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Cottage Home Sets New Standard for Sustainable Lakefront Living

Using his home building expertise, Brian Bosgraaf started Cottage Home in 2000 specializing in building custom homes along Lake Michigan. Cottage Home has designed and built more than 70 custom homes along the West Michigan shoreline, including 13 LEED certified homes. In an interview with Brian, he expressed his passion for LEED certification and sustainable construction practices.

When Brian and Jeremy vanEyk (Vice President) were asked about their commitment to building LEED, they responded that Cottage Home is committed to utilizing healthy, affordable, efficient, and durable construction practices that are already above code, energy star and even LEED at times. Brian says he considers LEED only one of the many tools in his toolbox. Other such tools include creative design, customer service, careful selection of materials, and creating a sense of place. In order to make it simple for the customer, Cottage Home uses a fixed price prior to starting construction which already includes LEED qualifications. This allows some of the cost of LEED certification to be absorbed by both the customer and through the Cottage Homes marketing budget.  Brian believes this method works due to his design and construction teams working together throughout the construction process, which creates a feedback loop that fosters constant improvement.  Including LEED certification into the final cost helps facilitate more sales than presenting each option with separate pricing.

Since many homeowners today are educated and concerned about sustainability and environmental issues,  many take time to study the details of LEED on the website of Cottage Home and take comfort in knowing LEED is a third party certification. Clients are aware of LEED’s achievements and credibility, and often wonder about how changes to the house affect the LEED certification level. Much of Cottage Home’s customer base is from the Chicago area where LEED is prevalent in their office buildings, and a result, many clients have experienced the advantages offered by LEED construction firsthand. These clients have often already invested in commercial LEED projects and are now ready to transition these same high standards to their personal lives. Jeremy decided to experience the benefits of LEED firsthand and chose to have his own house in Zeeland, certified LEED Platinum.

Building on the lake front comes with complications such as extreme wind loads, humid changes, temperature fluctuation, and other variables. To overcome these challenges, Cottage Home uses high performance home measures to control the entire process though design, build, and some maintenance which allows more control of green features. Cottage Home designs and builds what is right for each particular home which may result in homes varying in different HVAC, insulation, passive solar heating, and various climate control systems.  One particular feature that is commonly used in these homes, including Jeremys, is an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator).   An ERV automatically exhausts stale air from the inside of the house and replaces it with fresh air from the outside.  Another key feature used in many of the homes is a geothermal system.  There are a few different types used, but all contribute to the energy efficiency of the homes in some way.  Several techniques are used to increase water efficiency in the homes, such as tankless water heaters, which only heat water when necessary, water collection systems to help with sprinking and irrigation, and faucets and showerheads that work with less water than traditional ones.  Insulation, as well as materials such as flooring, home furnishings and walls are all aspects that need to be carefully considered when building these homes.

As leaders in the industry we asked Brian and Jeremy what they saw in the future of design and construction. Jeremy believes that being able to evaluate the effectiveness of high performance systems and insulation through energy bills is important. Along with water collection systems to reduce storm water runoff and help irrigate the lawn.  Brian agrees that we should have a system to allow clients to ensure they are getting the most effective homes. He foresees homes that can be manipulated to meet the client’s needs at any given time. An example of this would be homes with the ability to accommodate a family of four, which can then transition to accommodate sleeping arrangements for twenty. Along with being able to better meet a client’s needs, he would like to see energy loads distributed to only sections of the house in use, as well as the ability for clients to control how energy is used throughout the home (on site and from satellite locations).  Cottage Home sees one challenge to moving forward with these ideas is getting sub-contractors to approach basic air sealing, insulation, proper HVAC sizing, and design aesthetics with an effective mindset. Cottage Home has established themselves as innovators and leaders in the design of luxury LEED lake front homes. They continue to partner quality, design and the environment hand in hand to produce sustainability along our beaches.

Quick Numbers – Average HERS Score 51 Average LEED score 75 

Learn & see more about their LEED projects below.

