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Homeowner of 1st LEED certified home in Ann Arbor tells his success story

** Update 9/15/2013 – This home is about to go back on the market – If you are interested is learning more now please contact the homeowner below.

Scott Phillips, Associate at The Inovo Group and homeowner of Ann Arbor’s 1st LEED Certified Platinum Home is a passionate blogger about the success of green his certified home. Scott gives us a unique perspective of his home that was certified back in 2008.  Beyond the requirements of LEED, Scott has installed 15kWs of Sunpower PV panels on his house and they have  been near net-zero energy over the five month period since the install.

This video is a description of the benefits of living in a green home by the homeowners of 723 Spring Street, Scott & Linda Phillips.  They discuss the positive life-style changes as well as the advantages of “living local” near down-town Ann Arbor.  Scott and Linda talk about needing fewer cars, water conservation, indoor air quality and their aspiration to be a net-zero energy home soon. 

“The project team started with a broad set of goals. Since these were spec homes, they needed to have market appeal – more square footage than the smaller homes in walking distance to downtown. At the same time, they needed to minimize footprint so that the lot would have lots of green space and areas for water infiltration. By building up and taking advantage of the long East/West axis of the lot, each home would have roof space to hold enough

solar panels to go net-zero. By creating open floor plans, the small footprints of the homes would be spacious and feel larger. Durability and excellent thermal performance would be addressed through a combination of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) and Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs). The HVAC systems in the house would augment that performance and use the least amount of energy for the structure. To the extent possible, the significant non- invasive trees on the lot would be preserved. One last goal was to have the home fit in the neighborhood of older homes. By staggering the homes, we created more solar-gathering opportunities, and decreased the mass of the homes at the street. This helped the homes appear to be in scale, and by designing for the Victorian era, we were able to build in details that were similar to surrounding homes.”

“The location of our homes, downtown Ann Arbor, contributes significantly to the owners being able to live a low-carbon and healthy lifestyle. The homes are also very tight, and our duct leakage was virtually zero when tested before drywall. Good low-flow water fixtures and recirculating hot water save operational costs, as does the geothermal system. South side windows are 3 times the area of north-facing windows, and an ERV keeps the air fresh when the windows are closed.”

Builders: Meadowlark 

You can follow along the journey and continued green success of the home at the follow websites…

The web-enabled Enphase Enlighten Monitoring constantly collects real-time PV system data transmitted from the PV system.

723 Spring St Ann Arbor Solar Panelshttp://723springstreet.com/enphase-enlighten-monitoring-system-provides-real-time-pv-information/

Worlds 1st LEED Platinum & NAHB Emerald Certified Gut Rehab

 


The goal of this home was to take a foreclosed home in disrepair and turn it into a high performance, healthy, utility efficient, environmentally responsible, and very durable home. Durability planning was used in conjunction with building science flashings and maintenance free exterior materials with lifetime warranties. The energy efficiency was improved by almost 300% on this home with air sealing, wall cavity insulation, exterior insulation, and windows with a .20 u factor. All materials used were non- toxic, low VOC, and had no added urea formaldehyde.

This home received two exemplary performance credits for MR 2.2. This was due to many extra points in that category for a high level of reclaimed materials usage, the use of locally produced products, and the use of low emitting products. All lumber used for framing in this house was reclaimed lumber. This remodel was done as an investment property, rehabbed and turned over and placed on the market for sale. The sales prices was comparable to other rehabbed homes in the local market. Construction costs on this project were impressively low at $55.00 per square foot.

This project was featured in the Chicago Tribune, Exerpt below.

Few homebuilding materials can’t be reused or recycled, said Brandon Weiss, president and owner of Elgin-based Weiss Building, who recently salvaged 99 percent of the material from a four-bedroom, two-bath home he rehabbed in Elgin.

“Everything that could get a second life, I donated,” said Weiss, who has become somewhat of an expert at reusing construction leftovers, filling in old crawl spaces with leftover bricks and using stones as landscaping accents.

While the tax benefits from donating construction materials are nice, it’s “our children’s future” that clinched the case for him, he said: “Our landfills are full. You can try to close that loop and reuse things.”

Homeowners who are planning a construction project should know that many waste companies can recycle discarded materials from trash containers and will prepare a report on the percentage of materials they are able to divert from landfills, said Jason LaFleur, regional director of the nonprofit Green Home Institute.

