Posts

Saranac McClellan Home goes platinum + zero energy in West Michigan

This 3-bedroom home with an attached 2-bedroom mother-in-law cottage provides living, workshop and home-office space for the homeowners and their mothers. It features barrier-free design throughout with zero-step entry, low thresholds, roll-in showers, grab bars, and knee-space under sinks and cooktops.

Go here to see an interactive website of the home with data on energy use compared to energy captured through PV

The super-insulated shell uses double-stud wall construction with 24,000 pounds of recycled cellulose insulation in the walls and attic, and a 6-inch layer of reclaimed foam insulation under the stained concrete floor. Heat from six flat-plate solar collectors is stored in an insulated 2,500-gallon water tank, which warms the floor and also provides most of the heat for domestic hot water.

High-efficiency wood stoves make up the balance of winter heating needs, and a small electric backup heater maintains temperatures when necessary. The home is designed to produce more electricity than it consumes on an annual basis.

The home has no lawn and is surrounded instead by gardens. The steel roof collects 2,000 gallons per inch of rainwater, which is stored in an 11,000 gallon cistern for garden irrigation and flushing toilets. A root cellar built into the hill behind the house provides zero-energy cold storage of fruits and vegetables.

As of October 2010 the Jay & Liz McClellan home officially earned a LEED Platinum rating, which is the highest of 4 levels of certification offered by the USGBC. They achieved a HERS index of 20, which one of the best in the state of Michigan.

This summarizes our energy production and consumption for calendar year 2011.Ing Label Saranac

Statistics

Solar electricity produced: 6033 kW h (16.5 kW h per day)
Electricity consumed: 6150 kW h (16.8 kW h per day)
Non-heating: 5350 kW h,  heating: 800 kW h
Net electricity deficit: 117 kW h (-2%)

Discussion

“Our first 12-month report started April 1 2010 when we first activated the PV system and went through April 1 2011, but this report covers calendar year 2011 so there are a few months of overlap. For calendar year 2011 we fell just short of our goal to produce more electricity than we consumed, with a net deficit of 117 kW h for the year. Compared to our first 12 months of operation, average daily production dropped by 0.3 kW h but consumption increased 1.8 kW h. Some of that is due to having an additional family member living here since mid-year, and some is due to adding an upright freezer that uses about 1 kW / day.”

“Below is a graph showing the inside (red) and outside (blue) temperatures that we recorded throughout the year. Overall the house was very comfortable, with just a few days in the upper 70s during some hot summer weather when allergies made us reluctant to open up the house at night since our ventilation system filters out pollen from the incoming air.”

“The graph below shows the heat storage tank temperatures over the year. The big gap is when we drained the tank due to a leak, and we were able to get the tank warmed up again in the fall but not to the degree we would have liked.”

Follow their blog at http://brainright.com/

 

Socially & environmentally conscious homeowners certify in SE Michigan

Designed by Young & Young Architects, the contemporary “green” house is constructed of stone, cement plaster, copper, and glass. A bridge connects two sections of the home. The landscaping consists of indigenous, drought-resistant plants and grasses. all the materials used to build an ultra-green home in Bloomfield Township came from within a 500-mile radius, to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) requirements. But the idea for the house took root thousands of miles away.

“We travel to South America a lot, and when we’d fly over the jungle, we’d notice large swaths being clear-cut and burned,” says Art Roffey, who owns the home with his wife, Gail Danto.

“We spent time with the tribal people, and they would talk in terms of being custodians of their land, but they were seeing it disappear,” he says. “That was a big influence for wanting to build our home.”

The couple also noticed the recession of glaciers in the Andes. So, when they decided to build their house on Indian Pond, they were keenly aware of the environment.

The 1950s-era home formerly on the site was deconstructed, and all the materials were recycled and donated to the non-profit Architectural Salvage Warehouse of Detroit.

“We wanted to build a house that was beautiful and elegant and also honor the environment at the same time,” Danto says.

By all accounts, they accomplished that, with the assistance of Bloomfield Hills-based Young & Young Architects (Don Paul Young was the principal architect); LEED consultant Jim Newman, from Newman Consulting Inc. in Bloomfield Hills; Joseph Maiorano, from the Artisans Group in Royal Oak; and interior designer Diane Hancock, of Diane Hancock Designs.

At press time, the house was under review by the U.S. Green Building Council for Platinum certification — the highest level. The design also resulted in five 2011 Detroit Home Design Awards last March.

