Renewable Energy Systems for Building Professionals

presents two, one-day seminars on:

Day 1. Grand Rapids July 19th Tuesday & Detroit July 21st Thursday

Solar and Wind Energy Systems: Residential and Small Commercial

Learn about renewable energy site assessments and installation incentives.

Explore solar and wind energy system costs, including operations and maintenance.

Analyze solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, and wind energy technology and equipment, by themselves and on a comparative basis.

Review actual case studies, including economic models.

Day 2. Grand Rapids July 20th. Detroit Wednesday  & July 22nd Friday

Solar Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal Systems Design

Learn practical solar energy system design fundamentals.

Explore system installation for roof and ground mount locations.

Analyze what may be required to clear zoning issues, meet code, and pass inspection.

Review interconnection requirements for grid-tied photovoltaic systems.

Full Schedule Details

Continuing Education!                                                                                                 

Architects 6.0 HSW CE Hours

Professional Engineers 6.0 PDHs

American Institute of Architects 6.0 SD/HSW Learning Units

Construction Specifications Institute 0.6 HSW CE Units

It’s easy to register. Enroll today!

$200.00 for one or $350.00 for both seminars. Each registration includes a course manual. Refreshments, Snacks and Lunch.

Pre-registration is recommended. Walk-ins will be accepted if space is available. You will be contacted if any scheduling changes occur.

Pay via PayPal (PayPal Account not necessary)


Class selections

Pay by check

947 Wealthy St Se
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Pay by phone: 616 – 458 – 6733

Meet the Faculty

Mark Burger Principal at Kestrel Development Company in Chicago Mr. Burger is a principal at Kestrel, which provides consulting services on renewable energy policy and market development. He is the president of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. Mr. Burger has over 20 years of experience in renewable energy and building energy applications. Previously, he was a sales and marketing manager at Spire Solar, a firm manufacturing solar electric panels and designing systems. He also worked for the US Department of Energy, last head­ing the Strategic Assistance Team for the Chicago Regional Office. Mr. Burger is a life member of the American Solar Energy Society, a member of the Illinois Governor Advisory Council on Global Climate Change, and a member of the Illinois Wind Working Group. He holds a BS degree in Alternative Energy from Jordan College of Cedar Springs, Michigan, and an MA degree in Environ­mental Studies and Urban Geography from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Jim Gill Environmental Technology Professor at Wilbur Wright College in Chicago Mr. Gill is a licensed professional engineer with more than 30 years experience in building, infrastructure, and site construction, as well as environmental remediation. Mr. Gill is a LEED AP, a RESNET certified HERS Rater, and a LEED-H Green Rater. He consults on energy efficiency and renewable energy systems for commercial and residential buildings. Mr. Gill teaches building energy systems at a Wilbur Wright College in Chicago and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. He is among the top solar energy teachers in the Midwest. Mr. Gill designs and installs solar energy systems, enjoys the benefits of a hot water solar system installed on his home, and fuels his car with waste vegetable oil.

Venues that demonstrate PV Design

71 Garfield is a recently renovated studio arts building located in Midtown that features 20 live/work artist studios. They are on track for a Green Globe rating certification. The renovation used green construction principles, including: Reuse of the existing building, Rooftop water collection in a 3,000 gallon cistern, Energy reduction below 50% of ASHRAE standards, Solar power which provides a minimum of 20% of total building load, Geothermal heating and cooling, integration of natural light to reduce the demand for electric lighting, Lighting sensors in public spaces, White reflective roof, & Solar thermal hot water collectors.

As Aquinas College continues to lead in green initiatives; the Grace Hauenstein Library achieved a major milestone in obtaining Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The library earned its certification through green features implemented throughout the project. The Library employs a unique 12 kW capacity UNISOLAR® photovoltaic array. Annually, the building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system produces approximately 14,400 kWh per year and is estimated to provide approximately 4% of the total annual electrical consumption of the building

