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! 

Lake Country Builders: Remodel Type 1 Bronze

Remodel Bronze I Lake Country Builders

The arts and crafts-style home, in the Lynhurst neighborhood of Minneapolis, features a renovated kitchen, powder room, and sitting area. An eco-friendly design respects the home’s historical character while integrating the modern elements of today’s kitchen amenities. This efficient use of space features craftsman details in the cabinetry and millwork. Recycled glass, cork flooring, and low VOC paints join a variety of other ‘green’ materials honoring our clients sensitivity to the environment.

There were some interesting challenges in designing the project. We had to conceal plumbing lines coming down from the upstairs bathroom as well as hide the support beam that divided the pantry space from the kitchen. The solution was to create an arch that housed both problems. Viola! The powder bathroom on the main level was a wish list item and we creatively built under the stair. A Perfect fit! Another wish list item was to open up the stair well to the living room. The clients commented that everyone who visits is amazed at how original to the home it looks. Like it was always there!

By Sue & Pete Jacobson, Lake Country Builders

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

Castle Building & Remodeling: Remodel Type 1 Bronze

Remodel Bronze I

Castle Building & Remodeling

This project is in the home of two adults and three children. The owners wanted an open gathering space with informal dining, a mudroom/entry area, a remodeled powder room, and provisions for a future laundry facility. Because they cared so much about the environment and the health of their family, they specifically wanted it to be “green” for energy-efficiency, earth-friendly, and health-conscious reasons.


A great deal of planning, preparation, and creative design was required to fulfill the homeowners’ “green dream.” The project included a blower door test to measure air tightness, weather-stripping of existing doors, the use of reclaimed lumber for framing, formaldehyde-free insulation, compact fluorescent light bulbs and sheetrock with recycled paper content as well as the re-use of millwork and the laundry chute. As part of the project, a low-flow toilet and a mix of reclaimed birch countertops and Cambria countertops, which are fabricated with a low-petroleum method, was installed. Energy-Star appliances, a high-efficiency water heater, and low-flow aerators were all put to use in this home. In addition, handmade tiles composed of recycled material were installed in the kitchen, tile with recycled content was used in the bathroom, and a recycling center was added in the kitchen. The design also incorporated the refinishing of the existing hardwood floors with a less toxic water-based stain in lieu of installing new flooring. All construction waste on-site, such as salvageable metals and wood, was sent to a recycling center that reclaims many materials.

Other sustainable design elements included in this project are the use of dimmer switches and timers on electric lights, the avoidance of recessed lights, the installation of a HEPA filter and the use of a refrigerator with a bottom-mount freezer. Low or no-VOC paint and wood finishes were also used.

By Katie Jaydan, Castle Building & Remodeling

 Castle Building & Remodeling BeforeCastle Building & Remodeling In Progress

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

Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build: Remodel Type I Bronze

FROM THE HOMEOWNERS:

Our 1978 house had a unique feature which we hadn’t seen in other homes built in the same era: a vaulted ceiling which leads up to the living room framed by soaring arches. There was one Achilles heel, however. The connected kitchen was very small and even worse, was enclosed on 3 sides by walls, further limiting the usable space. It also had only an arm’s length worth of counter space, which could only lead to marital strife during team-cooking sessions!

We enlisted the help of Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build, who were able to design a spectacular space within the existing footprint while somehow transforming the entire house! We now have wonderful storage, counter space, clever built-ins and custom- designed Cambria countertops and bar. When you step past the front door, your eye follows the striking angles of the tile floor through the kitchen and the natural elm floors, up the stairs to the modern black iron railings, which complete the flow of the house. The best part is how much strife was avoided by our investment!

 

FROM THE REMODELER:

When homeowners Eric and Christina purchased their split level home in Mounds View, they loved the neighborhood and the additional square footage. However, the kitchen was an eyesore. Upon entering the home, one was confronted with a small, dark enclosed kitchen cut off from the rest of the house. Whenever the family wanted to entertain, the cook would be isolated from the guests and excitement. The awkward situation prompted them to call Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build for an eco-friendly design solution that better fit the family’s lifestyle.

The homeowners wanted a contemporary kitchen that possessed optimal storage solutions, supported the entertaining of guests and allowed for an abundance of natural light. They desired all of this without adding to the original footprint of the home. It was also important that this project have energy efficient appliances and use sustainable materials.

Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build dramatically improved the function and flow of the entire first floor by removing the interior walls of the kitchen, brightening the area during the day and creating multiple opportunities for hosting in the evening. Now the kitchen is open to the dining room and even to the living room beyond. Bar seating allows the chef and guests to interact. A narrow free standing wall placed between the entryway and the kitchen creates an entry space on one side and a well situated storage center on the other while both areas feel open and spacious.

Proving that green design can be cool and stylish as well as functional, the project boasts eco-resin panels set within the cabinets add a clean vertical counterpoint to the horizontal rift-cut wood and sleek minimalist hardware pulls. The white Cambria split counter block diverges from the straight line of the cabinet wall and adds personality and flare to the home.

Our firm’s Green solution includes cabinets which are custom-made locally with FSC-certified no-formaldehyde-added white oak. The floor is locally reclaimed elm (from trees felled by Dutch Elm Disease). We used recycled-content tile and locally produced Cambria countertops. All paints and stains used were low VOC. The appliances are all Energy Star rated.

Highlights

  • Energy Star rated appliances
  • Eco-resin panels on upper cabinet doors
  • Recycled-content tiles
  • Locally-made custom Cabinets
  • FSC-certified, No-formaldehyde-added rift cut oak
  • Water-based finishes
  • Reclaimed local elm flooring
  • Custom-designed and locally-made steel railings
  • Minnesota-made Cambria counter tops
  • High efficiency Marvin windows & patio door
  • High efficiency lightning
  • No VOC paints and primers

 

For more information on this project visit www.otogawa-anschel.com.

Buck Brothers Construction – Bath Project: Remodel Type I Gold

Previous to this bathroom project the homeowners contracted with Buck Brothers Construction to construct a GreenStar “Gold” Certified 2nd floor addition. They wanted to continue the “Green” renovation of their home with the decision to complete the installation of their master bathroom. Space and basic mechanics had been planned and laid out during the development and construction of their 2010 2nd floor addition.

Supported by an established collaborative relationship and clarity to the goals of sustainability and efficiency the owners and our staff finalized the scope and details for the bathroom. Reclaimed pedestals sinks and faucets from a local salvage company, a dual flush, water conserving toilet, low VOC paints and flow restricted faucets were folded into the shell constructed in their previous project. The completed bathroom presented them with an open, airy room including a porthole view of their front yard treetops.

The design process, construction and, most conclusively, the final product were a testament to the initial commitment and planning invested by the homeowners. Decisions made three years earlier ensured a continuation of their dedication to a sustainable construction and life style. An added plus for them was achieving another Gold certification for their Green home.

For more information on this project visit www.buck-bros.com.

Buck Brothers Construction Inc.: Remodel Type I Gold

Remodel Typr 1 Gold

Buck Brothers Construction

 For more information on this project visit www.buck-bros.com.