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LEED for Homes - Online Scoring Tool - www.leedforhomes.org

LEED Home Scoring Tool Released

USGBC has created an online tool that will allow anyone to “kick the tires” on taking a single- or multi-family building through LEED for Homes certification. The Online Scoring Tool (OST) is available at no cost through www.leedforhomes.org and provides a great way to evaluate the LEED rating system.

The user-friendly Online Scoring Tool (OST) allows free access to anyone that creates a web site account. Once logged in, people can score multiple rojects using the online scoring tool.

Two Scoring Paths
Projects can choose to take one of two paths with the LEED Homes scoring tool. One path called the Quick Score, allows a builder to answer a green home version of 20 questions about a sample project. Its perfect for a builder that has had a HERS Rating performed on a previous home and is wondering how that home would have scored in LEED. Once the questions are answered, the scoring tool gives an estimate on the potential LEED certification level.

A more advanced path allows the user to go through the LEED for Homes rating system in detail for a specific project, with credit-by-credit analysis. Each credit can be selected as Yes, No, or Maybe.  Best of all, the online tool does an impressive job of digesting the extensive LEED for Homes Reference Guide into salient tool-tip help that can be brought up in a popup window. This explanation will help people decide whether or not they want to pursue a specific LEED credit or not.

The LEED for Homes Online Scoring Tool (OST) is available at no cost through www.leedforhomes.org

 

Gross Pointe home on track for Platinum LEED Certification

‘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.

Gross Pointe LEED Home

“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.”

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

The Sustainable House. LEED Platinum

The Sustainable House is one of the worlds’ highest ranked and highest rated home for: LEED for Homes®, Energy Star® and Minnesota GreenStar® programs. It is incorporates a Permaculture designed landscape, utilizes a Xeriscape criteria for landscaping, it utilizes the criteria for Century Design Shelters, American Lung Association healthy home criteria, Universal Living criteria and Smart House criteria. This 1948 remodel in Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA was created by 7 teams of 248 individuals in 2007 and 2008.

View & Download Project Profile PDF

 

The House Basics

In order to achieve LEED Platinum status, Live Green Live Smart/The Sustainable House™ must meet a rigorous set of guidelines that require exceptional attention and innovation on the part of the builders and designers.

Sustainable Energy Systems

The most conspicuous innovations are in the ways the House actively uses (or doesn’t use) energy. Because this is a demonstration project, the House incorporates many redundant energy supplies – it is important for us to show how not just one, but many, systems work and how they work side-by-side.

  • Solar panels provide both electricity for the home and energy to heat water.
  • The Honda/Climate Energy Freewatt™ “combined heat and power” (CHP) system provides, via a generator and furnace run on natural gas, co-generating electricity and forced-air heat.
  • Underneath the House’s front walkway are four 135-foot-deep geothermal wells, which circulate a non-toxic solution through pipes to capture the stable temperatures beneath the surface. The energy of the Earth’s heat is transferred to a WaterFurnace™, which can heat the home in the winter and provide air conditioning in the summer.

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.

Conservation and Pollution Control

Remodeling an existing home instead of building a new one allows us to keep our construction footprint to a minimum. Remodeling when more usable living space is needed also preserves untouched land, reducing the land and resources needed for specific construction.

  • To rebuild the home we have reused as many of the original components as possible – including the 2×6 studs reused to extend the eaves out from the house to save energy needed for cooling, and to protect sidewalls and windows from Minnesota’s weather extremes.
  • Anything that cannot be reused is recycled – such as the House’s old stucco – and anything that cannot be recycled is handled by responsible disposal to reduce pollution of air, soil, and water.
  • Studs for the new additions (foyer and garage) are 2×4 instead of the standard 2×6. They are also spaced farther apart – 24 inches on center – providing about a 30% savings in new lumber used.
  • Most new wood is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified to come from sustainable forests.
  • Furniture, cabinetry, and countertops are made with recycled or sustainably-harvested materials, and are free of harmful chemicals.
  • Paints and varnishes are free of harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and formaldehyde.
  • The highly efficient insulation is no-VOC, and an energy heel enclosed in an interior soffit minimizes cold and hot air import by protecting the jointure of walls and roofline.
  • Foundation concrete is made with 40% fly ash – recycled sooty waste from coal plants – which is less expensive and more durable than a standard Portland cement mixture.
  • Potable water from municipal supply is further filtered with a purification system.
  • Water-saving devices include automatic on-off faucets, the batteries of which are recharged by water flow through the supply valves, and double-flush toilets that flush once for liquids and twice for solid waste.

