Favorite Quotes

"All of man's works intrude upon nature - It is man's obligation to intrude harmoniously."

Alden B. Dow, c. 1958

What Green Building Certifications are you interested in?

Friday, November 16, 2012

The "Pineapple Hearth" Project is taking shape

"Pineaplle Hearth" Project in Gobles, Michigan
Our projected LEED for Homes "Platinum" "Pineapple Hearth" project is starting to take shape. It will be a Colonial Style Organic Farm on a former 40 acres apple orchard in Gobles, Michigan.  The project name comes from the Colonial symbol of the Pineapple which has served as a symbol of hospitality and warm welcome through the history of the Americas and the project's property have a lot of pine and apple trees on it. The name means "Welcome Home" to my clients.

The home will be built by Kris Herzog of Herzog Homes, LLC an experienced builder of LEED certified homes. Below please find some of the key features going into the home.

Key Features:

  • ICF Basement.
  • SIP Walls & Roof.
  • ZeroStep Certified.  
  • Elevator.
  • Climate Controlled Root Cellar.
  • Garage/Barn Combo.
  • Vermont Castings Fireplace - EPA Phase II certified.
  • Geo-Thermal Heating & Cooling.
  • Energy Star Windows.
Please watch for the projects Web-log coming soon!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Passive House Alliance Michigan

Eric A. Hughes of Image Design, LLC has been elected to the Board of Director of the Passive House Alliance Michigan Chapter which is a state chapter of Passive House Alliance United States. Beside offering design assistance for GreenBuilt Michigan, NAHBGreen and LEED for Home certification, Image Design will now be offering design assistance for Passive House certification.


Passive House is the highest certified building energy standard in the world, with the promise of reducing the total energy consumption of buildings by up to 80%, while providing superior comfort and indoor environmental quality. When combined with renewable energy systems such as solar photovoltaic or solar thermal, Passive House puts true zero energy buildings and carbon neutrality within reach.

The name Passive House is derived from the German term “Passiv Haus”, which describes a building with an extremely reduced (passive) heating system, versus conventional buildings with large (active) systems.

Energy Conservation First

Passive House is an “energy conservation first” approach. The basic idea is to radically minimize heat loss through effective heat retention, and maximize passive solar and internal heat gains. In our local climate, the sun can provide up to 50% of the energy needed to heat a Passive House. Internal heat gains provide an additional 15%.

The Passive House building energy standard limits the amount of energy a building can consume per square foot of usable floor space and year. The limit for heating and cooling energy is 4.75kBtu, and the limit for source energy accounted for at the utility is 38kBtu. Air tightness of the structure is limited to 0.6 air changes at 50 Pascal pressure.

Designs are modeled with a scientific energy modeling software called the Passive House Planning Package, and field tested for various parameters during and after construction. Design and field testing are submitted to the Passive House Institute U.S. for certification.

With its low energy consumption—as little as 10% of standard code-compliant buildings—Passive House buildings perform at an estimated 15 on the HERS scale, meet the 2020 requirements for the Architecture 2030 Challenge today, and can meet energy and carbon neutral goals for operation with a modest amount of renewable energy systems.

Watch for some new Passive House project from Image Design coming soon!!!!!!