Welcome MN Member More Than A Beautiful Home

More Than A Beautiful Home blends the art of home and the science of better to help you get more from your home without sacrificing beauty.

“Go ahead. Picture your dream home – the bold paint colors, coordinating fabrics, vibrant countertops, polished appliances, and stunning floors.”

They are on a mission to improve the environment by empowering women to create better homes.

“Now, envision a better home. Say good bye to uncomfortably hot or cold rooms, musty smells, drafty windows, ice dams, high utility bills, toxins and chemicals, and wanting to do something better for the environment but not knowing what to do.”

Currently More Than A Beautiful Home sends monthly and relevant, stylish but useful newsletters for homeowner and remodelers with content. You can follow them now or subscribe here. Another unique call to action is the Million Plus 3 Better Home Challenge. Imagine when one million women taking 3 actions each will create better homes and the biggest energy movement the country has ever seen! Take action now!

More than a Beautiful home is ran by Cindy Ojczyk and Christine Bleyhl who are passionate advocates for the marriage of beauty and sustainability. Christine is the former chair of MNGS Technical Committee as of 2013. Cindy, long time voluntary educator for MNGS qualiication training, co-author of GreenStar Certified Green Homes and Remodeling program, owner of Simply Green Design sustainable interior design, and member of the NorthernSTAR Building America team for the U.S. Department of Energy, brings a wealth of experience grounded in research and practical application to her consumer outreach website www.morethanabeautifulhome.com 

Former NARI Chicago President becomes member and remodels green

Ron Cowgill, Owner of D/Restore the North Shore Services Unlimited, has been in the remodeling business for over 25 years and is a Certified Remodeler (CR), Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler (CKBR), Green Certificate Professional (GCP) and Universal Design Certified Specialist (UDCP) through NARI, EPA Certified in lead safe practices, Past President of the local NARI Chapter in Chicago, Licensed electrical contractor, Licensed general contractor in Chicago, Highland Park and Evanston. Ron has contributed to articles in “Crain’s Chicago Business”, “Remodeling Magazine”, “Qualified Remodeler”, “Chicago Sun Times”, “Chicago Tribune” and wrote a “How To” colum for” Chicago Home Improvement Magazine”. Ron is the host of Mighty House, a homeowner DYI Chicago online radio with national audience
Chicagoland radio shows & HGTV’s before and after segment and New Spaces episode. Ron’s company, D/R Services Unlimited, Inc. has been completing “Green” remodeling projects for many years. Many of these “Green” techniques have been incorporated in to the normal operation of his business.

Ron is thrilled to be participating in Chicagoland’s 2nd annual GreenBuilt Home Tour with the Wellington Ave, Type 1 – whole home remodel featured above. This project is registered and on track to certify at the coveted Gold level. Project features are a: Complete gutted kitchen, first floor bathroom, second floor, basement, all new electrical/plumbing/HVAC, closed cell foam on second floor, basement insulation panels, LED/CFL lighting, Water saver faucets, dual flush toilets, New windows, No VOC paints. Reclaimed floors, light fixtures, interesting use of old doors. A energy and green home 3rd party audit was done before and after remodel to ensure quaity assurance and energy peformance goals are met. The rater on the project is Jason La Fleur of Eco Achievers and AES regional director.

Once certified, Ron will be Chicago’s and IL’s first GreenHome Professional.

Don’t miss the 2nd annual Chicago GreenBuilt Home Tour coming up next week!

The 2014 GreenBuilt Home Tour features 18 exceptional, award-winning, and nationally-recognized Chicago area homes which highlighted attractive, affordable, and sustainable building practices. The tour is coming up on July 26 and 27 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

During the two-day event, attendees learned ways the built environment contributes to a healthier community. The tour included Northern Illinois’ finest builders, designers and homeowners who created healthy, energy saving green homes. Together they send a clear message: to reduce our nation’s need to produce energy we must “make it tight and vent it right.”

All homes on the tour were third-party verified (or pending verification) to ensure they were built (or being built) to national standards, earning certification through programs such as: ENERGY STAR for Homes, LEED for Homes, the National Green Building StandardDOE Challenge Home, Illinois GreenStar, and Passive House.

2 other ILGS homes will be featured too. Plan a trip to Chicago today and sign up now! 

Welcome WI Member Virge Temme

Virge “believes that architecture has the power to change our lives. Our world is undergoing monumental shifts in climate due to natural evolution as well as the impact of human activity. Our firm is committed to the goal of utilizing environmentally sound materials, systems, design, and construction methods in the creation of our built environment, in order to reduce the impact of buildings on our environment.’

Virge just recently completed the ITHACA home, a LEED platinum new construction in Gills Rock, WI that averages $30.00 energy bills and used low and no voc paints for improved indoor air quality. She is now working with WI’s premier rater Thomas Krawczyk on a new registered LEED rebuild in Sturgeon Bay that will target platinum and aim to reuse or locally recycled 100% of the existing home onsite in the new home. Learn more and follow the project.

Virge Temme received her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, and has been a professional residential designer since 1988. Widely recognized as an expert in the field of green architecture and sustainable design, Virge is often a featured speaker, panelist and author on these issues. Virge Temme Architecture, Inc. was founded in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1999.

She is an active member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) the Passive House Alliance and now GreenStar / AES!

Check out all her work and philosphy here at VirgeTemme.com

Welcome new member Image Design!

Image Design, LLC, owned by Eric Hughes, is a national award winning
sustainable/organic residential design firm located in East Grand Rapids, Michigan.
They specialize in designing new homes, cottages, remodels, additions and developments and can create a custom home that is suited to the clients individual lifestyle and the unique nature of the choosen site.
Image Design has over 24 years of residential design experience on sustainable construction methods such as Advanced framing, Insulated concrete forms (ICF’s), Superior wall foundations, Structural insulated panels (SIP’s), Earth bermed, Light Clay Straw, near zero energy, renewable ready, Passive and Active solar designed homes. They have designed over 25 Homes that have been certified through the LEED for Homes certification process. Their designs have been published locally and nationally and have been built thru-out Michigan and as far away as New York. We are actively learning new methods of sustainable construction every chance they can, such as Passive House and Living Building Challenge certification and “we are very excited to support the new Michigan green remodeling certification program, GreenStar.”See Image Design’s most recent projects

GreenStar is a leading cold weather climate residential building standards program that provides third-party verification and certification of projects for new and existing homes. GreenStar is a resource providing training, testing, and rating services for homeowners and industry professionals alike. GreenStar is apart of the 501 c3 non profit the Alliance for Environmental Sustianability.