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.

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.

Showcase Renovation/SALA Architects: New Home Silver

New Home Silver

Showcase Renovations

Showcase Renovation Inc. won the 2008 “Excellence In Green Building” Award for remodeling with this project.  The home has been rated Silver by MN GreenStar.

Replacing an energy and structurally deficient home, this MN GreenStar pilot participant begins sustainability with simple concepts in a new 2050sf house.  Methods including solar orientation for passive heating and cooling; use and re-use of durable, recyclable, and sustainable materials; reduced energy consumption; improved indoor air quality; and increased attention to water management, retention, and respect of the mighty Mississippi.  The elongated plan and prominent shed roof focus river views while minimizing northern exposure.

Among the features included in this home:

  • FSC lumber and millwork
  • In-floor heat powered by heat pump
  • Closed cell foam insulation, R-50 and R-60 ceilings
  • Advanced framing technologies
  • Low VOC or no VOC and free of formaldehyde finishes
  • Air exchange system with heat-recovery or energy-recovery
  • Flourescent, low voltage, and LED lighting
  • Energy Star rated appliances
  • No-Mow Landscape with rain barrels and rain garden for conservation

The clients were dedicated to building green and made this project both challenging and exciting. This home was designed for its site responding to conditions both natural and man-made.  It provides an example of the beauty, efficiency, and longevity that results when regard for limited resources meets sustainable design and quality craftsmanship.

By Stephen Roche, Showcase Renovation Inc.

Showcase RenovationShowcase Renovation

For more information on this project visit www.showcaserenovations.com and www.salaarc.com.

Keith Waters & Associates: New Home Silver

New Home Silver
Keith Waters & Associates

This home by Keith Waters & Associates, Inc, is MN Greenstar New Home Silver Certified. Some of its “green” features are solar water heating, sustainably-harvested hardwood floors, and high-efficiency lighting. Its driveway pavers are made from recycled tires and are installed in a way that lets rainwater seep between them into the earth, recharging the groundwater supply while reducing undesireable runoff.

By Jacquie Cripe, Keith Waters & Associates

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