LEED-certified Platinum

Rockford man builds state’s most energy-efficient house—twice

June 30, 2011 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA New state energy codes are forcing builders to more efficient homes, but Rockford’s Dan Vos has been using new energy-efficient  techniques and more for years. He is the creator of the most energy-efficIent home in the state of Michigan—a second feat for him following last year’s home he built that scored highest at that time. “I graduated from college 22 years ago when we were in the energy crunch of the seventies,” Vos said. “You had to buy your gas on odd or even days and OPEC had an oil embargo.” Vos said gas quickly became plentiful again, but it made sense to him that using less energy when possible was a good thing. He has built his professional career with energy use in mind. “I’m also kind of Dutch,” he noted, and designed and built his own energy-efficient home 12 years ago. Vos is ahead of the game as Michigan residents, and the rest of the country, struggle with energy supplies. He has a bachelor of science degree in renewable energy and has taught college courses in solar and climate-specific designs. He is passionate about saving energy, but the concept is now becoming more prominent in his field and many others. On the verge of statewide compliance in the elimination of traditional light bulbs in favor of the compact energy fluorescents, wise energy use is becoming less of a personal choice and more of a fact of life. All new commercial buildings in the City of Grand Rapids are required to be LEED-certified, Vos stated. The house Vos just built for architect Eric Hughes of Image Designs, is one of a kind—so far. It is certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum, the highest rating. When tested, Vos said he thought the home might score a 30 in the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). Low scores are best, with a zero meaning the owner will never spend a dime in energy costs. To his surprise, the new building scored the highest in the state at 12. Building energy-efficient involves nearly every aspect of a home design and construction, although Vos often helps homeowners increase the energy efficiency of an existing home. With his latest house, he had been asked […]