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Sheltered: Underground & Off the Grid.

Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes, past board member and builder of many of West Michigan’s earlier LEED for Homes projects is presenting a unique northern Michigan project. He will also be debuting is brand new book. More details below or catch the trailer here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7xoMIgEB-Y&feature=youtu.be

Helenowski Net Zero home in Chicago

Helenowski LEED Platinum Gut Rehab showcases urban zero energy

Chicago’s Yannell residence has gained a lot of notoriety as the first “net-zero” home in the city – capable of producing as much energy as it consumes. Yet another home on Chicago’s far northwest side, the Helenowski Residence, has joined the prestigious ranks of ultra-green LEED Platinum homes. In fact, it’s one of the highest overall point totals ever achieved for a LEED-certified home.

Helenowski Residence - Chicago Net-Zero LEED Platinum Home

Net-Zero LEED Platinum Home – Zukas Photography

This incredibly energy-efficient home was actually a gut-rehab of Helenowski Residence Scorecard a 1950’s brick split-level home, with a major addition, resulting in 3,300 total square feet. The owner has done an incredible amount of work focusing on the Materials and Resources as well as Energy and Atmosphere areas of the home. Some of the sample strategies include:

  • All drywall was recycled-content (for a $1 per sheet premium)
  • Salvaged douglas fir from 1800’s fire-damaged building for ceiling
  • Reuse or salvage for all new interior framing members
  • Diversion of +90% construction debris
  • Reclaimed copper for roofing and gutters
The home also has some exemplary energy characteristics that helped achieve a remarkable HERS score of 13, meaning the home uses 87% less energy than a new home built to code.
The remarkable energy performance was achieved by using soy-based spray foam insulation and a meticulous attention to air sealing in the project. The technical data is quite impressive. The blower door testing gave a result of 604 CFM at 50 Pascals.  With an estimated volume of 37,725 cubic feet of volume in the house, the air changes per hour at 50 Pa was 1.02, and the air changes per hour at natural pressure is .07. In other words, the home is very tight.
Other strategies contributing to the home’s energy performance include:
  • Triple-paned Pella windows with FSC-certified lumber.
  • Geothermal ground source heat pump for HVAC.
  • Solar photovoltaic panels and a vertical-axis wind turbine to generate electricity.
  • Motorized blinds control solar heat gain on west-facing (front) windows.
  • Extremely efficient cold-cathode lighting, up to six times more efficient than LEDs.
  • Roof is partially reflective white and part vegetative green roof.
The is truly a remarkable addition to the Chicago area’s growing green building inventory and offers many lessons for other builders in the area.  Detailed strategies with photos are available at the project’s web site, www.leedhomeliving.com, as well as by downloading the 1-page PDF Helenowski Project Profile that has assembled.
Download the 1-page PDF Helenowski Project Profile

Danny Forester Unique LEED Gold in Michigan

View / Download Project Profile and Video Here

Architect: Danny Forster (Harvard graduate) Host of Build it bigger on the Discovery Channel The first LEED Gold Certified home in all of Northern Michigan “While we are well-versed in latest high-tech gadgetry, we see sustainability largely as a matter of careful logic and inventive planning. In other words, why pay for air conditioning if mother nature if dolling it out on the cheap?” Their vision is exemplified in this 2700.sq ft lake house, the first private residence in northern Michigan to achieve LEED gold status, (there are 7 total in the state). The Omena Lake house is a project that combines sophisticated energy modeling software, never-before attempted active systems, and basic common sense design strategies that create a contemporary sustainable home whose goal is to connect its residents to the dynamic site on which it sits. Although flat roofed and geometrically abstract, the house is very much a part of the history of Northern Michigan Lake homes—it’s a modern, sustainable interpretation of the a Lakeside cottage

The main living area has a 15 ft long thermally broken, fully operable ‘Nano-Wall’, which acts as the main wind intake to passively cool the entire house. The interior floors are made of rapidly renewable, locally harvested bamboo. The counter-tops are richlite, made from recycled newspaper. The house is equipped with compact fluorescents, low-flow fixtures, two button toilets, and energy star rated appliances. The façade of the building is clad in vertical cedar. 60% of the home is wrapped in an Ipe-clad rain-screen, used both for solar deflection as well as passive cooling. there’s no traditional forced air HVAC, just the geo-thermal powered, thermally-active ceiling that can both heat and cool the house. The house is one of the country’s first to use an in-ceiling hydronic radiant heating AND cooling system— Also 100 % of the roof surface is covered in a unique vegetative roof, used for both solar deflection and storm water filtration. The house was designed using the energy modeling software Eco-tech, to leverage and calibrate both passive cooling, passive solar, as well as basic site orientation.