Come See the GHI Executive Director, Brett Little, Speak at the Net Zero Build Summit in Novi, Michigan on March 24-25, 2020/0 Comments/in Local, Education and Events, Green Communities, Green Home Institute, Michigan, michigan--local, Net Zero/by Brett Little
Due to COVID-19, this event is postponed and will be hosted on August 25-26, 2020.
Prickly Pear Sanctuary goes GreenStar Platinum/0 Comments/in Green Home Institute, GreenStar, GS Platinum, Net Zero, Zero Energy Capable/by Brett Little
MN Net Zero Victorian Gut Rehab Officially is Certified Net Zero Energy/0 Comments/in Local, Certified Homes, Certified LEED, GreenStar, GS Gold, Gut Rehab, LEED Platinum, Minnesota, Net Zero, Project Profile, Project Type, Zero Energy Capable, Zero Hero Award/by Brett Little
Grand Traverse Habitat For Humanity Depot Neighborhood goes LEED Platinum & Zero Energy/0 Comments/in Local, Affordable Housing, Certified Homes, Certified LEED, LEED Platinum, Michigan, Net Zero, New Home, Platinum, Project Profile, Single-Family Projects, Zero Energy Capable, Zero Hero Award/by Brett Little
Burh Becc @ Beacon Springs LEED Platinum & Zero Energy Capable Certified/0 Comments/in Local, Certified Homes, Certified LEED, LEED Platinum, Michigan, Net Zero, New Home, Platinum, Project Profile, Project Type, Single-Family Projects, Zero Energy Capable, Zero Hero Award/by Brett Little
Ohm Sweet Ohm – LEED Platinum, Zero Energy Capable/0 Comments/in Local, Certified LEED, Green Home Institute, GreenStar, LEED Platinum, Minnesota, Net Zero, New Home, Project Profile, Project Type, Single-Family Projects, Zero Energy Capable, Zero Hero Award/by Brett Little
Massachusetts Net Positive LEED Platinum Modern Farmhouse becomes a zero energy hero/0 Comments/in Local, Massachusetts, Net Zero, Project Profile, Project Type, Single-Family Projects, Zero Energy Capable, Zero Hero Award/by Brett Little
Mission Zero Home: A Greenstar Gold Remodel & CE Webinar/0 Comments/in GreenStar, GS Gold, Michigan, Net Zero, Remodel, Single-Family Projects, Zero Hero Award/by Brett Little
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 wish 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.
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.
One 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.
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.
Free Webinar worth 1 hour of continuing education – GBCI, AIA (HSW), NARI Green & LFA and review utility data. More here.
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
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/
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)
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
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
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.
Watch the on-demand webinar
Continuing Education – 1 CEU
- AIA (HSW)
- Living Future (LFA)
- NARI Green
- Local & State Architect & Contractor (MI approved)
1.Watch the recording here
3. Take quiz below
4. Pay fee
- Member Rate $9.99
- Non Member Rate $19.99
Webinar: Journey to Almost Passive House & LEED Platinum Near-Zero Home/0 Comments/in Local, Illinois, Indiana, LEED Platinum, Michigan, Minnesota, Net Zero, Ohio, Single-Family Projects, Wisconsin/by Brett Little
Finally it is here – after 2 years of filming and a big thanks to four Grand Valley State University Interns, 2 hours of video detailed in over 10 sections on the how and why of LEED for Homes and Passive House construction specifically to Sam Pobst’s home.
Sam and some of the other high performance building professionals take us through many aspects: site selection/design, insulation, heating and cooling, passive building, water efficiency and renewable energy.
What makes it Green? For starters, Michael Holcomb – President/CEO and owner of Home Inspector General has called this “the tightest home I have ever tested.” It comes in at 0.44 ACH @50PA (for all you energy geeks). Michael has test thousands of homes and buildings in the Midwest in his 20 years of experience, so that is saying something.
Next, this project almost achieved Passive House standards! Sam worked with an experienced PHIUS rater “John Semmelhack” to use the advanced modeling software to design his house. The house tested below the air change requirements of Passive House but only made 7.20 KBTu’s as opposed to the required 4.75 (energy geek talk). Sam’s reasoning: “The primary driver of that cost was the building geometry. Since a primary objective was to build a barrier free home, we designed it all to be on one level. This meant that the ratio of exterior wall and roof area to the floor area was not optimal for thermal design (of Passive House). It was more important to us to have the barrier free design than to meet the PH requirements, though we came very close. The only changes we made from the original PH design was to reduce the thickness of the perimeter walls from 22” to 19”, and specify a window that was not quite as high performing as the one that would attain the PH rating.” Sam told me that there was 99 year back on the window required to meet the standard (at that time).
Last, LEED for Homes Platinum Certification has been achieved. This
requires 3rd party onsite verification that proves through actual testing that the home is green.
This must have cost millions right?
“We spent $167.00/Square Foot, but if you add in O+P, design fees, and my sweat equity, I estimate about a $200/Square Foot cost to construct.” – Sam Pobst
• Gross Square Feet 2010
• Basement Square Feet 851
• Conditioned Square Feet 2547
• Garage / Workshop 621
• $167/Square Foot Hard Cost
• $200/ Square Foot Buildable Cost
- + Overhead and Profit
- + Design Fees
- + Sweat Equity
- Gain a basic understanding of the Passive House (PH) design standards for homes and products or technologies are needed to achieve it.
- Discriminate between LEED, Net Zero, universal design and Passive House objectives and how they interact.
- Learn about behind the wall thermal envelope strategies for a super tight and insulated home.
- Identify costs, ROI and payback on high performance home LEED projects
- 2 GBCI – LEED Specific
- 2 AIA – LU|HSW
- 2 MI Contractor (Code & Green)
- 2 MI Architect
- If you need continuing education units for a license in another state, this course may apply. Please consult your state’s requirements.
Project utility data update and ROI data
These webinars are free to review. If you are interested in continuing education credits, you must follow the following steps:
1. Read the info above, watch the webinars for FREE and check out the Project Profile.
2. Take the 13 question quiz and score at least 80% to be approved. Please also post a comment below and help add to the conversation.
3. Pay the fee below if this is not taken as part of our GreenHome Associates series to get your certificate and CEUs. You must be a member to pay the reduced member fee.
Read back on Sam’s progress documented on his Blog and stay informed as he monitors the home’s energy use, durability, comfort, indoor air quality and water use. http://sumacgrove.blogspot.com/2013/01/certified.html
- Recorded 1 Hour Webinar on the entire project – 1 AIA/GBCI
- 2 Hour GBCI approved Film Series documenting the project from start to post occupancy informed can be seen here for free
625 Kenmoor Ave SE Ste 350
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546-2395 US
Tel: (616) 458-6733
Toll Free: (888) 533-3274