51 W. Central

Beach House on Monroe Blvd.

Fabun Road Cottage

Green Cottage at Suequehanna

LakeBridge Beach House

LakeBridge One

Monroe Beach House

North Beach Cottage

Northgate Lake Home

Pier Cove Cottage

Summer’s Gate 4 and 8

The Havens Cottage

Waukazoo Woods Residence

 

 

 

Green Homes Price Premium

Green Labels add Value to Homes

More Evidence of Green Value

A recent analysis of homes done by UCLA Berkley researchers found that a green labeled home (LEED for Homes, NAHB Green, Energy Star, etc) had a mearurably higher value than non-green (standard) homes.

Green Homes Price Premium

Researchers from UC Berkeley and UCLA have found that green home labels typically add almost 9% to the value of a California home.

The “Value of Green Labels in the California Housing Market” study found that a typical California home valued at $400,000 sells for an average of 8.7%, or $34,800, more when it has a green certification label.

The study was conducted by researchers with UC Berkeley and UCLA who hoped to answer the question: Does the investment in an energy-efficient home pay off during resale? The short answer is yes.

According to the study, price premiums resulting from green certification were closer to 12% in hotter parts of the state. It also found the premiums were strongly correlated with an area’s environmental ideology as measured by the number of hybrid vehicle registrations — a phenomenon dubbed “the Prius effect” by visiting UC Berkeley professor Nils Kok, who led the study.

Take the next step!
offers full day courses to learn how you can affordably earn third-party certification on your next project:
August 8 in Chicago
September 11 in East Lansing, MI
Oct 24 in Ann Arbor, MI
Oct 24 in Batavia, IL

Just as “people sometimes buy a Toyota Prius not just because of the fact that it’s more efficient but because of environmental virtue,” Kok said, “people might buy a green home because of ideology. In areas where the penetration of hybrid vehicles is higher, we find the premium paid for green homes is higher as well.”

Even though buyers of green homes were likely to save an average of $700 in energy bills annually, “consumers value aspects other than just energy savings alone when purchasing a green home,” said Kok, who cited intangibles such as enhanced indoor air quality and better insulation.

The study estimated that the cost of making a home 35% more efficient was $10,000, “so the benefit of green homes far outweighs the cost,” Kok said.

Green home labels seem to be increasing in value. Kok noted that green-label homes sold in the latter part of the five-year study period “seemed to have gone up relative to the beginning of the sample period.”

What about areas outside California?  Well increasingly as more regional areas add green MLS fields that support identification of green home features, it is becoming easier for real estate appraisers to identify the local impact on market value. Learn more at our Green Real Estate Toolkit.

Reprinted from LA Times Article

 

2012 IECC

2012 IECC Energy Code vs Green Home Certifications

2012 IECCMany states are in the process of adopting in whole or with modifications the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).  This new code raises the bar in construction design for residential and commercial structures, and as a result, architects / engineers / contractors building to the new code will be affordably offer a choice to their clients for pursuing several above-code certifications such as Energy Star and LEED without too much additional effort or cost.

The new national energy code includes mandatory blower-door testing for building air leakage (less than <3.0 ACH at 50 pascals), which will measure how well contractors have sealed up penetrations between the outdoors and indoor conditioned space. This testing will be required for all projects permitted after the new code goes into effect. Some states have made modifications to the adopted code, such as Illinois which has changed the ACH rate to 5.0 ACH @ 50.  View our archived July 12 webinar to learn more about IL Energy Code changes.

Other aspects of the 2012 IECC such as requiring hot water pipe insulation and mechanical ventilation are new items that projects will need to implement.  Learn more on a free webinar held Thursday July 12.

So, how do national IECC 2012 requirements relate to voluntary above-code programs like Energy Star, LEED and Passive House?  Pretty well actually. has assembled a matrix identifying several energy-related items as written in the code and indicated what the impact or requirements would be in one of these above-code third-party green certification programs. Download national comparison matrix as PDF.
(Illinois-specific modifications are shown in the image below)

What does this mean?  Well just by building to the new code, these projects will be very close to meeting the Energy Star for Homes program requirements, and will score very well in programs that require Energy Star version 3 such as LEED or Green Communities. Other green programs that don’t require Energy Star, such as National Green Building Standard or local green home programs will also heavily reward these projects.

