Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Can't believe its the end of the year already! This past year flew bye. We have been blessed this last year by receiving several national awards and by being published is several national & local magazines and had a lot of coverage through the internet. Since our last update we found out that I was elected to the Board of Directory at the Alliance for Environmental Sustainability (AES). I consider this a great honor and look forward to working with the rest of the Board members their, the AES has mentored myself and Image Design, LLC over the last 4 years and we would not be where we are today without them.

Our projected LEED for Home "Platinum" Glenn Retreat project is now under construction and the homeowners are writing a web-log about it. You can follow the progress of this project by clicking on the project's name above. Our projected LEED for Homes "Platinum" Turtles Hope project should be nearing completion some after the first of the year. We have several interesting project in design one of them is a sustainable remodel to a 1890's old farm house (see the picture above) built in in Dowling, Michigan the homeowners call the project Uncle Shane's. You can also follow the progress of this project by clicking on its project name too. This project will ultimatly be turning into a off the Grid Orgainic Farm. We are working on commercial LEED certified project called Northwoods by Nature that will be a non-profit Training Center for Green Building and Wind Tower Safety in LeRoy, Michigan. This project is exciting to me because it will give us a place up north to train and speak about Green Building and the LEED for Homes program to Builders, Sub-contractors, Building officials, Realtors and Homeowners in Northern Michigan. Some of the other project's we have in design will be built-in Howard City, Traverse City, Benzonia, Beulah, Dexter, Glenn, Ionia, Friutport, Newaygo, LeRoy, West Branch and Grand Rapids.

We are also anxiously awaiting final LEED for Homes certification on two of our projects the national award winning Vineyard Project which is projected to be "Platinum" and th Granite Hill which is projected to be "Gold". I am also in the process of working on my LEED AP + Homes Professional Credentials this is a two part process, first I will go for my LEED Green Associate certification then take a exam then if I pass it, I go take the LEED AP + Homes exam. This certification is worth one point on any of my projects that are going for LEED certification. So its important to have these Professional Credentials and it will also sets me apart from my competition. Also I will need it for a new venture I will be starting in 2010 (More about that next year)

2009 was a challenging, yet transformative year. Looking forward to the opportunities opening in 2010. Hope you all have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Here is a sneak peak of the new "Glenn Retreat" project which is projected to be a LEED for Homes "Platinum" project. This Passive Solar designed Farm House Style cottage will be built by Doug Wierenga of Lake Home Builders. The perspective above is a southeast 3d perspective created with Google SketchUp software. By double clicking on this perspective you are able to see an enlarged view that shows the 2'-6" overhangs and the passive solar awnings that shade the sun from coming it to the home during the summer keeping this cottage naturally cool for summer enjoyment. There was an old existing cottage on this site that was beyond repair so the homeowners decided to re-use as much of the material as possible in there new cottage. You'll enjoy how these re-used material are worked into the interior design of this new cottage. This new cottage will use Advanced Framing methods (24" o.c. framing) w/Agra Based Open Cell Foam insulation and Geo-thermal heating and cooling to achieve the highest in energy efficiency. The home uses Lifetime design and Not So Big House design principle through-out the home making it the ultimate Retreat for family and friends of all ages to visit. Every material going into this home has been studied and research to make sure it is the greenest most sustainable choice for this home. The exterior landscaping was designed by Landscape Design Services, Inc. to meet the stringent LEED for Homes requirement and still be beautiful throughout the season. To follow this project through construction please follow the home owner web-log by clicking on "Glenn Retreat" at the beginning of this article.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We are very excited annouce that we just found out that our projected LEED for Homes "Platinum "Vineyard Project" in Paw Paw, Michigan just won the GreenBuilder Magazine's "2009 Green Home of the Year Award" this is a very prestigious national award from one of the industries most respect green building magazines. Congratulation should go out to all of "Team Hybrid" for all of the hard work they are doing to be the leaders and pioneer's in the Green Building field in the State of Michigan.

I would like to thank the team members Hybrid Homes LLC, Image Design LLC, Andersen Window Corporation, BuildBlock ICF Company and R-Value Concrete Structures LLC for another awesome job! We would also like to thank the Homeowner for allowing us all to be apart of the special project!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Team Hybrid (Image Design, LLC and Hybrid Homes, LLC ) spent the last two day's sharing our Team Approach of Designing and Building cutting edge sustainable homes with Andersen Window Companies Central Division Sales team. We were asked to speak and participate in their Success Fair (We were the only clients invite), showing their sales team how Andersen Windows companies commitment to working with Team Hybrid has paid off over the last 3 years and showing them what is instore for the near future.

