Wilcon Construction, Inc. – Project 2: New Home Bronze

Mankato, Minnesota

This multi-level home qualified as the first Minnesota Green Star home in the Mankato area. Residents of the home enjoy a lovely view of a large retention pond in the Sakatah Fields subdivision in Mankato. The home has the following eco-friendly features:

1) Energy Star windows, doors, furnace, appliances and air-conditioning.

2) Low-flow faucets, toilets and showers.

3) Eco-friendly grass is drought resistant and requires 50% less mowing.

4) Over half of the floors are hard surface contributing to improved indoor air quality.

5) South facing windows provide ample natural daylight and reduced winter heating costs.

This home demonstrates energy efficient, eco-friendly homes can still have excellent curb appeal and spacious family living space.

By Wilcon Construction

 

Wilcon Construction, Inc. – Project 1: New Home Bronze

Wilcon Construction Inc.

The first GreenStar certified home built by Wilcon Construction, Inc.

Saint James, Minnesota

This MN GreenStar BRONZE certified home was designed to be energy efficient and provide open light-filled spaces and healthy indoor air to the residents. The design features locally manufactured Lindsay windows that allow natural day lighting and passive solar heat gain during the winter. When the sun is high overhead during the summer, overhangs provide shading to minimize solar gain. The home features geo-thermal heating and cooling, Water Sense certified plumbing fixtures and Energy Star appliances.

Efforts were made to use local and sustainable building materials including concrete mixed with fly ash, and Kasota limestone from a nearby quarry. Recycling and reduction of construction waste and reusing construction scraps was an important part of the building process. Interior finish selections made from recycled products include Shaw Epic engineered wood floors and Shetkastone countertops (manufactured from old paper in LeSueur, Minnesota) in the master bath. Other products which contribute healthy indoor air quality include Marmoleum flooring and countertops, Cambria countertops, formaldehyde-free cabinets and low VOC water based finishes.

Outside the home, the landscape includes native drought tolerant plants, fruit-bearing bushes, and a small vegetable garden. Three rain gardens planted with native grasses and flowering perennials capture water run-off from the roof.

By Wilcon Construction

JL Wageman Homes: New Home Bronze

MNGS New Home Bronze Logo

JL Wageman Homes

J.L. Wageman Homes, a true custom Builder, is now experienced in achieving the MN GreenStar standards with building of this certified home.  Planning from start to finish is the main key to incorporate the 5 elements of building green.  The energy efficiency of geothermal heating system, the resource efficiency of the reclaimed granite countertops in the kitchen and baths, indoor environmental quality of low voc paints and hard surface flooring, the water conservation using low flow toilets and faucets, rain gardens, and native plantings in the landscaping and the site and community impact of restored prairie lands and maintained excavated soil to reuse on site.  These are just a few of the highlights that makes this home energy efficient and durable now and being sustainable in the years to come.  Let J.L. Wageman Homes expertise work for you.

By Jerry Wageman, JL Wageman Homes

JL Wageman Homes - Fireplace  JL Wageman Homes - Kitchen

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

Creek Hill Custom Homes: New Home Bronze

New Home Bronze
Creek Hill Custom Homes

When Rick and Adrienne Harrison contacted Michael Hillesheim of Creek Hill Custom Homes Inc. to build their new home according to MN GreenStar qualifications, Mike eagerly accepted the opportunity to learn more about “Green” building hands on.  Creek Hill Custom Homes has always built a great quality home for their buyer(s) but now the challenge was to build a home with respect to the future.

The building site/lot was formerly park land that had been used as a fill site.  Soil corrections were accomplished by using the soil on site.  The house was built with energy efficient walls.  A metal roof was used as well as other energy efficient fixtures and building materials.

Our subcontractors were made more aware of environmental impact and material conservation.  They have carried this awareness and conservation on into other new construction.  Our framers now use materials more efficiently and conservatively after building a MN GreenStar house.

The Harrison’s and Creek Hill Custom Homes Inc. are proud of the achievement of building a certified MN GreenStar home and contributing to a better future for everyone.

By Barb Fisher, Creek Hill Custom Homes

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

Lumber One Cold Spring: New Home Bronze

New Homes Bronze
Lumber One

I remember becoming very excited about the possibility of being included in the MN GreenStar pilot program.  Sustainability along with energy, water and resource conservation have always been a high priority for me and my family.  My background includes growing up on a farm in Southwestern Minnesota.  Learning how to best use natures resources was a high priority of my Dads.  I remember being proud of him when he was featured in a local farm paper for his soil conservation/preservation practices i.e. contour terraces to keep the soil from being washed into the local watershed.  Looking back he was well ahead of the EPA’s storm water programs.

My interest in science led me to St Cloud State University to study for a triple (comprehensive) major in biology, chemistry and physics.  Prior to working in the home building and remodeling business I taught chemistry, biology and physics.  While teaching I built my 2nd home utilizing advanced insulation techniques, one of the first 82% efficient furnaces along with one of the highest rated air conditioners being controlled by a set back thermos stat.

