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Energy Efficient Timber Frame

Project Information

Expansive Lake Views with Energy Efficient Windows

The forested, rolling terrain and many lakes surrounding Michigan's Traverse City area lure homeowners, designers, builders and naturalists. Marcy Hurst and Scott Norris, co-owners of Olde World Custom Homes, have focused their design/build business on creating efficient, beautiful designs constructed for waterfront and "view" sites such as Joni and Bob Formisano's new home. The couple's visually striking, timber frame residence showcases 82 Kolbe-crafted windows and doors, offering near limitless views of Pearl Lake's eastern shore.

The amount of glass might suggest the house would have energy efficiency issues in its northern climate, but quite the opposite is true. Kolbe's Ultra Series windows and doors helped earn the house a Michigan ENERGY STAR® grant. The grants are awarded every year to licensed residential builders whose projects demonstrate energy efficiency and innovative design and construction. Grant recipients receive up to $8,000 for marketing, energy rating and other expenses. The Formisano's home was the highest scoring of the five winners for 2005.

"Kolbe's products are so diverse, that it was very easy to design windows to fit the home's sense of place and style and enable it to merge more compatibly with its surroundings," said Marc Cesario of Old Mission Windows, which supplied the windows and doors. The house features several radius units, and there are custom grilles in all 12 doors and 60 windows. The windows are trimmed in pine, and fir was used on the doors.

Olde World specified Kolbe products for both their aesthetic match and their energy efficiency track record. Double pane insulating glass units with LoE² coating and argon gas are standard on Ultra Series products, helping them to meet or exceed ENERGY STAR guidelines in all climate zones. Cesario also noted, "The superior ratings of Kolbe's products means homeowners can enjoy the views without thinking that their dollars are flying out the windows – or the doors."

This two-story, $1.4 million home encompasses 6,200-square-feet and "shows that it's entirely possible to have a large home and still be environmentally conscious," said Hurst. "Because this house meets ENERGY STAR requirements, the cost of both heating and cooling it is 61% less than a similarly-sized home that doesn't." Although Olde World has not previously pursued ENERGY STAR grants, Hurst emphasized "energy efficiency is always our first focus, because it is the longest lasting value that we can provide to our clients. Our design and building standards are such that all of the homes we have completed would comply with the ENERGY STAR requirements."

The Formisano's ENERGY STAR home also won the People's Choice Award for Best Home in the Grand Traverse area's annual Parade of Homes. Hurst said the Parade is one of Olde World's biggest marketing tools: "The attendants of the Parade are looking for all kinds of new ideas. It was great to be able to show them so many sustainable and energy efficient resources in one place."

Along with Kolbe's energy efficient Ultra Series windows and doors, the residence incorporates sustainable and recycled materials, and sensible approaches to energy management. For example, radiant heat elements for the first floor allowed downsizing of the forced air furnace because once the desired heating level is reached, the radiant heating makes that level easier to maintain, so the furnace uses less fossil fuel. Structural insulated panel construction (two layers of oriented strawboard with Styrofoam in between), cement fiber siding and a heat recovery ventilator – which takes air from outside and conditions it before releasing it inside – are other conservation considerations.

  • Highest scoring of the five 2005 Michigan ENERGY STAR® grant recipients for energy efficiency, as well as innovative design & construction
  • People's Choice Award for Best Home, Grand Traverse Area Parade of Homes
  • Olde World Custom Homes, design/build
  • Old Mission Windows, Kolbe window & door dealer

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