Midwest Green Homes

McDonald - Wall panel assembly 1

A Prefab Passive House in Michigan

May 19, 2016 | Freeland, Michigan

This single-family home, nicknamed the “A-Haus,” is the first house in Michigan to be certified by the Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. Institute U.S. (PHIUS). The striking building is situated on nearly three acres of rural land, bordered by woods and farm fields, in Freeland, Michigan. (To read about a similar project, see the GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com article, “Michigan Gets Its First Passivhaus.”)

Grocoff - 1 - after front

Mission Zero House: A Net-Zero Retrofit

Dec 14, 2011 | Ann Arbor, Michigan

There really is nothing more challenging that I can think of than taking a home in a historic district and taking it to net zero energy. But it sure helps to start with the right home.

Good bones
When I asked Matt Grocoff, “Why this house?,” the first words out of his mouth were, “Good bones!” Despite the home’s age, the foundation and structure were sound.

Happy owners

Green Renovating A Home And A Career

Jun 14, 2011 | Oak Park, Illinois

In 2004, Jason La Fleur and his wife Jennifer bought a classic Arts and Crafts home in Oak Park, Illinois, home to the largest single collection of buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Chicago garage 1

This Green Garage is a Powerhouse

Dec 11, 2009 | Chicago, Illinois

By Thomas McGrath

With help from a photovoltaic (PV) array, this garage in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood produces far more energy than it consumes. Made from durable green materials, the garage is providing power to workers undertaking a gut rehab of the 1890s single-family home at the same address.

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