Land Management

In meeting conservation and efficiency requirements, what goes on outside the House is equally as important as what goes on inside the House.

  • Rain gardens planted with native plants collect rainwater and allow percolation back into the ground instead of runoff into storm drains. Cisterns collect additional rainwater from the roof and gutters of the House – a two-inch rainfall provides a month of plant and lawn watering.
  • Native plants requiring less water are established, with an emphasis on those especially suited for the local climate and the House’s particular site.
  • Reduction of turf grass area means a reduction in lawn maintenance needs.
  • Behind the house a permaculture microclimate and intensive garden allow the homeowners to grow and enjoy their own fruits and vegetables.
  • Hardscapes are paved with permeable materials to reduce run-off into storm sewers and waterways.

More Details and project journal can be found here

http://livegreenlivesmart.org/shelter/sustainable_house/default.aspx

Kenilworth Bungalow – LEED Platinum


A new home along the Kenilworth Lagoon – reminiscent of a modest Arts and Crafts bungalow – is scaled to fit the specific needs of the homeowner and tailored to match the scale and character of the neighborhood. Designed by Domain Architecture & Design®, Minneapolis, MN, the interior of this single-family, detached bungalow feels large and spacious, despite it small footprint. This LEED for Homes registered project also benefited from a whole-structure, whole-site, integrated design approach utilizing emerging, as well as proven, sustainable technologies and construction systems. Sustainable design strategies were integrated in ways that harmonize cutting-edge technologies with a traditional aesthetic.In September, the Project’s strengths were acknowledged through its selection to the prestigious ’09 AIA-MN Homes By Architects Tour. A distinguishing feature of the home is its construction from structural insulated panels (SIPs). These panels, which were custom built off-site, sandwich insulation between a structural skin of two sheets of OSB

(oriented strand board) structural skin. This eliminates on-site waste common with typical wood framing, increases construction efficiency, and creates a high performance building that is stronger, quieter and considerably more energy efficient than homes of traditional construction. The use of SIPs, as well as high-efficiency windows, appliances, fixtures, and heating and air conditioning systems, will drastically reduce energy use and energy bills. In fact, with a HERS Index of 49, this home is projected to be 51% more energy efficient than its built-to-code-standard analogue would be. Moreover, the indoor air quality of the home should far exceed that of a conventional home, thanks to the use of low-VOC paints, formaldehyde-free cabinetry, and integrated moisture control measures that will limit mold and mildew build-up. The landscape design retains and infiltrates 100% of an ‘average’ rainfall onsite, allowing the owner to defray costs via municipal stormwater abatement credits and minimizing use of the site’s high efficiency irrigation system. This is the result of utilizing only no-mow turf; non-invasive, drought-tolerant,native flora; numerous infiltration devices; and pervious-concrete ‘trapping’ strategies in the driveway.For every square foot of impervious concrete hardscape found within the site, there is a square foot of
pervious (permeable) concrete offsetting it. Domain is committed to green building, with designers that are LEED accredited, and completed projects that have been recognized for excellence in sustainable design – such as the renovation of the Pillsbury Library in Northeast Minneapolis (LEED-NC v2.2 Gold). For more information on building a new home or renovating your existing home in a way that reduces energy use, limits waste, and provides
a healthy indoor environment, please go to the Domain website at www.domainarch.com

Project Particulars
Total Property Area: (in Square Feet) 5570
Gross Home Square Footage: (in Square Feet) 3633
Total Home Footprint: (in Square Feet) 1337
Surface parking spaces: 0
Structure Parking Spaces: 2
Undisturbed Site Area: 0
Site Context/Setting: Urban
Site Conditions: Previously Developed
Green features and highlights:
 Fly Ash (recycled from coal power plants) used to strengthen the foundation concrete.
 SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) used for the exterior envelope (walls and roof).
 Interior walls constructed with finger-jointed studs; and floor trusses are open-web type.
 Cabinetry & moldings constructed from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and urea-formalde
hyde free wood products.
 Project’s waste management plan facilitated a 67% landfill diversion rate for construction
waste removals.
 Appliances, ceiling fans, and bathroom fans are Energy Star rated.
 Lighting circuits are dimmable, and 80% of the lamps are Energy Star CFL’s.
ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN®
domain