“If they can’t provide the service, you might want to think about going with someone else,” he said.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/home/ct-mre-0304-home-recycle-20120302,0,2153317.story

High Performance Cottage Home builder, builds his own home LEED

Being a LEED AP Homes and having completed almost a dozen LEED certified homes Jeremy vanEyk, Construction Manager & Vice President of Cottage 

Home, has seen the benefits of what goes into a LEED home, and wanted to experience it first hand. For his family it was important to be close to the places they go the most. With the kids’ school only two blocks up the road and downtown being so close to this location, it just made sense. Working in the lakeshore environment and observing how homes react in some of the most drastic weather conditions also influenced how Jeremy chose to put the house together; choosing to go beyond building code and accepted building practices and striving to reach some of the highest standards in energy efficiency and sustainability. As it was built amongst some of the oldest homes in  the city, the house needed to blend in and age as gracefully as those around it.


Illinois Net-Zero-Energy masterpiece producing 40 percent more energy than it consumes

Starting with an eco-conscious dream for a truly green home transformed owner Michael Yannell’s Chicago residence into a $1.6 million, two-story 2,675-square-foot, four bedroom and two-bath Net-Zero-Energy masterpiece, producing 40 percent more energy than it consumes.

Completed in 2009, it is not only Chicago’s first LEED Platinum-certified home, but it has scored higher than any other LEED-certified project in history. Architect Farr Associates, builder Goldberg General Contracting Inc. and engineering MEP firm dbHMS created this urban infill project to utilize aspects of alternative energies through passive solar, solar grid technology, a greywater system and closed looped geothermal heating and cooling components. According to owner Michael Yannell, the main goal of this project was to create a more energy- and water-efficient, environmentally conscious place to live and to set an example by building a home as sustainable as possible. Incidentally, the green materials generally were no more expensive than conventional alternatives.

This Net-Zero-Energy residence was built using the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED for Homes Pilot Program regulations. In order to earn the coveted LEED Platinum-certification, a project must meet the 100-point requirement, in which the Yannell residence scored 115.5. According to Net-Zero statistics, the Yannell residence generates 18,000 kWh/yr and uses only 12, 689 kWh/yr, earning the Yannell property an approximate $52,000 in tax credits in 2008-2009.

According to Jonathon Boyer, principal and director of architecture for Farr Associates, the permit and design processes were a challenge from the beginning, but thanks to help from a hand-picked team, deadlines were met and the project was a success.

“We put together a team of engineers, contractors, and a landscape architect, and the entire project was a team effort,” Boyer said. “Building Net-Zero-Energy is very difficult, and it requires cooperation between all components and consultants. We believe we’ve broken the sound barrier with this house, especially in the Chicago area.”

This being the first LEED-certified home came with obstacles along the way. According to Boyer, by creating new systems such as the greywater system, which recycles water used from the washing machine for the toilets, it was tricky trying to solidify the permit process. It has opened up new options for Chicago to consider when building more sustainable homes.

“It was a learning process, the city of Chicago was open to it. We didn’t have any hard and clear standards in the city for permitting this kind of system,” Boyer explained. “As a result of this house, the city of Chicago Committee of Standards and Tests is adopting a new state / city code for rainwater / greywater reuse. “We were pioneers and induced the city to think about changing permits to use more sustainable elements into the residential market,” Boyer said.

Other than utilizing alternative energies, the Yannell residence’s modern design integrated into the traditional neighborhood fuses form with function in a dense infill space. The home was built on a recycled lot where the previous building could not be salvaged. Boyer explained that typically energy-efficient homes are bland and lack style, but in this case, the owner and the building team wanted something well-designed and unique.”He [owner, Michael Yannell] wanted

something aesthetically compelling and functional,” Boyer said.

The floor plan is designed as a dual-wing connected by a foyer, which acts as an entry and passageway, both equipped with south-facing windows to utilize natural light and garden views. The positioning of the wings help compete with the Midwestern climate year-round. With temperatures ranging from the high 90s in the summer to blistering zero-below winters, it was crucial to find the most sustainable design possible. Each wing has a uniquely shaped multi-functional V-shaped green-roof designed for stormwater management and for concealing the 48 photovoltaic grids on the home. “The

butterfly pattern roofs are designed to screen the solar panels from view, while providing an ideal angle for the panels to harness the sun’s energy,” Boyer said. Although the Yannell residence has received the highest LEED score, the materials it took to achieve the title are not unattainable for other eco-conscience projects. According to Boyer, “LEED for Homes is less than $3,000 for certification.” In this case, it assisted in the construction process by acting as a detailed guide when installing aspects such as air quality, water systems and when planning the positioning.