In 1982 I began my career as a new home salesperson with Lumber One Cold Spring.  Since then I have helped nearly 600 families build their dream homes.  From starter homes to executive homes to homes where families can age in place utilizing universal building techniques.

Working with everyone at MN GreenStar through out the planning, building and inspection and certification phases has been seamless.  I finished my home just in time for the Central Minnesota Spring Tour of Homes in the spring of 2008.  Since then I have had it open for the fall tour of 2008 and spring tour of 2009.  I have had approximately 3000 people thru the home.  When folks enter the home, I say welcome to my green built home.  I get two responses, that is why I am here or what do you mean?  A perfect opportunity to explain the complete process.  When asked how much the “green” features added, the universal response was wow, that is less than I expected.

Thanks again for the opportunity of working with MN GreenStar on my 3rd party certified home.  I look forward to utilizing as many of these concepts I can in all of my future custom built homes.

By Jim Green, Lumber One Cold Spring

For more information on this project visit www.lumber-one.com.

Pillar Homes: New Home Bronze

New Home Bronze
Pillar Homes

Pillar Homes goal was a stunning new retro house that takes you back to a nostalgic era with memories of family farms.  We wanted to purchase sustainable products, utilize energy saving systems and products, and minimize the footprint on the environment.  We created a home and separate out building that integrate together on the site creating a very inviting and usable relationship.

The exterior green parts of the home:

  • “Cool roof” (a galvanized aluminum roof)
  • An intensive long-term prairie restoration project
  • Rain garden for roof runoff
  • Vegetable and flower garden
  • Cement fiber board siding

Energy saving aspects are the geothermal heating and cooling system, closed cell insulation, off-peak utility service, light bulbs, dimmers, and the Warmboard radiant subfloor system with hot water integrated in it.  Radiant heat is also in the lower level.

The interior design is truly a showcase with a careful balance of the old mixed with new.  The interior product showcases are:

  • Reclaimed wood throughout:  Pine kitchen walls, antique Elm floors, fireplace mantles, fireplace doors, great room ceiling beams, and a suspended custom stairwell.
  • Hot water radiant floor heat on main and lower levels
  • Stained concrete floors in the lower level and main level
  • Cambria, Verazzo, Avonite, and Paperstone countertops
  • Enameled trim and MDF doors
  • Low VOC and no VOC paint
  • Master bedroom closet system with no urea formaldehyde

The end result gives our homeowner an updated nostalgic farm house reminiscent of the past with sustainable state-of-the-art products.  It is truly an environmentally smart building project.

By KC Chermak, Pillar Homes

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

Lake Country Builders: New Home Gold

New Home Gold
Lake Country Cottage

The goal of the project was to construct a home in the Linden Hills neighborhood that would be both respectful of the neighbors living space, that would be architecturally fitting and pleasing to the community and that would be sustainable construction.  We wanted to reuse the existing foundation.  Additions are a front porch and a screen porch/ mudroom on footings and an office sunroom with foundation below.   We wanted to stay within a compact a floor plan while creating open light filled spaces that would work for a young family as well as empty nesters and anywhere in between!

The MN GreenStar GOLD certified Lake Country Cottage was designed to be as beautiful as it is energy efficient. The existing home was hand deconstructed by DemoGreen to reuse and recycle materials. The home features a metal roof, Hardie® siding, Marvin windows, geo-thermal heating and cooling, water conserving fixtures and Energy Star appliances. We incorporated recycled materials, local quarried stone, FSC wood and Marmoleum flooring, FSC and formaldehyde-free cabinets and low VOC water based finishes. The Greenscape includes native, drought tolerant plants and a rain garden, irrigated by a rainwater captured drip irrigation system.

By Sue & Pete Jacobson, Lake Country Builders

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

College City Homes: New Home Bronze

New Home Bronze

College City Homes

We built our certified green home in Shakopee and enjoyed being part of shaping the pilot program.  At College City Companies we feel it is our social responsibility to understand how to build green homes and green remodeling projects and present these ideas to our customers.

We discovered during the process different ways to do things that were cost effective. One of these ideas was different ways to insulate a home.  We have been able to use this idea and present to new customers on ways to improve the efficiency of their home.  As we went through the program we have found other situations like this that someone might not be doing a certified project, but we could bring green aspects to the project by understanding better ways of doing things.

Since completing the project we have presented green seminars with our Trade Partners to potential customers, designers, realtors, and mortgage officers.  What we found is there is a great variation in people’s knowledge and the expectations of what a green home should be.  Many of them have a greater understanding that all green homes do not have to have geo thermal, solar power and wind generators, to be considered to be green.  Even though these are viable alternatives there are many different ways to do a green project.

By Steve McDonald, College City Homes

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