Expensive, inadequate housing is often the largest impediment on the path to success. As an organization, we are committed to building homes in Grand Rapids that are not only affordable for low- to moderate-income families, but homes that are healthy and sustainable to contribute to stronger families, neighborhoods, and the environment. We use advanced framing, water management, and energy efficiency measures to conserve natural resources and ensure that the home is affordable for the homebuyer throughout their lifetime. In the city, new or empty lots are becoming less available. Instead of expanding outward, taking up more natural resources, we try to rehab or build new homes on existing lots inside the city limits. Our green building practices give the homeowners resources they need to improve the health, wellness, and financial security of every member of the family.
How the building’s design address climatic/site conditions: The building and parking lot are a large footprint on the site. Because of this there are three rain gardens to catch rain. This keeps rain from running off the site. All plants and trees are native to Michigan. This reduces the use of water needed to keep them growing. The multiplex allowed more dwelling units per acre which is a benefit to the city and environment.
Sustainable products & waste management technique: The materials used in the home are either low or no VOC which helps the health of the occupant. A portion of the blown in cellulose is recycled. The toilet, faucets,and shower heads are low flow. During construction cardboard, aluminum, and plastic is recycled from the job site.
Insulation/Wall system and sealing: The walls were constructed 2x6 24” O.C. utilizing advanced framing techniques. Then there is 1½” XPS rigid foam to minimize thermal bridging covered by a weather barrier. The wall cavity is fill with blown in cellulose. Sealant is applied to the bottom plate, picture framed each wall cavity, and in-between each wall. The trusses have a 12” energy heel to provide the most insulation in the attic. Closed-cell spray foam is also sprayed at the rim and attic penetrations.
Water conservation techniques: The home has all low flow shower heads and faucets to help conserve water. All water is managed on site using infiltration techniques such as rain gardens and native vegetation.
Indoor Air Quality: The home received Energy Star’s Indoor Air Plus. This ensures measures for moisture control, radon, pest, HVAC systems, and materials are all in place. To reduce moisture in the home bath fans were installed on a humidity sensor so they will automatically turn on.All materials in the home are no or low VOC. An ERV was installed to ensure healthy indoor air quality.
Homeowner Education: The homeowner and our project manager have an hour walk through to go over all of the features of the home. The project manager is able to show them how the ERV works, bath fan sensors, and other aspects of the home. They are able to ask questions and at the end are given a manual of scheduled maintenance, owner manuals for appliances, and howto trouble shoot common problems that could occur. Homeowners also attend financial counseling through Dave Ramsey courses, maintenance classes, and condo association meetings.