Little Residence Pearl Platinum Aiming for GreenStar – Zero Carbon

Brett Little, Program Manager at the GreenHome Institute, which operates out of home, decided to ensure GHI was also green as they help others.  Brett took his 2003 1-story walkout basement home in West Michigan to work towards achieving GreenStar Homes Certification & GHI Zero Carbon Certification.  The project received Pearl Platinum, is all-electric, and received a DOE Home Energy Score 10 out of 10.

Most importantly, Brett wanted to showcase how he used a traditional mortgage refinance to pay for sure this, paving the way for millions to be able to do the same through construction financing, mortgage refinancing, and/or home equity lines of credit.

Brett increased his monthly mortgage by $40 a month but will reduce utilities on average $50 a month to offset the cost and increase home value by 3%.

Added Home Features include

  • Heatpump Water Heater  – Rheem Prestige added in 2018
  • Ducted Air Source Heatpump for heating and cooling – Mitsubishi 2.5 ton
  • Sealed exposed ducts with mastic
  • Panasonic Intellibalance Cold Climate Energy Recovery Ventilator ERV – Ducted into exiting Ductwork.
  • 3.96 kW of South Facing Solar Panels on the roof
  • Whole Home 5kW Battery
  • Level 2 Car Charger with recycled electric line
  • Active Radon System
  • 2 Energy Star Panasonic Whisper Green Bath fans up to 110 CFM ducted outside
  • Whole-home ducted Aprilaire Humidifier
  • Standalone whole home Aprilaire Dehumidier
  • Ducted quiet rangehood with five settings
  • Cosmos Smart Ventilation System (retired but works)
  • Multiple air quality sensors that detect VOCs, CO2, and PM2.5 include Awair and Sun Radon
  • Condensing all electric Dryer
  • Quiet Energy Star Dishwasher
  • Energy Star Clothes Washer
  • Water sense certified low devices
    • .5 GPM Niagara Aerators
    • 1.8 GPM Sink Faucet
    • 1.25 GPM Niagara Earth Massagers showerhead
    • .8 GPF Niagara Stealth Toilet
    • Dual Flush .9/.5 GPF Niagara Nano Toilet
  • Water leak detector and smart meter
  • On-demand water softener nonelectrical
  • UV Water filter
  • 5 Micron water pre-filter
  • Undersink on-demand reverse osmosis system nonelectrical
  • Sealed off old air intakes and chimney
  • MERV 13 ERV Filter and MERV 16 Furnace Filter
  • Motion sensors throughout the home with majority LED lighting
  • Turn off the switch for the outdoor streetlight
  • Water heater pipe wrap
  • New fire detectors with CO detectors added throughout
  • Exterior Door Sealants
  • Motion sensor nightlights added
  • Planted some drought-tolerant adaptive plants
  • Added 5 hooglekulture raised beds
  • Added 5 fruit trees
  • Henhouse and 2 hens
  • Floodfactor Report 1 /10 no risk
  • Well Draining Sandy Soils

More details, stories, and videos are being added, and operational energy, water, and quality updates are being added, so be sure to check back!

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Project Team Details 

General Contractor – Brett Little
HVAC – Hendricks Heating
Water Heater – Moberg Heating
Solar – The Green Panel
Water Filtration – Gordon Water
Plumbing – Micah Perkins
Radon System – Radon Man GR
Appliances – Narawa Brothers & Home Depot
Electrical – Kleyn Electrical
Home Energy Score Assessor – Custom home energy

Project Basics 

Project Type: Single-Family
Square Feet: 1853
Bedrooms: 4

Project Certification Details 

Certification Programs:

GreenStar Homes Certification (Pending)
Pearl Platinum
Electrified Living Badge
Home Energy Score 10
Home Water Score 4.8 / 10