ICCF Community Homes Initiative nets GreenStar Homes Renovation Certifications

Stephanie Gingerich of LINC UP achieves LEED Green Associates to help affordable housing

Congrats Stephanie Gingerich of Linc UP on passing her U.S. Green Building Council LEED Green Associates exam! Next? The LEED AP Homes! Through the GreenHome Institute Grand Rapids Green Affordable Housing program funded by the Wege Foundation we are providing training and capacity building to those in organizations serving low income and supportive housing in Grand Rapids, MI. We also are assisting in free or discounted green building certifications! If you are planning to serve or are serving those in need through housing in GR get at us! https://lnkd.in/emRtfj2

Consumers Energy boosts performance-based incentives and more, ready’s for zero!

Consumers Energy is offering some new rebates and incentives focused on performance-based energy reduction for new and existing commercial and mixed-use/multifamily as well as new single-family homes. For new and existing multifamily properties they are allowing some new pilot incentives for heat pump HVAC and water heaters.

For mixed-use multifamily & commercial, they have a new program that pays out to $150,000.00 and for single family new builds, they pay up to $2,000.00 per home! 

The mixed-use program is called their Zero Net Energy Companion Program but don’t let that scare you as it really is an energy reduction program with some requirements to get ready for solar in the future. It pays a $1.50 per square foot, more than twice their business incentives for projects that can ideally achieve 25 kbtu per square foot per year in your energy model at $.75 / square foot and the remaining $.75 will be paid out of a 12 month performance period showing actual results. Since some buildings are very unique so they are also allowing you to achieve this by instead being 40% better than the MI commercial energy code on new construction or major guts or 30% better on existing build upgrades. This incentive also covers the cost of LEED and/or Zero Energy certification program fees and requires early design planning, charrettes, energy modeling as well as commissioning after construction.

Learn more here or download the handout here! 

Keeler Design Charrette Meeting to discuss achieving CE ZNE program on a mixed use in Grand Rapids.

For Single Family and townhouses, consumers energy is offering $2,000 for achieving a HERS index of 56 or lower, obtaining energy star homes certification and having an all-electric HVAC system. If Geothermal is out of your price range that is ok! Air source heat pumps will get the job done and now work in cold climates as well as Heat Pump Water Heaters.  Learn more about the program.

For new and existing multifamily it is getting harder to comply with appropriate heat load calculations by using traditional forced air single-stage gas furnaces. Ducted or ductless air source heat pumps not only save a lot of energy but also comply with sizing requirements to make sure the system performance is at it’s peak. Not adding gas lines or venting also can save on costs as well as reduce air loss and pest entry. While heat pump water heaters steal heated air from inside our buildings they also dehumidify and are roughly 300% more efficient than traditional resistant water heaters. Most multifamily buildings have more issues with higher cooling loads than heating loads so heat pump water heaters help out with that in in the cooling season despite the small heat load they add in the winter. Our models are showing anywhere from $100 a year to $800 a year per unit in energy savings by switching from resistance to heat pump. As such, consumers is now recognizing this and adding custom rebates to help with the additional upfront cost of air source and hot water heat pumps!  Learn more here about rebates for multifamily and contact consumers on custom heat pumps for your project. 

We applaud consumers energy for helping lead the transition in making our buildings and homes more efficient and healthier! 

Whether you are doing mixed-use, multifamily or single family GHI is here to help you or connect you with someone who can help you get access to these incentives and make your project better! Get at us today Brett.Little@greenhomeinstitute.org 616-458-6733

435 LaGrave Apartments at Tapestry Square goes LEED Gold Certified

Well House LEED Gold Gut Rehab uses housing first model to help homeless

GreenHome Institute continues Green Affordable Housing Initiative after receiving Wege Foundation Grant.

GreenHome Institute continues Green Affordable Housing Initiative after receiving Wege Foundation Grant. 

Grand Rapids, MI February 2018

Thanks to a 2018 Wege Foundation Grant, the GreenHome Institute will continue working on the Grand Rapids Green Affordable Housing Initiative this year.

This program helps residential developers get access to education, training, resources, credentials, energy modeling and certification services to ensure that families have affordable utility costs and healthy living spaces.

The Wege grant allows the GreenHome Institute to be part of the solution to the affordable housing shortfall in the City of Grand Rapids. Spurring development in greener affordable housing projects will put more money in the pockets of people who need it, and reduce healthcare costs through healthier living spaces.

Affordable housing by definition means homes or apartments set aside for at least those making less than the area median income who may have trouble buying or renting with increased home values. Along with this, Grand Rapids recently announced some affordable housing initiatives that GHI will align with and support. The program also supports senior, veteran, homeless, youth and all supportive housing types.

“As part of the Keeler Flats I + II Development Team, we started working with GHI almost Two (2) years ago. It has been wonderful! We have learned how to couple affordable/workforce housing with energy modeling strategies for the benefit the tenants, our community and beyond. This is a social-economic victory and GHI should be commended for providing the education, inspiration, and empowerment. ” Jeffrey P. Dombrowski  Keeler Flats Development Team.

The program requires developers to follow a 3rd party green certification such as LEED for Homes, GreenStar, the DOE Home Energy Score or a few other valid programs. This helps gain them access to some types of incentives and ensures projects meet high-level water/energy efficiency and health standards.

“Well House began working with Green Home Institute a few years ago.  We started small, working to get our home scores improved and under the DOE Home Energy Score.  After completing many energy efficiency improvements to our homes, we decided to take on a full LEED renovation with help from Catalyst Partners and GHI.  It’s been a great experience.” Tami VandenBerg, Well House Executive Director.

GHI will be hosting green building introductory courses all year and working hands-on with developers along with funding their green certification costs.

Developers and those who are interested can learn more at greenhomeinstitute.org/grand-rapids-green-affordable-housing/

The GreenHome Institute is hosting a kick-off informational meeting at the Inner City Christian Federation located in the East Hills on March 1 from 6 to 8 pm.

About the GreenHome Institute

The GreenHome Institute is a Grand Rapids-based nonprofit that has been around for 18 years with a mission to empower people to make healthier and more sustainable choices in the renovation and construction of places we live. They helped certify over 8,500 green homes and trained over 30,000 people on building better.

About the Wege Foundation

The Wege Foundation is a 50-year-old Foundation in Grand Rapids Michigan started by Peter Melvin Wege out of his love for the Earth and all its people. The Wege Foundation has five major pillars which include; environment, education, health, the arts, community service and education. The foundation hosts a lecture speaker each year bringing an internationally renowned speaker to Aquinas College. The foundation originally funded GHI’s Executive Director Position in 2005 and the first Green Affordable Housing program in 2014. More recently the foundation has supported green development through Habitat for Humanity, the Inner City Christian Federation, Well House, Camp Newaygo, the West MI Environmental Action Council and the USGBC West MI Battle of the Buildings.


Brett Little
Executive Director
GreenHome Institute

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