Dan Broersma, design for the environment, joins GHI Board!

Dan Broersma lives in Holland Michigan and is passionate about his faith, community, and sustainability.
Dan Broersma is a sustainable professional working for Herman Millers environmental team for the past 18 years. Dan is also the founder of the non-profit GreenMichigan.org which helps the community become more sustainable through tangible projects and knowledge sharing. He has many successful projects within Herman Miller. At Herman Miller leads the efforts in end of life product recycling creating a way to recycle all office furniture for no more than the cost of landfill and has a social story for their customers. He is also the Lead for Herman Millers Supplier sustainability program which helps their suppliers become more sustainable through projects, web data collection and knowledge sharing.

Dan Broersma

Design for the Environment Corporate  Program Manager

616 654 6314 OFFICE

616 638 0670 MOBILE


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

Ohm Sweet Ohm – LEED Platinum, Zero Energy Capable

Glendale Zero Energy Ready GreenStar Home

Goshorn Woods Single Family GreenStar Homes Gold Certification showcases simple renovation

Leff Project – LEED Platinum Single Family

Kenyon College Ohio – LEED for Homes Gold Townhouses

The new North Campus Housing project at Kenyon College, furthering the College’s commitment to green practices in all new building construction, is expected to win “LEED for Homes” gold certification. The award is based on a nationally recognized rating system that encourages the design and construction of high-performance homes promoting both human and environmental health.NorthCampusHousing13630101316

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a program of the U.S. Green Building Council. Under LEED programs, projects can win certification based on an array of environmentally friendly features and practices. The rating system, developed by consensus among experts, includes four levels: certified, silver, gold, and platinum.

Designed by Gund Partnership of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and built by Messer Construction of Columbus, the Kenyon project will ultimately create a village of 21 townhouse apartments clustered around a common green space in the northern part of campus. The first four buildings opened for students in August 2011 and an additional two buildings opened for the spring 2012 semester. When phase two is completed, the apartments will house 220 students.

Third-party verification, an essential part of the LEED for Homes rating system, provides a basis for quantifying the benefits of green homes. Sol Design and Consulting of Cincinnati is serving as the project’s green rater and has been involved with the project since its inception. To ensure proper performance, each home undergoes onsite inspections and thorough performance testing after completion.

LEED measures a home’s performance based on eight categories: site selection, water efficiency, materials and resources, energy and atmosphere, indoor environmental quality, location and linkages, awareness and education, and innovation. Key elements contributing to the housing’s anticipated gold certification include the use of high-efficiency building systems and plumbing fixtures, geothermal heat exchange for heating and cooling the homes, and the use of Energy Star appliances.

The buildings’ design minimizes energy consumption caused by uncontrolled air leakage into and out of air-conditioned spaces. A blower door test on the completed buildings resulted in Home Energy Rating Standard (HERS) scores of 61-65, indicating that the buildings are 35-39 percent more efficient than a standard home built to code. Kenyon plans to display all utility information on Web “dashboard.”

LEED for Homes also requires a “durability risk planning process and evaluation” that promotes the durability and high performance of the building envelope and related components. To meet this requirement, Kenyon used materials, paints, sealants, and carpeting that are low in volatile organic compounds-features that help protect the health and promote the comfort of occupants. Landscape elements include a drought-resistant lawn, non-invasive species in plantings, a reforestation mix on lands greater than 1:4 in slope, and swales with plantings that help with surface water management. In addition, more than 83 percent of the construction waste thus far has been recycled rather than sent NorthCampusHousing13630101205to landfills.

The apartments have been very well received by residents. The twelve-student houses contain three to six bedrooms; each unit also has a living room, kitchenette, and dining area. Spaciousness, ample natural light, and a balance of common and personal space were among the most popular features cited by residents.

This housing initiative will allow Kenyon to relieve overcrowding in its residence halls. Upon completion, the additional capacity will enable the College to refurbish and modernize existing residences. The project will also help Kenyon realize its long-term goal of improving student housing and will give it a competitive advantage in recruiting students.

About the USGBC and LEED:

The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction and the developer of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building rating system. LEED is a registered trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council.

About Gund Partnership:

Gund Partnership is a nationally recognized architecture and planning firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The firm has completed several award-winning projects at Kenyon College, including the Kenyon Athletic Center, Peirce Hall expansion and renovation, and, most recently, the Gund Gallery.

Energy efficiency and other environmentally friendly aspects of Kenyon’s new student apartments should bring recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Green Features:

• Geothermal heating and cooling

• Energy Star appliances

• High-efficiency plumbing fixtures

• Materials low in volatile organic compounds

• Environmentally friendly landscaping

• 83 percent of construction waste recycled

View more photos of North Campus Housing.


Grand Traverse Habitat For Humanity Depot LEED Platinum Zero Energy Capable Depot Neighborhood

Certification is underway but check back here for details.