Although there is no set specific standard definition for a Net-Zero- Energy home, Boyer said that there are other homes out there that claims to be Net-Zer-Energy, but many have only lowered their energy consumption. Only the Yannell property has the data to back it up. According to Principal of MEP firm dbHMS, Sachin Anand, “It’s [the Yannell residence] the future of housing and power generation where each home is a greenhouse emission-free power plant.”

View LEED for Homes Project Profile 

http://www.elledecor.com/image/tid/5950

Photography By Christopher Barrett. Evan Lancaster is an editorial assistant at Green Homebuilder magazine. He may be contacted at elancaster@penpubinc.com.

Built for the Future. The Yannell residence in Ravenswood, Ill., a traditional neighborhood outside of Chicago, breaks barriers of traditional homebuilding by perfecting green practices. From http://www.greenhomebuildermag.com/fall42.php

Lowell MI House Tour – "Tightest Home around?"

Sam Pobst has offered to host a LEED for Homes meeting and tour at his house under construction.

Sam is targeting a LEED Platinum House. He has incorporated many very efficient features. In fact, the recent blower door test came in at “0.26 ACH, the lowest reading the Green Rater, Mike Holcomb has ever had. ”

This house attempted Passive Haus certification but fell short. Many lessons are to be learned as to why it was not achieved.

MARK YOUR CALENDER if you want to see this stellar construction in process:

Date: Friday, February 3, 2012
Time: 10 am – 12 pm
Address & Info:

13691 Beckwith Drive NE

Lowell, MI 49331

616-648-7493

Follow the project here http://sumacgrove.blogspot.com/

Chicago North Shore Home Earns LEED Platinum

Glencoe, IL LEED Platinum exteriorA Glencoe, IL home has just been awarded a Platinum rating by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED for Homes program, the highest level possible. The house is only the second new-construction LEED Platinum home in the State of Illinois and the first LEED Platinum home on the North Shore. View the LEED Project Snapshot

The Washington Avenue home was designed by Nathan Kipnis, AIA of Kipnis Architecture + Planning of Evanston and built by Scott Simpson Builders of Northbrook. Owners Barry and Natalie Slotnick moved into the house in April of 2011 with their two young children.
Glencoe, IL LEED Platinum rooflineThis home is unique in its commitment to staying within the aesthetic of the surrounding community while implementing a wide range of green goals. It’s one of the few LEED homes to take a non-modernist approach to its exterior, as well as being informed by traditional low-impact building philosophies. The home is classic in its style, form and proportions, yet modern in its use of materials, colors and systems. Green features include passive, natural ventilation; passive solar heating and cooling; water-efficient indoor plumbing fixtures including a waterless urinal; low and no-VOC finishes and fixtures; standing seam metal roofing; cement fiberboard siding; and prefabricated framing.

Architect Kipnis states, “The house was built for 40% of the cost of the first LEED Platinum home in Illinois and in a style that appeals to a much wider cross section of the public. While these homes can be thought of as pioneering efforts, if the goal is to engage the public then the design should be contextual to neighborhood and not be aesthetically shocking.  The Slotnick’s home is a perfect example of this.”

Glencoe, IL LEED Platinum interior

LEED for Homes is a voluntary, third-party certification program developed by residential experts and experienced builders. LEED promotes the design and construction of high performance green homes, and encourages the adoption of sustainable practices throughout the building industry.

Download the LEED Project Snapshot

Contacts:
Barry Slotnick – 847-875-4920; bslotnick@varisport.com
Nathan Kipnis – 847-864-9650; nkipnis@kipnisarch.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

“River Escape” Home Tour – Pending LEED Platinum

On 11.11.11 come see an affordable home that was built to be 88% more energy efficient than and standard new code built home. This home is a Zero-Energy home that is projected to be a LEED for Homes “Platinum” project. The home is also a finalist for Green Builder Magazines 2011 Home of the Years. 
Pending AIA Approval
Please RSVP with us at.
616.957.LEED (5333) or at
ehughes@imagedesignarch.com
“River Escape” Home Tour

November 11th at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm
7121 River Escape
Stanwood, Mi.
Sponsored by
Eric Hughes of Image Design, LLC
Adam Eerdmans of Turtle Walls
Tim & Dawn Gruss Home Owners