The home, which Roffey and Danto moved into in January 2010, is green as grass: Heating and cooling is geothermal; electricity is supplemented by 30 solar panels; a graywater system filters and stores water for non-drinkable reuse; the roof is recycled copper; and all appliances are Energy Star compliant.

Sustainability harvested teak was used extensively, as was lyptus wood. “You cut it at the trunk, and it grows a new trunk, which is the ultimate in recycling,” Roffey says.

Some of the furniture was designed by Hancock, who used recycled materials for fabric. Several Hancock-designed pieces were made by local artisans, Danto says.

Wherever possible, recycled or repurposed materials were employed. A circa 1900 leaded-glass window, bought at Materials Unlimited in Ypsilanti, is in the kitchen. Several Art Deco light fixtures and grates were also repurposed.

“We like integrating old and new,” Roffey says, and that sentiment extends to their extensive art collection.

“We have a lot of old Peruvian art,” Danto explains, “but we also have a large art glass collection, which is very contemporary.”

Weavings from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru mingle with Asian art. Several of the artworks are displayed in lighted niches throughout the

7,500-square-foot house.

One challenge for the architects was the topography.

“A natural swale cuts through the middle of the property and actually bisects it,” Roger Young says. The solution was to create two sections, eastern and western pods, linked by a bridge. Echoing Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic-architecture philosophy of bringing the outdoors in, the architects created the home so that it’s flooded with natural light from copious windows and skylights.

Young also strove for an organic flow, “to create spaces that aren’t rooms. There’s a big difference.” That effect was achieved by fewer walls and doors, which delineate space.

The outdoor property was also designed with an eye toward the environment.

“The whole landscape is indigenous materials, and all the plants are drought-tolerant,” Young says. But, he adds, it was a tough sell to local officials.

“In Bloomfield Township, as in most municipalities, you have to have lawn,” he says. “So we had to convince them that these hedge grasses grow to a certain height and then stop growing. Eventually, they got on board.”

For Young, that victory was sweet, because it’s paying dividends.

“When you walk into the Bloomfield Township building department, there’s a huge LEED wall with testimonials on how others can go green,” he says. “They use this house as a case study.”
More details http://leedforhomesusa.com/drc/roffey.pdf

BY GEORGE BULANDA
http://www.detroithomemag.com/Detroit-Home/Summer-2011/Taking-the-LEED/


 PHOTOGRAPHS BY JUSTIN MACONOCHIE

South East Michigan LEED Gold Certified Home

‘It’s not that easy being green,” sang Kermit the Frog. While that’s often true when it comes to green building, it is definitely getting easier, say Lynn and Charlie Arnett of Grosse Pointe Park. The Arnetts and their four children, three of whom still live at home, recently moved into one of the Detroit area’s first new LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, green-built houses.

The family had been living in a nearby 1950s house and needed more space. They thought seriously about building, but empty lots are hard to find in older, established neighborhoods such as Grosse Pointe, and they weren’t sure they wanted to trade in the frustrations of an older house (asbestos, lead paint, wet basements) for the different but equally challenging issues of newer ones (formaldehyde, medium-density fiberboard).Both have long been interested in environmental issues. Lynn worked in environmental law in Washington, D.C., and Charlie, a teacher, jokes that he recently found a button for the first Earth Day in a box when they moved.

After much thought and plenty of research, they decided to look for a lot where they could build an environmentally conscious new home. Ultimately, that search led them to a 60-by-175-foot corner lot where a condemned 1920s Tudor had been torn down.“We decided we wanted to walk the walk, not just talk the talk,” says Charlie of their decision to build. Doing so had its challenges. Green building has been in the forefront of the news, but mainly in the commercial arena. Green residential building is still fairly uncharted territory, say the Arnetts, especially in Michigan. Still, they were determined to make it happen.

Once they found their lot, they enlisted the help of Joel Peterson of Insignia Homes, a Grand Rapids-based builder whom Lynn had worked with on a former house and who had experience in LEED-certified homes. He led them to Wayne Visbeen, a Grand Rapids-based architect known for designs that successfully blend past and present.

