Tag Archive for: wind

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

Helenowski Net Zero home in Chicago

Helenowski LEED Platinum Gut Rehab showcases urban zero energy

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

Helenowski Residence - Chicago Net-Zero LEED Platinum Home

Net-Zero LEED Platinum Home – Zukas Photography

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

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

Builder pitches net-zero energy LEED homes

Solar panels and wind turbines sold Meg Barrett and Doug Smit on the Prairie Ridge Estates development in New Lenox. “I would be an ambassador for this type of technology,” Barrett said. (David Pierini, Chicago Tribune / July 28, 2010)

A newly formed company thinks the beacon that will attract homebuyers to its patch of dirt in New Lenox isn’t a clubhouse or walking paths, the extras that once drew attention to new subdivisions, but 30-foot-tall vertical-axis wind turbines.

Prairie Ridge Estates, as envisioned by local developers Jim and Phil Regan, could just possibly become the nation’s largest net-zero energy subdivision, filled with homes that produce as much energy as they use during a year.

But selling 132 lots of really green housing also could prove a formidable task for Energy Smart Home Builders, and not just because homebuilding has screeched to a halt.

View full Chicago Tribune article

Reproduced from Chicago Tribune, Aug 3, 2010.

Tour a LEED for Homes Project on Dec 12

Ever wonder what goes into making a LEED Platinum candidate home? Now is your chance to tour a home going through the LEED for Homes program that is substantially complete. And best of all, the tour is free. Read more