 The plumbing system utilizes a central-manifold plumbing system to conserve water and to equalize pressure throughout system.  Plumbing fixtures (lavatories, showerheads, and toilets) are all high efficiency fixtures.  A heat recovery system provides continuous ventilation of fresh exterior air into the home.  Individual forced-air registers are pneumatically controlled from the furnace room to balance airflow throughout the home.  The fireplace and energy efficient furnace are direct-vented, and the energy savingr water heater is power-vented.  Landscaping includes three rain gardens, drought resistant flora, and no-mow turf.  The driveway’s outer concrete bands slope inward, directing water to the permeable center section, with a crushed rock field below. Water then percolates into the lower rain garden.  The irrigation system includes a zone controller, drip irrigation, and a rain delay controller.

Exterior General Information:
Roof Shingles: Barkwood by GAF-ELK
Front Door: TruStile
Front Door Hardware: Baldwin
Garage Doors: 9700 Series by Wayne Dalton
Exterior Material: James Hardie Lap Siding
Mechanical System: Paul Stafford Electric
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs): Extreme Panel Technologies
Interior General Information:
Floors: Hickory by Schaefer Hardwood Floors
Cabinets/Millwork: Timber Creek Cabinets
Paint Colors: BEN by Benjamin Moore
Fireplace: Sweet Dreams by Lopi
Fireplace Surround: Meredith Tile
Interior Door Hardware: Baldwin
Tile – Fireplace Surround and Kitchen Backsplash: Meredith Tile
Tile – Entry Hall, Mud Room, and Bathrooms: Baoding Slate, Copper Rust slate, Jinshan Bone, Jinshan
Caramel Baoding Crème Yuma, and Banning Listello by Tile Shop
Bathroom Fixtures: Kohler
Toilets: Karsten by Sterling Kitchen
Range: Kenmore
Hood: Vent-A-Hood, Stainless Steel
Microwave: Kenmore
Dishwasher: Bosch Integra 500 series
Ref/Freezer: Kenmore
Kitchen Sink: Blancowave Plus by Blanco
Countertops: Maple Butcherblock by John Boos
Laundry Washer/Dryer: Epic by Maytag
Countertop and backsplash: LG, Confetti Quartz

Design Team: Domain Architecture & Design®, Inc., Minneapolis, MN
LEED Consultant / Project Team Leader: Mike Everson, LEED AP BD+C
Landscape Architect: Brubaker Landscape Designs
General Contractor: Reuter Walton Construction

City of East Lansing now covers LEED for Homes Certification Costs

City of East Lansing
Green Building Incentive Policy
November, 2010

The City of East Lansing recently adopted an innovative Green Building Policy which requires new municipal construction to attain the U.S Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification. The policy also requires new private development receiving municipal incentives to achieve certain levels of LEED certification. This policy’s goal is to incorporate green building principles into the design, construction and operation of new buildings within the City.

In order to further this mission, the City recognizes the need to provide incentives for projects which do not receive municipal incentives through the existing Green Building Policy. This Green Building
Incentive Policy shall:

1) Apply to new single family and commercial construction projects which do not receive financing incentives through the existing Green Building Policy.

2) Create an annual incentive fund not to exceed $10,000 whose monies will be derived from  a combination of water, sewer and general funds.

3) Ends on December 31, 2012, at which time it will be reviewed to determine the ability to further fund the program and to analyze its effectiveness.

New construction projects which are eligible under this program may apply for a incentive funds which will be awarded after the successful completion of the project and certification of LEED status by the US Green Building Council. The amount of funds provided will be awarded as follows:

• Projects receiving LEED “Certified” or “Silver” status: $1,300
• Projects receiving LEED “Gold” or “Platinum” status: $2,600

A maximum of $10,000 per year shall be available and reimbursement is subject to availability of funds.

This policy shall be administered by the Department of Public Works who shall be responsible for marketing the program, developing application procedures, and providing an incentive award to participants who have satisfied the requirements of the program when funding is available.