Team Hybrid would like to thank Andersen Windows Company and there entire Central Division Sales Team for inviting us to this event and empracing the team concept approach to marketing. We are honored to have you all as members of our Team.

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's official we just received LEED for Homes "PLATINUM" Certification for the "Watercress Project" in Pentwater, Michigan. This is the highest honor you can receive from the USGBC. To our knowledge this is the first LEED "Platinum" Log Home in the nation. Congratulation goes out to Team Hybrid again this is the second LEED for Homes "Platinum" project from the team. We want to thank the member of the team for another project well done. Thanks goes out to Hybrid Homes LLC, Image Design LLC, Andersen Window Corporation, Homestead Timbers, Porter Sips and R-Value Concrete Structures LLC for another awesome job! We would also like to thank the Homeowner for allowing us all to be apart of the special project!

Check out the article's on the PrairieMod, Jetson Green, Materialicious and Mother Nature Network web-log's on the "Watercress Project".
LEEDing the Way: A inside look at Team Hybrid. Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes, LLC and Eric Hughes of Image Design, LLC are the leaders of Team Hybrid Michigan's leading sustainable Design/Build team. Featured in the Andersen Window Companies internal newsletter which goes out to all of its employees Andersen is getting the word out about Team Hybrid. Andersen Window Company has partnered with Team Hybrid to help them stay the leading Sustainable/Green Design/Build team in Michigan.

Please read the article written in the Andersen Window Companies newsletter by double clicking the pictures below. Team Hybrid would like to thank Andersen Window Company for believing in what we do and for having the same passion for a sustainable future for all of to share.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Just got quoted in a great article by Katy Tomasulo of EcoHome Magazine called Future-Proofing Garages for Electric Cars. She talks about how single-family and multifamily builders should be thinking about how their homes will accommodate charging requirements for electric cars. Please read this great article.

"I always say plan for the future today, you won't regret it tomorrow"

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Frank Lloyd Wright Meyer May House turns 100 years old. The birthday celebration this week features a symposium with big-name architects and designers coming to town and special tours featuring the home and others in Michigan. The symposium will be held on Thursday, September 10, 2009 form 1-5 PM . They will also be having tours of the Meyer May House
on the day of and the day after the Symposium. For those of you that know me, you know I wouldn't miss it. For those of you the don't know me, I am a big Frank Lloyd Wright fan. Hope to see some of you there!

The symposium was awesome!!! And we also finally where able to meet our friends from our favorite web-log PrairieMod in person at the symposium.

Friday, August 28, 2009

If you get a chance please check-out the new fall issue of Michigan Blue magazine there is a great article written by Lisa Jensen the editor of the magazine about "River Living". One of our first green homes we designed back in 2003 was featured in this article. The home was called "Modern Cottage" and was built on the Thornapple River in Ada, Michigan. The home is a site specific home that was designed for a narrow lot that was really close to their neighbors on each side of them. Every room in the house has a view of the river from the moment you step through the front Door. The home was designed to direct your view to the River not the neighbors. This home was a experiment with green and unique building products and was ahead of its time.

Green Feature
  • Metal Roofing.
  • Concrete counter-tops
  • Stained Concrete Floors
  • Hand made Concrete Tiled fireplace.
  • Recycled Barn Beams
  • Radiant Heat Floors
  • CertainTEED Cement Board Siding
  • Andersen 400 Series Windows
  • Use of the "Not So Big House" principles.

Unique Feature

  • Precast Plank for a Garage below the Garage.
  • Alder w/matte charcoal finish kitchen cabinets.
  • Honed granite counter top with glass tile backsplash.
  • Brazilian cherry flooring.
  • Catwalk connects masters suite w/childrens rooms.
  • Open stairs.
  • Connecting loft "secret room" in clildrens rooms w/rock climbing holds to access loft.
  • Bunk room designed for weekend visits and sleepovers.
  • Bedrooms all have decks and patios.
  • Mylar sink.
  • Built in sand box.

I would like to thank Lisa Jensen and Michigan Blue magazine for featuring one of our projects in one of its articles. Their magazine is one of my favorite magazine here in Michigan because of how it features unique homes and activites along our Lakes and Waterways.

