ABOUT GREENSTAR-CERTIFIED GREEN HOMES AND REMODELING

The Natural Built Home Store is a proud member of The Green Home Institute and will soon be completing a certified green remodeling project.
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Formerly the Minnesota GreenStar (MNGS), GreenStar Home Certification is a robust above code renovation, addition & new construction program. This program ensures healthier, more durable homes that save energy and water thus reducing the cost of living and improving comfort. GreenStar is based on the 5 pillars of green; Energy, Health, Water, Materials and Place and how these are affected systematically by the 7 components of a home including, Outdoor/Site, Building Envelope Systems, Mechanicals, Electrical/ Lighting, Plumbing Systems and Fixtures, Finish Materials and Coatings and Waste Management.

Whether you’re remodeling a room, adding an addition or building a new home….

Take the guesswork out of doing the right thing: make it Greenstar.
3rd party quality assurance inspections

Trust but verify, Greenstar raters and quality assurance reviewers help ensure what was stated to built is actually in the home to help ensure performance and improve home value.

Why GreenStar vs other labels?

Unlike other programs GreenStar is a nonpolitical market driven voluntary program that is not built into legislative mandates and is designed to educate the market to make homes BETTER. GreenStar is continuously improved based on the changing nature of sound building science and works closely with our users to ensure the program is relevant and viable.

THE NATUAL BUILT HOME STORE’S COMMITMENT TO GREEN REMODELING

The Natural Built Home Store believes strongly in sustainability and green remodeling. Here are some of the green remodeling practices that NBH employs: salvaging doors and millwork, investing in the best insulation and windows, using a refuse removal service that sorts debris, and encouraging the use of materials and products that do not deplete the natural resources of the Earth.  The Natural Built Home Store tries to incorporate the green movement into all of our daily activities by doing little things like using materials that are durable and long lasting, concentrating our jobs geographically (close in to the city) to avoid long commutes, and recycling everything possible.  Here are two certified green remodeling projects our sister company completed recently.

PROJECT #1
This St. Louis Park couple came needing to expand their attic space in anticipation of a new arrival. They knew they wanted to use sustainable and locally sourced materials, convert the household mechanicals to energy efficient systems, and conserve on recycling materials wherever possible. A unique shed dormer was designed that gave these homeowners nearly 800 sq. ft. of newly finished space, including two bedrooms, a full bathroom and an office/nursery area.

Some of the key elements of this project that qualified it for green certification were:

  • High efficiency heating and cooling systems
  • A tankless water heating system
  • Energy Star rated lighting fixtures
  • Low flow plumbing fixtures
  • Advanced framing techniques that conserved on lumber usage
  • Engineered headers and beams to maximize the use of forest products
  • High efficiency windows
  • Advanced insulation techniques to increase R-values and eliminate air leakage
  • No recessed fixtures penetrating unconditioned attic space
  • Lifetime warrantied steel shingles
  • Bituminous roofing over entire low pitch roof areas
  • Fiber cement siding & wood composite exterior trim materials
  • Low VOC paints and finishes
  • Recycled framing and roofing materials salvaged for the existing house
  • A Waste Management Plan to deal with all refuse
  • Rain barrels to collect water runoff from the roof and to be used to water the yard

PROJECT #2
This project involved a great deal of planning, preparation, and creative design. The scope of the project called for opening up a load-bearing wall, removing the front hallway, and creating a larger gathering space for the entire family to enjoy. A steel beam was used in place of the removed load-bearing wall, opening up the kitchen into the new casual dining room.

The final design included space that would serve for informal dining at the raised island & dining table, an organization/desk area, a small boot bench/mud area, and provisions for the future installation of a laundry on the main floor.

The next step was the careful selection of earth-friendly and health-conscious products. Using green building guidelines and the resources of trade partners, the homeowners were able to build “green” and to fill their home with both healthy alternatives and a stylish kitchen. Some of the green design features include the following:

A blower door test to confirm that the home is tight and allows less than .35 air exchanges per hour. Also ensured that the house is not too tight and that the mechanicals back draft.

  • Gasketing and weather-stripping of existing doors
  • Reclaimed lumber was used for interior wall framing
  • All millwork and doors were salvaged for reinstallation
  • The laundry chute was saved and re-installed in a new location
  • A new low-flow toilet was installed in the 1/2 bath
  • The walls were insulated with formaldehyde-free insulation
  • Recycled paper-content sheetrock was installed on the walls and ceiling
  • New Cambria (low-petroleum) and reclaimed birch butcher-block countertops were installed
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs were installed in the home
  • Where compact fluorescents were not installed, dimmer switches were installed to allow for reduced consumption
  • Energy Star appliances were used
  • A high-efficiency hot water heater was installed and power-vented
  • Low-flow aerators were added to all existing faucets
  • Pex water supply lines were used
  • A handmade tile backsplash was installed
  • Recycled content bathroom floor tile was used
  • A double wall oven and separate cooktop will be used
  • A recycling center was installed for the homeowners’ use
  • Hardwood floors were saved and toothed-in to avoid filling landfills
  • Water-based stain, which is less toxic, was used on the floors
  • Low-VOC paint was used on the walls and ceiling
  • Segregated clean-up site and recycling center was on site

With the use of “green” building practices and design, the project has become a dream come true for these urban homeowners.