East Lansing also provides incentives for tax increment financing funds, Brownfield redevelopment funds (Worth LEED points), community development (Worth LEED points)block grant funds.

For more information Contact:

Dave Smith
Environmental Specialist
City of East Lansing
517 337-9459
dsmith@cityofeastlansing.com

Public comment for the next LEED, and new ID credits

LEED has had its share of detractors lately whether it be concerns over post-occupancy performance, alignment with ENERGY STAR version 3, collaboration with Passive House, or the impact of green buildings on human health. There are many voices that have talked about ways to improve the LEED for Homes rating system.

Now, those looking to shape the future of green building have through the end of the year to make their voices heard.  All versions of LEED, including LEED for Homes, will be finalized in 2011, due to launch in just over a year at the beginning of 2012.

Here are the details: Read more

Download the Energy Code for Free

The folks at ICC have made the download of the IECC 2009 Energy Code available at no cost – yes that’s right – you can download it for free at www.iccsafe.org/FreeIECC.

The national model energy code of choice for states, cities and counties that adopt codes, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is referenced in federal law determined by Congress through the Energy Policy Act of 1992. It is the only energy code that serves as the basis for federal tax credits for energy-efficient homes, energy efficiency standards for federal residential buildings and manufactured housing, and state residential energy code determinations. The 2009 IECC is the target building energy code that all 50 Governors agreed to achieve compliance with under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

We’ve talked before how IECC 2009 compares with LEED for Homes, and this reference material being made available for free is a great tool for residential design and construction teams.

Bridge St Place. LEED Platinum

The land and building was purchased from the Diocese of Grand Rapids. The building was renovated into approximately 16 efficiency apartments with individual bathrooms and kitchenettes for homeless survivors of domestic violence. The name for the project is Bridge Street Place. It is permanent supportive housing project, serving single persons at 60% AMI The project has 16 project based housing vouchers provided by the Supportive Housing Division of MSHDA. Referrals and support services are provided by the YWCA West Central Michigan.

The building was renovated from a high content of recycled and reused materials, products that are within a 500 mile radius of the project site, rainwater falling on the roof is harvested to irrigate the landscape, plant materials are drought resistant and the irrigation system is high efficiency. All plumbing fixtures have water conserving fixtures, kitchen appliances are energy star rated, light bulbs are compact fluorescent, roof and patio

materials are highly reflective and reduce urban island effect. The building envelope has been improved, reducing on-going energy
consumption through reduced air infiltration.

Rockford Construction –
General contractors and construction
managers building new and restoring
old projects across 41 States.
Dwelling Place – is all about providing
affordable housing, supportive
services and revitalizing
neighborhoods.
Financed with low income housing tax
credit equity.

View & Download LEED for Homes Project Profile

Fietler Residence LEED Gold Home

This home which includes a 700-square-foot garage with radiant heat, uses a 6-zone geothermal radiant heating and
cooling system. Ninety-five percent of the lighting is LED. The insulation is wood-fiber cellulose and recycled materials. There is no carpet; all the floors are hardwoods, ceramic tile and linoleum. Automated clearstory windows for whole-house ventilation All the paints on the walls and adhesives used with the flooring meet LEED’s standards for low volatile organic compound emissions. It just missed being the first single-family home in northeast Indiana for LEED certification.

The exterior of the home was constructed using commercial grade metal siding and standing seam roof. The home was
designed for a 4 kilowatt photovoltaic system to harness year around southern sun exposure. With the use of these
technologies, the home will have the potential to be “off-thegrid” and be able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services. Recycled, re used and locally
harvested wood.

“It will stand up to an F4 tornado,” Thornsbury said.

Download / View online Project Profile Here.

Greenbuild Legacy Project uses LEED for Homes

The Greenbuild Legacy project is using one of USGBC’s latest additions to the LEED product line-up.  This overview is for those of you not familiar with the LEED for Homes program.

In January of 2008, LEED for Homes officially became an active rating system for the residential market. Its introduction offered an opportunity for single family, multi-family, and low-rise housing to be considered for LEED certification. At this time, only new construction and major gut-rehab projects are eligible for the program.

Since its introduction, over 25,000 homes have registered and 6,300 have been certified. This compares to about 20,000 registered and 5,000 certified projects for all of the other commercial LEED products combined. Read more