Live Green Live Smart – The Sustainable House: Remodel Type IV Gold

Remodel Gold IVThe Sustainable House

Live Green, Live Smart’s The Sustainable House TM is a participant in Minnesota GreenStar’s Remodeling pilot program and the LEED for Homes Pilot ProjectTM. Live Green, Live Smart has transformed an ordinary post-War rambler in a suburban neighborhood into a Century hour that will be energy efficient, environmentally healthy, respectful of the natural environment, and comfortable for family life as climate and energy resources alter in the coming decades.

Environmentally-Conscious Applications

The green building materials and techniques as applied to the House are less conspicuous than alternative energy sources, but no less important to our Platinum remodel.

  • Efficient insulation and an air transfer system ensure that none of the heat or cold generated goes to waste, and that the air inside the home stays clean and breathable.
  • Solatubes provide natural sunlight all day long, even in the basement, reducing electricity needs.
  • Every lightbulb in the house is an energy-efficient compact fluorescent or LED.
  • Low-voltage radiant in-floor heating is an efficient way to reduce furnace needs.
  • Greywater is collected from the showers for reuse in the double-flush toilets.
  • Windows are triple-glazed and argon-filled to reduce heat transfer.
  • Appliances are EnergyStar rated, and an induction stove is used for cooking.
  • All electrical energy purchased from the grid is the product of windfarming – no coal-fueled energy will be used in the House.

By Peter Lytle, Live Green Live Smart

The Sustainable House BeforeThe Sustainable House Dining ROom

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Quarve Contracting: Remodel Type I Bronze

Remodel Bronze IQuarve ContractingQuarve Contracting, Inc. has completed a Minnesota GreenStar Pilot remodeling project for the Gitzen home, a 1957 rambler in Roseville. Homeowners, Chuck and Kathy Gitzen worked with Quarve Contracting, Inc. by volunteering some sweat equity. They’ve installed their own rain garden, indoor and outdoor compost bins, rain barrels and reducing their energy costs by installing CFL lighting. Green Remodeling does not need to add extra costs to a remodeling project.  It can reduce homeowner’s energy costs well into the future. The Gitzen’s scope of work included; reinsulating the home, sealing bypasses, which resulted in a 44% tighter home. This came in as one of the tightest home tested for MN GreenStar. We removed a side door on the west side of home and installed a new window in the south side. The light switch in the room was switched so one switch could shut down all computer monitors and cpu units.  We also installed: windows, solar tubes, energy effeicent doors, Energy Star rated appliances and life-time warranty – Energy Star rated – United States Platinum Seamless Steel Siding with a natural drainage plan and ceramic based paint which is solar reflective.  Ventilation was also an issue, we brought the home up to manufacturer specifications as there was no soffit ventilation before.By Julie Quarve, Quarve Contracting

Quarve Contracting - Before
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Mike Otto Construction: Remodel Type IV Silver

Remodel Silver IVMike Otto ConstructionThe owners of this split-level home wanted an addition that was healthy and provided more space. The problems with this home were its uneven slope and its lack of natural lighting and good flow. To fix these concerns the yard was carved evenly to the ground before the addition started and the positioning of the porch was placed in the most direct sunlight to provide ample natural lighting. An addition was added to the back of the existing house to provide additional spaces: an office, dining room, family room and a four season sunroom. By adding skylights in the great-room it fixed the problem of lighting and made the space more open. From start to finish this project was designed, constructed, and finished in GREEN and followed the state green certification requirements which included: tests, energy calculations and inspections. The homeowners enjoy the extra space with lower energy bills.The homeowner commented on our project that “We chose Mike Otto as a builder based on four primary things:  quality, reliability, cost, and his support of doing a green project. Mike was supportive of doing a green remodel from the beginning; he actually got us involved in GreenStar.  He helped tremendously as we made choices based on the GreenStar checklist, and gave us a lot of guidance on some of the things you don’t see when you look at the new space — things like framing techniques, insulation and heating and cooling.  The final product is beautiful, well-executed and built to last.”By Mike Otto, Mike Otto Construction

Mike Otto ConstructtionMike Otto Construction For more information on this project visit