The “River Escape Project”
Resting in Western Michigan’s vacation wonderland, this home is located near the Muskegon River in Stanwood, Michigan with river access, thus the project name. This home is a site specific, 1,267 square foot Passive Solar Contemporary Style home built with BuildBlock ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) from frost protected shallow foundation to the SIP roof. The exterior elevations of the home were designed with deeper roof overhangs, determined by using solar calculations, to both maximize and minimize the sun exposure based on the time of year. The exterior used two of our favorite products James Hardie FiberCement Siding and MiraTec trim. The interior of the home has stained concrete floor on the main level which makes for great thermal mass. The home was also designed with lifetime design principles and has zero step entries.
Part of the passive solar design is to have very few windows on the non-south sides of the home, to keep heat from escaping through them. That is why this homes attention to detail is spent on the Southside of the home, where most of the homes windows face south. The windows in this home are made by North Star (Canadian made) which uses a transparent low-E film between the panes of glass with a foam spacer to get a triple pane effect without the weight or waste of extra glass. The window U-value is .24 with a much higher Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) on the South windows. In the winter, the sun will warm the living space during the day and shine on the concrete floors which will store some of the heat gained, for gradual release. The roof overhang will shade the house from excessive solar heat gain in the summer, and west-facing glass is minimized to reduce cooling needs in the summer. ICF construction was perfect for this project because with ICF’s there are no concerns with noise and wind. It is wonderful to quietly contemplate the winter storms swirling through the open fields and feel pleasantly comfortable. The “River Escape” project is a Zero Energy Home (ZEH) thanks to the Passive Solar Design, 4.1 kW of Photovoltaic, Solar Hot Water and a 98% efficient boiler for the radiant floor heat and hot water backup. The home is also pre-wired for future installation of a Wind Generator. This home only uses about 600 kWh of electricity per month and has been generating a minimum of 20 kWh of electricity per day and net-metering backwards every day since the home was completed in June. The home was built for $142.00 per square foot (before the 30% rebates from the Solar Hot Water, and Photovoltaic systems) making it more affordable for the general public. Besides the LEED for Homes “Platinum” certification (this project scored 32.5 points above “Platinum”) this home received 5+ Energy Star certification and a HERs score of 12. This is the lowest score ever tested in the State of Michigan making it the most energy efficient house in Michigan. This home is 88% more efficient than a conventional code built home. The home is also ZeroStep “Silver” Certified (Lifetime Design or Barrier Free) from Disability Advocates of Kent County Michigan. In addition this homes toilets, faucets and shower heads are super low-flow for superior water efficiency. The home also has low-VOC paints, adhesives and finishes and uses recycled content for the flooring, foundation, exterior walls, trim and siding. Every possible piece of unused material used in construction was recycled.

Key Sustainable/Green Features
• Rain Permeable Gravel Driveway.
• Lifetime Design (Barrier Free)
• Zero step entries.
• Energy Star North Star Triple Pane Windows.
• Energy Star LED & CFL lighting.
• Energy Star Ceiling Fans.
• Energy Star Appliances by Frigidaire.
• SIP Panel Roof
• Frost Protected Shallow Foundation (with R-20 Dow Insulation beneath it.)
• BuildBlock ICF Construction (with 40% Fly-Ash)
• Advanced Framing (Studs @ 24” o.c.)
• James Hardie FiberCement siding (with recycled content)
• MiraTec Trim (formaldehyde free, SCS Certified)
• Central Vacuum System (Greatly reduces in-door air pollutants)
• Concrete Floors through-out main floor. (Colored in the concrete mix)
• FSC certified Bamboo Flooring on second story.
• FSC certified stud interior walls.
• No-VOC Paints and primers.
• Low-VOC caulks and sealants.
• Amish Built Kitchen Cabinets from wood within 5 miles from the project site.
• Dual-Flush toilet by American Standard.
• Low flow shower heads and faucets.
• Pex Plumbing.
• Radon Venting.
• Radiant Heat Through-out Home.
• Life breath HRV (heat recovery ventilator)
• Passive Solar Design.
• Solar Hot Water. (30% Tax Rebate)
• 4.1kW of Photovoltaic (30% Tax Rebate)
• Pellet Stove (Back up Heat System)
• Pre-wired for a future Wind Generator.
• Pre-wired for future battery backup.

By Eric A. Hughes of Image Design, LLC

Michigan Beach Homes on Target for LEED Platinum & on SALE!

More details Here! 

Cottage Homes Summer Gate Open Houses LEED Platinum