Interactive Documentary 


Michigan GreenStar’s First Certified Remodel in Grand Rapids

Being the Executive Director at an organization that promotes and trains on residential green building, Brett Little decided  to put his money where his mouth was and commit to green remodeling in his first home purchase. Brett and his wife Laura wanted to commit to the up and coming city of Grand Rapids Michigan, which was easy to do with all the past few years of recognition and grow (Most sustainable mid-sized city, beer city USA 12′ and 13′, top ten place to find a job, most LEED building per capital and etc etc. ). The project is a prime of example of how one can use GreenStar on a small remodel / weatherization job without being too invasive to the home. Little House New Pic

The 2 story house circa the 1920s was aesthetically  in great shape, had a newly remodeled kitchen, intact wood windows and trim, good paint, half finished the basement and very well kept landscaped (turf) yard.

What the house was missing was quickly shown in the inspection and energy audit. They revealed a lack of any decent insulation/air sealing,  chuck full of incandescent light bulbs, inefficient water fixtures, noisy bath fan old and oversized heating/cooling systems  along with a dinosaur of a water heater and no garden in the perfectly south facing fenced in backyard.

The target was LEED Silver certification through a Gut Rehab, but we quickly had determined that exposing the exterior or interior walls to air seal plus removing the shower and tub surround to add in a non-paper face drywall would go way over our budget. While LEED may fall more in line with a Deep Green Retrofit, we opted to do a Moderate Green Retrofit.

From there it was clear that the once called MNGreenStar program would make the most sense and they used it to document the existing conditions and come up with our goals to make the home better. As you can see in the initial energy audit in which they used was the HERS Model (think an MPG sticker for your house) and came out at 175. You can see a little more on results we got here.  This number was on track with the old homeowners energy bills which we acquired during the audit.  Their overall order of importance to the home upgrades was Energy Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, Water Conservation, Landscaping and then Material Conservation.

Back deck

They came across a unique financing that allowed them to do a lot of work in the up front while getting a longer return on investment, MI Saves had partnered with their gas company DTE to allow a $2,500 kickback to those who could show a performance plan of gas savings of 30% with an upgrade. Trane/WellsFargo also had a fantastic deal with a 0% 5-year loan that allowed other products outside of their brand to make up 50% of the costs.




Key achievements for GreenStar Certification 

  • Insulation + air sealing
    • R 38 Spray foam in attic – Foam had cane/beat sugar components
    • Closed-cell Spray foam rim band joist and 1/4 of basement wall
    • 4 inches of Rigid Cellulose called Eco-Cell on basement walls  
    • Drill n fill cellulose added in the empty wallsEE
    • Caulking and Air sealing the windows and trim
  • New Storm Windows 
  • New fiberglass energy star door + weather stripping old door 
  • 96% Efficient, modulating and right sized furnace with ECM
  • 90% Efficient Hybrid 20-gallon water heater
  • Sealed all exposed ducts and hot water pipes
  • Programmable Thermostat
  • Mostly LED’s, some CFLs with some Dimmers or Motion sensors
  • Air changes per Hour (ACH): 5.1
  • Final HERS: 65
  • Final Energy Performance Score: 24,000 KWHe
  • Home Energy Score: 10
  • 181 Points in E.EIEQ
  • Ultimate Air Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV)
  • New Panasonic Exhaust Fan
  • Closed Combustion Furnace & Water Heater
  • Vented Hood Range
  • No VOC Paint In Basement
  • MERV 10 Filter
  • Asbestos Removed from heating ductsWC
  • Radon Test (negative)
  • Whole House Carbon Water Filtration
  • 46 Points in IEQ
  • Water Leak Test
  • .5 GPM Bathroom Aerator
  • 1.6 GPM Water Sense Shower Head
  • Niagara Stealth Toilet at .8 Gallons Per Flush (half of a normal toilet!)
  • SCPlan to not water lawn during the day
  • Reduced Turf
    28 points in water conservation
  • Installed Food Garden & Raised Beds
  • High Walkscore of 80 out of 100
  • Compost and Recycle almost all waste through the city & organic cycle
  • 24 points in Site and Community Impact

Because this was a light remodel and weatherization they did not score too many material points. Materials are mainly for extensive work being done and refurbishment in existing homes.

To see the entirely completed checklist, go here and download it or view it online 

Our blog details 1 years worth of utility date & costs associated with the project.  It also features lessons learned. They will be keeping it up to date by monitoring the performance, durability, comfortably and maintenance.

BrocGarden Image FullThey plan to achieve Silver Certification within 2 years by converting more of the backyard to a food garden and the entire front yard over to a mix of drought tolerant and native plant species along with raised bed food gardens. Adding rain barrels and fixing the gutters. We hope to achieve more points by painting the exterior of the house with carcinogen free no VOC paint.

Other current issues – No return ducts in the 2nd floor and some older ducts still panned in the joist may be causing temp swings in the second floor and higher summer humidity. We have an idea of opening up the kitchen to connect to the living and dining and during that time we could potentially add return ducts and seal the current ducts.