The Arnetts wanted the house to be green but also to blend with the older Tudors and colonials on the block. “It was very important to us that the house fit into the neighborhood,” Charlie says. “We had the architect and builder do a Grosse Pointe field trip before we started.”Priorities included a vintage-style screened porch off the kitchen as well as a large open living space encompassing the kitchen and great room. The house would have six bedrooms and 41/2 baths and the kind of detail — wood trim, glass-knobbed doors, a stucco fireplace, exterior shingles — often found in older homes. Underneath, however, the infrastructure would be green.

LEED-certified houses include things such as geothermal heat, an air recovery system and a long list of environmentally approved materials, including insulation, windows, carpet, even landscaping. “Indoor air quality is very important to us, so we opted for no-VOC paints or finishes, and insulation made of shredded newspapers,” Lynn says. LEED certification is awarded in levels, with points given for each area of compliance. (For more information, visit the U.S. Green Building Council’s website at www.usgbc.org.) The Arnetts are waiting to hear if they have achieved platinum status, the highest level given, and have been investigating the idea of installing cutting-edge solar shingles, a product Dow is pioneering.

Lynn spent hours researching materials and contractors. They struggled to find cabinetry for the kitchen that was formaldehyde-free, ending up with an Indiana company. “You really have to ask a lot of questions,” she says. “It was a big education for us, too.”It took less than a year to build the Craftsman-influenced home. Now that the house is done, they’ve been working with Grosse Pointe Park-based interior designer Fatima Beacham and trying to fill it with “green” furniture — another area that hasn’t quite hit the mainstream yet.

“The problem with a lot of new furniture is that it is built with medium-density fiberboard that contains formaldehyde,” Lynn says. Formaldehyde has been linked to many health ailments. They admit there were times they were tempted to give in and take the easier way. “Staying on track and not letting ourselves be pressured to compromise was challenging,” Charlie says.“There were times I was tempted to cave, but Lynn kept me going.”

While building green is a bit more expensive than standard construction, tax credits and governmental rebates help, and prices should decrease as demand goes up, the Arnetts say. For their family, going green has been the right choice. “Once you get started, you want to do it 100 percent,” Lynn says.“When it comes to residential construction, LEED is still in its beginning stages. We’d love to be a resource for other homeowners. Hopefully our experience will make it easier for the next folks who want to do this. Even choosing a low or no-VOC paint for your next project is a good start.

View complete project profile here

”The Arnetts recommend the following contractors and manufacturers:

Architect: Wayne Visbeen (www.visbeen.biz)

Builder: Joel Peterson, Insignia Homes (www.insigniahomes.us)

Kitchen cabinets: Mutschler Kitchens, Karen Rozanski (www.mutschlerkitchens.com)

Flooring: Chelsea Plank Flooring (www.plankflooring.com)

Carpeting: Mohawk SmartStrand (www.mohawkflooring.com/smartstrand)

Custom cabinetry: Dutch Made Cabinetry (www.dutchmade.com)

Paint: Sherwin-Williams no-VOC “Harmony” paint (www.sherwinwilliams.com)

Toilets: TOTO Dual Flush Toilets (www.totousa.com)

Landscaping: James Leamon Landscape Design, (313) 407-8137

Khristi Zimmeth is a Metro Detroit freelance writer and Homestyle’s Trash or Treasure? columnist.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110218/LIFESTYLE01/102180306/Grosse-Pointers-build-certified-earth-friendly-home#ixzz1EOaEKWMz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indianaoplis Habitat for Humanity - LEED Platinum

Indy Habitat for Humanity LEED Platinum Home!

Lt. Governor Becky Skillman at Habitat for Humanity LEED Platinum Open House

It’s Official! Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis achieved it’s first LEED PLATINUM rating on an affordable home. How great is that?!

Residential Green Builders, USGBC’s local LEED For Homes advocacy group in Indianapolis, is currently working with Habitat again for another LEED home to start construction in July. If you are interested in getting some project experience in LEED for Homes please contact Christin Kappel or William Wagnon– the planning phase is going on now, so the sooner you join in the more you’ll learn.

Thank you to Habitat for Humanity for allowing us to be involved in this milestone and for all of their hard work and dedication to this project. Congratulations to you all!

For more information about this and other projects check out the USGBC Indiana’s 2010 Annual Report.

We look forward to working with Habitat for more affordable green homes in the future!

Add a lot of Blown in Cellulose mix it with Geothermal out comes LEED Platinum

The project began with the deconstruction of a 40 year old summer cottage that we enjoyed using for many years. During the deconstruction phase, we were able to salvage most, over 90%, of the wood from the walls and ceiling.

