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Bissfield Michigan Home, Model of Sustainability, Earns LEEDS Platinum
ENN ^ | December 5, 2007 | Paul Schaefer

Posted on 12/07/2007 12:35:43 AM PST by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Blissfield, Michigan - Michigan’s first platinum-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) award has been given to “Burnside’s Inn,” a home designed by Riverbend Timber Framing, Blissfield, and built by Robert Burnside’s Fireside Home Construction, Dexter.

The LEED Green Building Rating System™, the nationally accepted benchmark for high-performance green buildings, bases its certifications on sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The platinum award is its highest level of recognition.

“Burnside’s Inn” met the certification’s highest standards using Riverbend’s custom timber frame, along with Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) and an Advantage™ Insulated Concrete Form foundation (ICF) from its sister company, Insulspan. In addition to these standard Riverbend energy-saving elements, Burnside incorporated a geo-thermal heating and cooling system, and solar panels tied into the local power grid.

“I sell electricity back to them,” Burnside said.\

The 4,000 square-foot home will cost an estimated $520 per year for heating, cooling and hot water.

The 10-year-old Fireside Home Construction Company is a preferred builder for Connie Seiser, authorized Riverbend representative, and has completed two award winning timber frame projects in the Dexter area. Burnside says his interest in energy-efficient building goes back to the company’s beginnings.

“When I started in 1996 I just wanted to save energy,” he said. “It evolved into a green-building philosophy, and a passion. Now it’s all we do.”

Fireside Home Construction is on-line at Seiser can be contacted via .

Riverbend Timber Framing, Blissfield, Mich., is one of the leading timber frame design and manufacturing companies in North America, creating environmentally friendly custom timber frame homes, vacation homes and commercial buildings since 1979. Visit Riverbend on-line at

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: efficiency; energy; greenhousing
The solar panels don't make as much sense as the rest. But, I posted this as an example of the fact that, contrary to the beliefs of many FReepers, Americans are not genetically incapable of rationally saving energy.

These people don't live "without" and if the whole country achieved similar standards lifestyles would remain the same and the US could achieve energy independence.

Wacko-greens Do want to return to the stone age. But, just because they are crazy, doesn't mean that there are real environmental issues. And, there are real solutions that are GOOD FOR AMERICA.

1 posted on 12/07/2007 12:35:46 AM PST by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

I love the current green buildings+prefabs. They’re still hideously expensive(125-250+ p/sqft) but they’re definitely the way of the future.

The other cool thing about these houses is they can live entirely off-grid. Don’t want people in your business? Put a prefab green building on a skidder and take it where ever you want.

2 posted on 12/07/2007 12:51:06 AM PST by ketsu
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
The 4,000 square-foot home will cost an estimated $520 per year for heating, cooling and hot water.

Albore should set an example: tear down his megahouse and rebuild with this technology.

3 posted on 12/07/2007 3:31:28 AM PST by NewHampshireDuo (Earth - Taking care of itself since 4.6 billion BC)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

I’m always suspicious of these “green” stories coming out of Michigan.

We looked into solar in 1999, and the initial investment was prohibitive - about $25,000.

Plus in large parts of Michigan, you’d find yourself working hours every day brushing snow off the collectors. And storing the array of batteries called for erecting a second building to house them. Then that building would need to be heated so your batteries could operate at maximum efficiency. We won’t even talk about three or more months of cloudy days in winter.

Solar will never work efficiently in America’s snowbelt.

Insulation, good windows, in-floor heating, building part of your house into a hillside and planting windbreaks are the only practical and cost-effective means of going “green” in Michigan. Owning about 10 acres of oak and maple forest to supply yourself with “free” firewood also is a plus.

4 posted on 12/07/2007 3:33:33 AM PST by sergeantdave (The majority of Michigan voters are that stupid and the condition is incipient and growing.)
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To: ketsu
My daughter bought a very modest existing home - and it cost $202/sq ft. It does sit on a large (for Anchorage) lot. I think she and hubby would have been tickled to get an energy conserving home for $125/sq ft.

One point most folks don’t often consider is that some ‘parts’ of the home are more expensive than others. Bathrooms & kitchens cost far more than a bedroom or den. So a smaller, well built, home may look ‘more expensive’ per sq ft than a McMansion.

5 posted on 12/07/2007 9:51:11 AM PST by ASOC
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You neglect to mention that homes in Alaska are diliberately small, because of the extreme heating costs.

6 posted on 12/07/2007 9:59:10 AM PST by patton (cuiquam in sua arte credendum)
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To: patton
Not so much of late. Pre-1975 homes in Anchorage look like doll houses - being 600 to 800 sq ft over a basement. Newer homes look - to me anyway - to be over-sized “Tuff Sheds” made with 2x4 and T1011 cedar siding for the most part. Many are far larger than 2000+ sq ft and too many not all that energy efficient. Cheap natural gas will do that.

The newest of homes tout 4 or 5 star energy ratings - now that gas rates have shot up 45% in two years.

We were lucky to buy our home, a 1000 sq ft over a basement - made in 1978 - at a good price. We swapped out the old furnace and saved 42% on gas usage, swapped much of our lighting and limited our electric dryer use and cut our power bills by 30%. Window & insulation upgrades and so on have paid themselves pack in less than 5 years.

Now, if I could just do something about the local property taxes.......

So our home was just under $50/sq ft and we have added about $6/sq ft in energy improvements over the last 15 years. I could not replace our home for less than 300K in the current market. Crazy heh?

7 posted on 12/07/2007 10:33:47 AM PST by ASOC
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With all this global warming, I just (minutes ago...) had the final city inspection on our new Hampton wood stove.

It heats the house to 74 degrees, when it is twenty outside.

Uses a bit of electricity for the fan, and free firewood - tree trimmers call me to haul off the wood.

I am so happy, I could cry. Sniff.

LOL. And that is in a DC suburb.

Good job on your house. ;)

8 posted on 12/07/2007 10:38:42 AM PST by patton (cuiquam in sua arte credendum)
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To: patton
We had *considered* a wood stove for supplemental (emergency) heat, but went with a Toyo kero heater instead. Wood smoke is so hard to scrub off the walls.

Wife's folks heated with wood/coal - she wants nothing to do with ; )

Try this electric free fan for the stove
A TEG powered fan.

Or the ecofan, kinda the same but different...

9 posted on 12/07/2007 11:12:34 AM PST by ASOC
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What a cool idea - now, they need to engineer it into the bottom of the stove, where the existing blower fits.

10 posted on 12/07/2007 11:18:31 AM PST by patton (cuiquam in sua arte credendum)
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To: patton

Wifes folks have used something like this for years, along with leaving a large pot of water on the stove as well - low humidity and all that.

Wood stoves are starting to get a bad name - I guess it is how you use them/how much smoke they produce.....

11 posted on 12/07/2007 11:30:26 AM PST by ASOC
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As it turns out, the promise of free firewood around here was an understatement.

People are begging me to take it.

12 posted on 12/09/2007 11:48:21 AM PST by patton (cuiquam in sua arte credendum)
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