LEED for Homes will be requiring Energy Star version 3 beginning at the end of the year, so right now a project can still earn LEED certification by building to Energy Star version 2 requirements which should be easily met on any home that meets IECC 2012.

Take advantage of this sweet spot and earn market recognition by attending a LEED workshop or sign up to earn LEED certification today!

A Green Future in the past – Habitat Registers 100th LEED Home in Grand Rapids

After dozens of new and gut-rehab LEED projects, the Grand Rapids, Michigan Habitat for Humanity affiliate is ready to begin a new era. That happens to be a really old era too.  

With LEED for Homes-registered project #100, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County will start work on their ambitious “Wealthy Heights” neighborhood effort to rebuild homes built in the 1880’s as affordable, workforce housing. After building one new LEED platinum home (Grand Rapid’s 1st!) and preserving a single-family home and a two-unit in Wealthy Heights over the last couple years, Habitat is ready to start seven more projects this fall. It will also coincide with major road and infrastructure improvements by the City of Grand Rapids. Neighbors in Wealthy Heights get ready for construction season!

The neighbors and business owners who have led the revitalization effort in this neighborhood over the last three decades made it possible for Habitat to step into the mix. Being historic has been a challenge and a blessing but now become a really desirable location for our home buyer partner families,” said Habitat’s Chris Hall.

As Director of Strategic Initiatives, Hall has been part of this project since 2009 when it was first brought to Habitat. With a history of results, Habitat Kent was in the right place at the right time. “It all happened as we were starting to look at ways to become more effective in transforming entire neighborhoods through our work.”

Since then, Habitat has completed the three home projects but also built a community garden and hosted an AmeriCorps Signature Service Project which offered basic exterior repairs, landscaping and a fresh coat of paint for home owners on Donald Place SE.

“We’ve seen residents show up at hearings in support, out working on site, and they have embraced our new families as part of the neighborhood. For-profit builders are doing work in the neighborhood too. This week I heard from folks as far away as New York City regarding a possible LEED-ND certification. Considering we haven’t even begun the major work yet you’d have to say it’s already been an amazing success story.”

After committing to 100% LEED for Homes certification in 2007, Habitat Kent has gone one to become recognized internationally as a leader in affordable, sustainable design and construction. In fact, they were awarded for “Outstanding Program Commitment” to LEED for Homes at the 2011 Greenbuild Conference and Expo in Toronto.

While the positive energy surrounding this project is building, Hall says there is still opportunity for you to help, “We are always looking for partners—either through financial contributions, donations of materials or professional services, as volunteers on site and even as home buyers.” Anyone can visit habitatkent.org to find out more. “Someone can even gain LEED project experience to use toward a LEED AP credential through Habitat! Anyone interested sustainable design will find something cool about this project.”

Future posts will feature a profile of the 100th registered home at 327 Freyling Place SE as well as the other upcoming and completed projects.

Research is being done by MSU and FSU students and faculty with support from Dow and Habitat. They begin with the lowest cost and simplest forms of energy efficiency including cans of spray foam at joints and in gaps, spray foam in rim joists, and other air sealing measures. From there they will test other wall insulation and mechanical system combinations. At each step the homes are tested and analyzed.

Habitat Director of Strategic Initiatives Chris Hall enjoys seeing young people included in the project, “The Michigan State and Ferris State students have really been on the frontline the whole way and they’re getting their hands dirty—in a good way. What they’re learning will directly be applied to what they do in their careers in architecture, engineering, construction management or beyond. And that their work on these homes specifically will benefit a low-income family is especially cool.”

