to the site. Burh Becc has been designed as a “living building” using the Living Building Challenge standards of the International Living Future Institute (visit living-future.org). A living building becomes an alive component in a sustainable ecosystem, integrated with the natural environment in a way that nurtures and sustains that environment. It is because of this living nature of our house that we have given it a name, and we have designed and built it to serve many future generations.

Water. Our living building uses the rain and snow falling on the roof as its only source of water.

Energy. Burh Becc depends on the rays of the sun for most of its energy needs. Heat is provided mainly through passive solar design. Natural ventilation is provided by the wind drawn through the house by the tower design. Heating and cooling are augmented as needed by a photovoltaic-powered geothermal system.

Waste. Our house is designed to reduce waste products that need to be removed from the site and eliminate materials toxic to human or environmental health. 95% of the by-products normally considered waste are integrated back into the site ecosystem, or are recycled, repurposed or reused by the broader community. A 95% materials efficiency standard was also followed during the construction phase of Burh Becc, leaving only 5% for the local landfill.

Farm amid oak savannah

The farm at Beacon Springs produces food for the local community, particularly those with limited access to fresh produce, as well as for our own table. As with the house, the farm has become an integral part of the ecosystem. Following the principles of permaculture, plants, trees and animals work together for abundant and sustainable production of food. These permaculture methods also restore the fields depleted through decades of “factory farming,” they allow the garden farm to fit together with the rejuvenating oak savannah, and they encourage wise management of water for the benefit of the immediate site and neighboring ecosystems.

Gathering place

Our home has become a wonder-filled gathering place for people (and pets, too). The embrace of Beacon Springs – the living building, with its flourishing courtyard and barnyard animals, combined with the surrounding acres of permaculture gardens and oak savannah – is a balm to the lone poet and a catalyst for lively exchange in larger groups. Beacon Springs is a center of education for the community: architecture students learning about sustainable design; residential building crafts(wo)men and trades professionals learning sustainable construction methods; children learning about barnyard animals and bee-keeping; and permaculture enthusiasts participating in onsite workshops. Beacon Springs also provides a gathering spot for community farming. And we regularly welcome family, friends, co-workers and others to our table for good food and dynamic exchange of life.

A special note for our team of designers, engineers, builders and growers, and the extended team members through the International Living Future Institute: We hope that each of you, in joining the community responsible for the creation of Beacon Springs, has also received an extra measure of life springing from your contribution to the project. You are always welcome to come for a visit, enjoying with us the fruits of your labors.

—Tom and Marti Burbeck, Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 2023

Photos and Info taken from http://www.beaconsprings.org/