Michigan Home on Track for LEED Platinum Certification












Pictures are worth 1000 words. See more here at

The Vineyard Project

Nestled in South Western Michigan’s wine country this home is located next to a vineyard in Paw Paw, Michigan, thus the project name. This home is a site specific, Passive Solar Prairie style home built with BuildBlock ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) from foundation to the 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. In addition, solar awnings on the lower level windows further shade the South-facing windows. The exterior used two of our favorite products CertainTeed FiberCement Siding and Andersen 400 series casement and awning windows. The interior of the home has stained concrete floor on all levels which makes for great thermal mass. The home was also designed with lifetime design principles and has zero step entries. Click here to view the project profile

art of the site specific design was to locate the garage to act as a wind break, to stop snow drifting from the northwest prevailing winds that we have here in Michigan. Part of the passive solar design is to have very little windows on the north side 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. In the winter, the sun will warm the living space during the day and shine on the concrete floors on both levels 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.

The “Vineyard Project” is a Zero Energy Home (ZEH) thanks to the Passive Solar Design, 3.3 kW of Photovoltaic, Solar Hot Water and the Geo-Thermal heating and cooling system. 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 with many days’ net-metering backwards since the home was completed. The home was built for $134.00 per square foot (before the 30% rebates from the Solar Hot Water, Photovoltaic and Geo-thermal systems) making it more affordable for the general public.

Besides the pending LEED for Homes “Platinum” certification this home received 5+ Energy Star certification and a HERS score of 34. This is the lowest score every tested in the State of Michigan making it the most energy efficient house in Michigan. This home will be 66% more efficient than typical construction of a similar home of this size. 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, decking, foundation and siding.

Click here for more information and project profile.

Racine LEED home shows Modern Minimalism is Green

certified another LEED Platinum home in Wisconsin that features a picture-perfect location on Lake Michigan’s west shore in Racine, Wisconsin. The Scekic-Osborne home is a three-bedroom, 1900 square foot home — an example of the recent trend of home sizes retreating to more reasonable levels rather than the McMansions of yesteryear. The home, designed by Johnsen Schmaling Architects of Milwaukee, mixes modern architecture with a growing design trend known as “micro architecture,” which places a premium on petiteness, design and sustainability.

Download Scekic-Osborne Residence Profile

The home’s modern exterior features Read more

July Tour: Completed LEED Platinum Home in Wilmette

The Gworek Residence is a new home constructed in the historic neighborhood of
Wilmette, IL, planning for LEED Platinum certification. The home was designed for a family of four and is meant to optimize energy efficiency, while respecting the scale and character of the neighborhood.

Read more

Solar energy rebates available for Illinois homes!

Residential green building enthusiasts and LEED for Homes projects can rejoice as the state of Illinois has re-established their solar rebate program after a 1+ year hiatus. Read more

Free IL Solar Tour features LEED Homes

The Illinois Solar Energy Association is coordinating its annual Solar Tour on October 3, 2009. This year, several LEED for Homes projects are participating on the tour. Read more

Vanessa Way LEED for Homes Platinum

Designed by Image Design LLC and constructed by Hybrid Homes LLC, both of Western Michigan, the home is built with insulated concrete forms and uses Andersen Windows’ 400 series to complete its extremely air tight, energy efficient shell.  A solar hot water system and wind generator help the home conserve and produce its own energy.  Green building products used in the home include finger jointed studs, CertainTeed cement board siding with fly-ash added to it, and solar reflective asphalt shingles.

This home is one of 37 Michigan projects that have been certified under the LEED for Homes program. It is the first Platinum level home certified in West Michigan and only the 23rd in the nation.



The home was built by Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes, LLC (Muskegon) who is well known throughout the State for his commitment in building LEED Homes and designed by Eric Hughes of Image Design, LLC (East Grand Rapids) who is recognized for specializing in sustainable residential design. For more information please visit or

Located in Onekama, Michigan, just minutes north of Manistee ‐ 3047 Vanessa’s Way incorporates the following features:
• Low‐E argon gas filled Andersen Windows
• CertainTeed cement board siding
• High efficiency lighting fixtures
• Compact fluorescent bulbs
• ICF construction
• Soy based insulation
• Passive solar design
• Solar Hot water
• Radiant floor heat
• Wind generation
• Programmable thermostats
• Mechanical ventilation
• Zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint
• Bamboo and cork flooring
• Radon venting
• Barrier free/Lifetime Design
• Dual flush TOTO toilets
• Energy Star appliances