More details on the research project https://greenhomeinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Black-Hills-Home-Energy-Research-Project-Habitat-for-Humanity-Kent-County-.pdf

 Want to learn more about affordable Green/LEED major rehabs to existing homes? Free recorded webinar on Habitat’s success here https://www.fuzemeeting.com/replay_meeting/50e23e6d/2385117  Need CEUs for watching this? Email us Info@allianceES.org

Michigan LEED Gold Home for Sale featuring $87.38/month utility bills.

This home designed by the architect Eric Hughes, Image Design is located east of Kingsley Michigan approximately 20 minutes from central Traverse City. Built in 2009 this home was the Renewable Energy Tour Home for the 2009 Michigan Energy Fair and was awarded the 2009/10 Insulating Concrete Form Association National Gold Award for Small Residential Construction. This home is located on a quiet dirt road with easy access to M113, Traverse City, and Cadillac. State forest and public lands are within easy walking distance. Countryside views abound and it doesn’t get much quieter. In addition to a LEED Gold rating the home received a 5+ Energy Star certification and a HERS score of 48. The links below provide detailed information on the energy saving features of the home. This is not a short sale.

Primary Features:

* 3 bedrooms including master suite on main floor.

* 2.5 baths * Main floor laundry (washer and dryer included).

* 2010 and 2011 total utility bills averaged $1048 annually or $87.38/month.

* Buildblock insulated concrete form walls.

* Anderson 400 windows.

* Soytherm spray foam insulation.

* Toto dual flush ADA compliant toilets.

* Cement fiberboard siding.

* Premium Kasselwood metal roof shingles.

* No mechanical HVAC, a Tulikivi masonry stove provides soothing radiant heat with backup electric baseboards. (www.tulikivi.com, model TTU2700 with bake oven)

* The entire house has been heated by roughly 7-10 face cords of hardwood firewood per winter. Wood was cut from the property (ash and sugar maple), purchased commercially this would be roughly $425.

* One fire a day is sufficient for 95% of the heating season. No constant stoking required.

* Energy star ceiling fans provide all the “AC” you ever need.

* Window overhangs allow in winter sun but block summer sun.

* Maple, tile, and polished concrete flooring throughout.

* Solar hot water system with 85 gallon insulated Marathon electric water heater.

* No-VOC paints, floor treatments, and caulks.

* Energy Star refrigerator (included) and washer.

* Soapstone countertops.

* 80% efficiency whole house Heat Recovery Ventilator (filters included).

* Pre-wired for future wind turbine installation. Fantastic wind generator site with no obstructions.

* External plug and wiring ready for a full size home generator.

* Home architectural plans available upon request.

Garage:

* Built summer 2011.

* Detached 3 stall garage with a 12′ x 12′ basement and adjacent 12′ x 12′ stone floored ventilated root cellar.

* 24′ x 24′ loft over the middle two stalls designed to be finished for guest quarters or home office.

* North stall could be used for storage, tractor, or third vehicle. South stall could easily be finished as a workshop.

* Cement fiberboard siding and standing seam metal roof.

* Large double doors facing the garden for easy entry/exit with garden equipment.

* Plans available for enclosed walkway between garage and house mudroom.

Additional Features:

* Organic garden, fruit trees, nut trees, raspberries, and asparagus planted

* Built in entertainment center and kitchen seating/storage

* Programmable in floor radiant electric heat in all bathrooms

* Automatic dog door

* Fantastic birding site with nesting eastern meadowlarks, bobolinks, upland sandpipers, northern harriers, American woodcock, and others commonly seen from the back windows.

* Additional acreage available includes 25 acres of northern hardwoods managed for sustainable timber production and wildlife habitat. 7 acres of native warm season grasses were planted in 2011. Deer and turkeys are harvested every year from this property. Owner is a wildlife habitat biologist.

* Great neighbors and countryside views.

More information and pictures of the home can be found at the following links. All pictures were taken prior to additional improvements and construction of the detached garage and root cellar. Cut and paste links into your browser.

