Burns Valley, MN GreenStar Gold Remodel uses passive and active solar

Leff Project – LEED Platinum Single Family

Grand Teton Eco-Smart Home goes LEED Platinum & Zero Energy Capable in IL

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! 

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.

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.