Monday, August 10, 2009

If you get a chance please check out the last issue of one of my favorite Michigan magazines Northern Home & Cottage magazine it is also inside of this month's Traverse magazine too. This months issue it is dedicated to Green Building, they have a several great article in it. The Cool, Green House article on the LEED for Homes "Gold" project designed by Architect Danny Foster that was built in Omena, Michigan is a very interesting article and project worth reading about. There is a article on 20 Great Green Products which three of them were recommended by me (Eric Hughes of Image Design, LLC ) and one from our friend Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes, LLC all of which were use on our LEED for Homes "Platinum" project in Onekama, Michigan. We were also mentioned as Green Building pioneer's in the Editor's Note article called Sexy Green which mentioned our Onekama LEED "Platinum" project. This magazine is dedicated to covering some of the most interesting and inspiring homes & cottage in northern Michigan every issue is worth reading! They also have a great online community on their MyNorth.com web-site where I created a group called Up North Green Living please check it out and become a member.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tomorrow is the 3 year anniversary (July 31, 2006 to July 31, 2009) of our Image Design Web-log. We hope you have found this web-log to be interesting and informative. I really enjoy writing it and have received allot of positive response to having it. Since I put a counter on my web-log about a year and a half ago we have had 22,200 people visit our site. I am currently working on a new web-site beside having this web-log. Our new web-site will be able to show more of our past, present and future projects along with being able to purchase some of our most popular plans online. I would like to thank those of you how visit this site often and hope you keep visiting this site. A great way to stay in touch with this site is to click on the follow button on the right side of the web-log and become a Follower on this site!. Thanks to those of you that are already Follower on this site.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Some of you were able to tour our 2009 Michigan Energy Fair Show Home in Kingsley Michigan this last weekend, for those of you that were not. One of the favorite feature of this home was the Tulikivi Masonry Unit Heater Fireplace from Positive Chimney & Fire Place Located in Cadillac, Michigan. TULIKIVI (TWO-lee-KEE-vee). In Finnish, it literally means "fire stone". In English, it translates into one of the world's most beautiful and efficient ways to heat your house.

Fireplaces are important in every home especially to those who are located in cold places like Michigan. However, burning wood inside your home is not eco friendly enough and not an efficient way to save fuel. To address this issue, Finnish company Tulikivi has created the soapstone fireplace that is truly beautiful and fuel-efficient that produces some of the cleanest, most energy-efficient wood-burning fireplaces in the world. Adding to the “green” appeal of a Tulikivi fireplace is its healthy radiant heat output and use of a local, renewable, carbon neutral fuel – wood. These soapstone fireplaces are a traditional heating method in Finland, but are now winning converts here at a time when prices for oil and natural gas continue to soar. Typical wood-burning fireplaces send the majority of their heat up the chimney; not so with a Tulikivi. The soapstone soaks up the fire’s heat as it burns, stores it and then gently and steadily releases it after the fire is out. Tulikivi is recognized by the Finnish Allergy and Asthma Federation as a heating option for those households where asthma or allergies are a key concern, due to the extremely low particle emission of its latest collection of fireplaces (introduced in North America earlier this year). Tulikivi fireplaces supersede the strictest air quality standards in the world and help's our "Granite Hill Project" earn points towards its projected LEED for Homes "Gold" certification. It’s nice to know that you can now have a fireplace that is not only fashionable and elegant, but also an earth friendly one.

Several people that attended this years Energy Fair told me it was worth the trip to this home just to check out his Tulikivi soapstone fireplace.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Many thing have happened since our last update. You can read the articles I wrote below about our trip to the Andersen Window factory, our "Watercress Project" completion or our 2009 Michigan Energy Fair show house and the exciting news about the "Vineyard Project" HERS score and it becoming a projected LEED for Homes "Platinum" project just to name a few thing since our last update!

As of this month we are happy to have 15 active projects in our office for design. The picture in this article is from the site of the latest project under design which will be built on Long Lake in Traverse City, Michigan. We have just completed the designs for a interesting projected LEED for Homes "Gold" project called the "The Hybrid II Project" in Pittsford, Michigan that Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes will be building along with the projected LEED for Homes "Platinum" "Turtle's Hope Project" that he has currently under construction. These projects should be fun to watch as Adam turns our designs in to reality. At the end of May we were hired for a new Zero Energy Home (ZEH) project in Beulah, Michigan and are currently interviewing for several other interesting projects throughout the state. Thats all for now.

Hope to see some of you at the 2009 Michigan Energy Fair were in Booth #8.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Exciting news from Mike Holcomb of AES (Our LEED for Homes rater) and Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes our "Vineyard Project" just received a HERS score of 34. This is the lowest score Mike Holcomb has every tested as a rater and possibly the lowest score in the State of Michigan. This extremely low HERS score means that our "Vineyard Project" is now projected at the "Platinum" Level under the LEED for Homes program. Both Adam and I are very excited about this news.

What is a HERS, or Home Energy Rating System score? Well it is basically a rating of how energy efficient a home is based on a number of things, including a blower door test, the HVAC system, energy usage, and so on. The HERS rating is what is used to qualify a home for the Energy Star Rating. The rating is based off of a standard new home built to code that was rated originally tested and used as the test case with the score of 100. A typical older home has a HERS index of 125-150. Most homes that qualify for Energy Star homes must have a HERS rating of 85. That means that those homes are 15% more energy efficient than the test house. This is really good and a step in the right direction. Most of our homes have been scoring in the 50's, which is where we would expect the to fall. That HERS score would qualifies our homes as 5 star+ in the Energy Star rating system. The "Vineyard Project" came in at 34 (lower the better) making it 66% more efficient than a new home built to code.