LEED Certification score sheet and description

https://greenhomeinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/first-LEED-certified-home-in-Grand-Traverse-County.pdf

Northern Express article on the home.

http://www.northernexpress.com/michigan/article-4582-leeding-the-way_green-homes.html

2009 Michigan Energy Fair Renewable Energy Home Tour:

http://www.glrea.org/events/MichiganEnergyFair2009/RE.html

See Listing http://www.forsalebyowner.com/listing/PER61

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/

The Home Depot and USGBC Launch New Database of Green Building Products

The Home Depot and U.S. Green Building Council Launch New Database of Green Building Products
leedhomedepot.com offers information on products that may contribute to the requirements of the LEED® for Homes program

(Washington, D.C.) Mar. 7, 2012 – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), in conjunction with The Home Depot®, has launched an online green home products database. The database: leed.homedepot.com is a special microsite withinhomedepot.com that features products geared toward green home building, many of which may contribute towards earning LEED® points and prerequisites for the LEED for Homes program, making it easier for homeowners and builders to find the products they need.

Currently, more than 2,500 products sold at The Home Depot are listed on the website.

“The LEED green building program helps homeowners measure green home performance across a range of categories, and products play an important role in achieving certification,” said Nate Kredich, vice president of Residential Development at USGBC. “This database represents just one of the many ways in which The Home Depot is advancing sustainable, efficient and healthyhomes by supporting green building and green products.”
“As the world’s largest home improvement retailer, we want to show our customers that building green can be easy and affordable,” said Lindsay Chason, senior manager of Environmental Innovation at The Home Depot.  “We have innovative, environmentally-friendly products that make LEED certification simpler.  Now through our partnership with U.S. Green Building Council and their LEED for Homes program, we are simplifying the process of bringing healthier, greener homes to reality.”

The green housing market is growing rapidly, having tripled since 2008.

LEED-certified homes are energy efficient, conserve water and vital resources, and integrate environmentally preferred products into the design and construction of a home. Nearly 18,000 housing units have received LEED for Homes certification, a number that has seen significant growth in recent years. Fifty percent of LEED for Homes projects are classified in the affordable housing sector, echoing a trend found in last week’s report from The National Association of Home Builders and the Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI). The data shows that nationwide housing affordability rose to a record level during the fourth quarter of 2011.

The USGBC and The Home Depot product database was a subject of intense interest during Modernism Week in California last month and debuted as part of the TED Conference during which Steve Glenn, CEO of LivingHomes, a LEED home builder since 2006 and the builder of the first LEED Platinum home in the nation, showcased LivingHome C6. C6 is the first affordable housing line from the pre-fabricated builder. Once sited in their final locations, C6 homes are designed to meet the requirements of the LEED for Homes rating system. The home was designed as part of a new partnership with Make It Right, a nonprofit founded by Brad Pitt and renowned architect William McDonough to build 150, Cradle to Cradle® inspired LEED Platinum homes in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each C6 will help support the efforts of Make It Right.

USGBC strives to integrate the principles and practices of social and economic justice within those of sustainable building – ensuring that low-income families will maintain access to decent, safe, and affordable housing, even as society’s standards for what is decent and safe continue to rise.

Green building offers opportunities to reduce energy and resource consumption, enabling lower utility costs and critical savings for owners, funding agencies and residents alike. Green developments are also designed to offer superior indoor air quality to protect residents’ health and reduce health-care costs, and often provide better access to public transit and local amenities, decreasing the financial burden of transportation. The green home product database released with Home Depot will assist homeowners and green building professional to achieve these tenants of sustainability, health and affordability in their housing projects.

About the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 79 local affiliates, nearly 16,000 member organizations, and more than 167,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. GDP from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org, on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About LEED
The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 44,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising more than 8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 120 countries. In addition, nearly 16,000 homes have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system, with more than 67,000 more homes registered.

By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. Learn more at usgbc.org

About The Home Depot
The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,253 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, Mexico and China. In fiscal 2011, The Home Depot had sales of $70.4 billion and earnings of $3.9 billion. The Company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index.

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

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

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