The remainder of the house was recycled through Chef Container, our salvage
and recycling service provider. During the building process we used environmentally friendly materials such as low VOC adhesives, sealants, solvents and paints. In addition, our friendly lumber and supply contractor, Standale Lumber, was able to provide locally harvested materials whenever possible.

Watt Project Profile LEED Platinum Certified South Haven Michigan Green Construction

Great Lakes Superior Wall Basement
Advanced framing construction
Dow Insulated Structural Sheathing
Geothermal Heating System with Energy Recovery Ventilator and
MERV 13 air filtration
Blown cellulose insulation
Energy star rated appliances, fixtures and compact fluorescent lights

 

Report Shows Increased Value of LEED Homes

In a newly-released report, the Green Home Institute () analyzed data from LEED-certified homes in the Midwest found that the homes averaged 40% less energy use and utility costs annually when compared to conventional homes.

LEED for Homes - Utility Savings and Value Report

LEED for Homes Case Study Report

From January through June 2010, the Green Home Institute () collected Read more

The Isabella MN Ecologically Balanced Building goes to the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center

Imagine that every building maintained the ecological balance needed to sustain life on earth. Then, imagine all of humanity motivated to take action, to make this dream a reality. An immensely complicated goal? Maybe. But if we put our fears of failure at the back of the bus, we will maximize the possibility of success.

View & Download Project Profile Here

 

An immensely complicated goal?  Maybe.  But if we put our fears of failure at the back of the bus, we will maximize the possibility of success.

Nature has provided us with many examples of “buildings” that achieve an ecological balance.  If we follow her example, it is indeed realistic to believe we can prevail.

An Ecologically Balanced Building (EBB), then, is the most advanced building possible for our times because it strives to replicate the ecological balance found in nature.

An EBB incorporates a multitude of interrelated, smart design choices, resulting in a building that virtually lives and breathes, is beautifully balanced, aesthetically pleasing, and is socially responsible and sustainable.  It must meet the following criteria:

1.       Generate more clean energy than it uses.

2.       Sustainably manage the use of water.

3.       Waste nothing.

4.       Adapt to new conditions.

5.       Work symbiotically with all other living things.

6.       Eliminate toxins and pollutants.

7.       Add beauty & justice to our world

We have the technology and the building science to achieve these lofty imperatives.  Fortunately, we are also able to monitor, measure, and verify claims that a building actually accomplishes its intended goals.  If we can’t prove our claims, they are meaningless.

The Isabella EBB Project’s initial goal was to create the most environmentally conscious building possible.  It targeted integrating all seven design criteria listed above.  Additionally, each criterion is monitored, measured and verified to prove, we can indeed live in balance with nature.  Following is a description of how the Isabella EBB Project integrated the design criteria:

1.        The Isabella EBB Project was designed to consume an annual energy load of 4.5 kBTU/sq-ft. It achieved Passive House Certification, (HERS rating of 3), as the design method to achieve this extremely low energy use index. This is similar to having a 200 MPG car in lieu of our standard a 25 MPG car. There are 9,700 Heating Degree Days in this climate zone & 189 Cooling Degree Days.  This was accomplished through the design and construction of thermally broken/R 55 walls and R 90 roof, the use of high performance windows with glazing selected specifically to optimize the solar gain for each orientation and an air tightness of .5 air changes per hour.  Using BTU meters on the heating distribution system, the system is to telling us if the design loads are being met.

2.       Because extreme measures were taken to reduce the energy loads for this building, renewable energy generation produces more energy than is needed to operate the building.  An 11,000 kWH per year PV system/8.4 kw peak load and 92 solar heat collecting vacuum tubes averaging 172,500 BTUs per day collect renewable energy. An experimental long term solar storage area using 16 inches of EPS  insulation on all six sides contains both waste taconite from mines and sand.  Excess solar heat collection in the summer, fall and spring are stored in this solar storage containment area under the building.  The monitoriong system is gathering temperatures of the containment area, the Kwh generated and used  and kBTUs for the collection system.  We hope to prove that we are producing more clean energy than we use and that this solar storage system can be scaled down for use in other buildings.

3. Two additional areas used for solar storage: a 500 gallon water tank and an 80 gallon domestic hot water tank.  These are also being monitor and measured to tell us how hot they are and how many days of cloudy conditions depletes the stored energy supply.

