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Four Southeast Michigan Green Building Professionals Showcase Green Living: Tour Highlights Ann Arbor-Area Green Homes

Thursday, June 10, 2010 @ 1:11 PM

Ann Arbor, MI, June 9, 2010 – Four Michigan green building professionals are gearing up this week for the Ann Arbor area’s “Green Buildings for Cool Cities” tour, taking place June 12th and June 13th. 

The tour supports the Sierra Club’s and the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) national “Green Buildings for Cool Cities” initiative. It is sponsored, locally, by The Ecology Center and will be executed by area green building leaders: Adaptive Building Services, Architectural Resource, Fireside Home Construction and Meadowlark Builders.

The tours will take people through up to eight LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-certified or registered Ann Arbor-area homes. The USGBC’s LEED program provides third-party verification that a building has achieved excellence in energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Their achievement of the qualifications for the program’s Platinum rating is testimony to the fact that each of the buildings on the tour — ranging from a remodeled urban classic “gone green” to a 4,000 square foot custom timber frame home that generates about 70 percent of its own energy needs — has been designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance in the areas that matter most:

  • Energy savings
  • Water efficiency
  • Emissions reduction
  • Improved indoor environmental quality
  • Environmental responsibility

"We are committed to clean energy environmental solutions and to rebuilding our local economy — one house at a time,” said Bob Burnside, president of Fireside Home Construction, on behalf of all the builders and designers involved in the tour.  “We focus on the most efficient construction processes and the latest green technologies in our work because we care about our customers, their families and their communities. I speak on behalf of all of us when I say that this tour is part of our commitment.”

In preparation for the tour, these local green leaders are readying their homes — right down to their mechanical and technical systems — for viewing.  For those who will tour on their own, they are preparing placards explaining what makes each feature environmentally friendly, energy efficient, etc., and ensuring that no one will leave without a strong understanding of, for instance, geothermal heating and cooling technologies and why they make sense. 

For those who will take advantage of guided tours, these builders and designers are bolstering their staffs, preparing explanations and readying for a lot of good dialog about what makes each home “green,” why it matters and how they can help today’s homeowner reduce their carbon footprint and achieve greater sustainability.

According to the USGBC, buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. The group also states that greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.

“In terms of energy efficiency, operating costs, a greener planet and homeowner health, green homebuilding is really the only choice,” said Burnside.  “By showing homes that have achieved the highest LEED rating possible, we are working together to broaden local interest in green building and see that we go a bit easier on the planet, as a result.”  

 A minimum donation of $5 is required to tour and all designated profits will benefit Habitat for Humanity, Help on the Home Front and Haiti Orphan Rescue.

Interested parties can visit www.greenhomestourmi.org for more information or to register. 

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