4. A small electric boiler is used for backup energy should the building need it due to depletion of solar energy.  This boiler is also being monitor to tell us if it is being powered on.  This has already proven to be a great diagnostic tool, as it told us that the relays and sensors were not properly sequenced because the boiler was turning on whenever the domestic hot water dropped a few degrees.

5. A Heat Recovery Ventilation System makes sure that the building and occupants are receiving the right amount of fresh air at the right temperature.  An innovative ground loop heat recovery system is connected to the HRV to preheat the outside air prior to being heated by the exhaust air from the building.  The success of preheating  the incoming sub zero temperature fresh air with heated water from the ground near the footings of the building is being gathered by the monitoring system.  We hope to discover a 10 to 15 degree preheating of temperature through this system.

6. A rain water collection system and vegetative roof assures that water continues to perform its job of replenishing the aquifers and supporting plants and animals that conversely support an ecologically balanced building.

7. Information being stored through the use of the monitoring system is allowing the building to be adapted to new conditions and future improvements. Security alarms, for example, are sent when power, pumps, temperatures or water levels are not performing as intended.  Historical data gives us the ability to adjust and improve the performance due to accessibility to baseline and historical data.

8. An extreme waste and material management system was incorporated in this EBB.  Sustainable & reclaimed wood products, fast growing bio-fiber products, repurposed materials (e.g., old doors for ceilings, old radiators fins for guard rails, old wine barrels for chairs, old chalk boards for sills, and reclaimed tile), contribute to achieving zero waste and low life cycle assessment values.

9. Two highly recognized environmental third party auditing/certifications (LEED and Passive House) were achieved for this project, certifying the project at it the highest level possible.  This achievement summarizes that there were many other features, to lengthy to describe for this entry, that make this project one of the most advanced ecologically balanced buildings of our times.

10. Social justice and beauty are parts of ecology that acknowledge the value of spiritually engaging people through art  while also supporting  the notion of providing equal access and opportunities to all people.  The Isabella EBB project embraced adding beauty through the creation of a place that is welcoming, educational, inspiring, healthful, intriguing and fun.  The importance of social justice was a goal that surfaced during the learning experiences of the project.  Consequently, the project will be willed to the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, as an extension of their educational mission of teaching and influencing students the importance of living in balance with nature.

Isabella EBB Project Team

The critical success factors for the project team included:

1.    keeping the integrated design process alive and well throughout the entire projects development,

2.    checking  boiler plate designs at the door,

3.    if the project team achieved the goals stated above the points would follow and certification would provide the auditing needed to further validate our assumptions.

3.    understanding that everyone was on a ecological educational journey

4.    that fearless, open and honest communication  was mandatory, (typical passive/aggressive northern climate personality styles would keep innovation from reaching its potential).

 

Owner: John Eckfeldt eckfe001@umn.edu

Architect/Owner: Nancy Schultz, AIA LEED AP, nschultz@compassrose-inc.com

Energy Conservation Specialist:  Mikeal LeBeau, Conservation Technologies, Inc.  mlebeau@conservtech.com

Builder: Brad Holmes, Rod and Sons Carpentry, mooshed2@msn.com

Electrician/Designer: Justin Bartuss,  voltage@q.com

Mechanical Engineer: Bill Gausman PE, Monitoring and Verification System, bill.gausman@peopleselectric.com

HVAC & Plumbing Contractor: John Hill, Heating Plus,   heatplus@frontiernet.net

Landscape Architect: Gus Blumer, SEH,  gblumer@sehinc.com

Green Rater: Jimmie Sparks, The Neighborhood Energy Connection, jimmie@thenec.com

LEED Provider: Mike Holcomb, Green Home Institute, mike@homeinspectorgeneral.com

Earth Day Marks Launch of 132-home LEED Subdivision near Chicago

Energy Smart Home Builders Joins the LEED for Homes
Green Certification Program

NEW LENOX, Ill. (April 22, 2010) – The Green Home Institute () is proud to welcome Energy Smart Home Builders of New Lenox, IL as a participant in LEED for Homes. LEED for Homes is a national third-party certification system for energy efficient, healthy, green homes. Energy Smart Home Builders, founded by Phil and Jim Regan, are planning to develop Prairie Ridge Estates, a community of 132 net zero energy homes using solar panels, geothermal power, wind turbines and other technologies. will be providing support and the third-party testing and verification for the green homes, which are planned to achieve LEED Platinum certification. Read more