Based on their Home Energy Rating System (HERS) scores, the average home certified under LEED for Homes since its launch in February 2008 is predicted to use an estimated 30-60% less energy than a comparable home built to International Energy Conservation Code. Based on the average HERS ratings for each level of LEED certification, these homes could potentially see energy reductions of:
  • Certified: Up to 30%.

  • Silver: Approximately 30%.

  • Gold: Approximately 48%.

  • Platinum: 50-60%.

As many know, Adam and I are firm believer in Kaizan ( A Japanese philosophy Adam introduced me too), or continuous improvement. We are continually studying the design & construction of our homes to make improvements to them so they are as energy efficient as possible within their budgets. So even though a HERS rating of 34 is the best we have achieved so far our goal are to continually improve upon that score with the ultimate goal of a HERS score of 0. You can read Adam's take on it at his blog.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Today is the birthday of Frank LLoyd Wright. Widely regarded as America's most influential architect, Frank Lloyd Wright left behind a rich legacy of homes and buildings, and created a distinctly American style of architecture that continues to influence architects to this day. He was born June 8, 1867 and pasted a way in April 9, 1959. His work has influence my life since I was a young teenager. I have been and still am inspire by his work. Some of my favorite works of his are Fallingwater, Meyer May House and all the Prairie Style and Usonian houses . Wright's philosophy in architecture promoted harmony between the building, its inhabitants and nature. His homes became part of their surroundings. He minimized their presence and maximized their practicality. He revolutionized modern architecture with the essentials of ecological design and green building. Also today was the birthday of another organic architect pioneer Bruce Goff who would of been 105rd. Today we should all honor both of these pioneers of the green movement. Other birthday this month are, mine Eric Hughes (June 9Th), My Son Joshua (June 29Th) a future pioneer in green movement.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Its time again for the Michigan Energy Fair! Come visit the fair June 26th - 28th in Onekama, Michigan and see the latest in green building technologies. We are proud to have our projected LEED for Homes "Gold" project called the "Granite Hill Project" in Kingsley Michigan (Just outside of Traverse City) Be the 2009 Michigan Energy Fair Show House its also the first LEED for Homes project in Grand Traverse County. Many of you toured our 2007 & 2008 Energy Fair Show House in Onekama which was West Michigan's first LEED for Homes "Platinum" project and won numerous local and national awards.

Stop by our booth (booth #8) and see what we have be up to since last year and get a look at some our latest projects. We are able to show multiple projects using the latest in Sustainable/Green building technologies such as ICF's (Insulated Concrete Form), SIP Panel (Structural Insulated Panels), Advanced Framing, Straw Clay Construction, Passive Solar Design, Solar Hot, Photovoltaic, Wind Generation, Geo-Thermal, Zero-Energy Homes (ZEH) along with the use of the Lifetime Design ( Aging-in-place or Barrier Free Design) and the Not So Big House Design Principles.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Here is a sneak peak of the interior of the "Watercress Project" that my wife Christy designed with the homeowners. Following the LEED for Homes guidelines she can help save you and your builder time and money by helping you with your Sustainable /Green Interior Design selections. She has experience in the following areas.

  • LEED for Homes
  • Flooring (FSC, Recycled & Reclaimed)
  • Lighting (Energy Star, CFLs & LED)
  • Windows & Window Treatments (Energy Star)
  • Paints & Interior Finishes (Low & No-Voc)
  • Furniture & Furnishings Appliances (Energy Star)
  • Children's Spaces & Baby Nurseries
  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Water efficient fixtures
  • Lifetime Design
Christy is incredibly down to earth and easy to work with, people love working with her. By continuously staying up to date on new materials and innovative techniques, Christy is considered a green product expert. With her knowledge and enthusiasm, she continues to inspire our clients to mix these Green Design ideals into their projects.
Team Hybrid has completed another one. The "Watercress" Project in Pentwater Michigan is now complete except for the final LEED for Homes certification which is projected to be "Platinum". This is the ultimate in Up North vacation homes; the home shell is constructed from ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) & SIP (Structural Insulated Panels) panels and North White Cedar Log siding with a Energy Star Metal Roof. Almost all of the tree's that had to be removed for this cottage were use in the construction or furniture for this home. The interior of this home is unique and one of a kind it was designed by Christy Hughes (My wife) along with the homeowners and is something you really should see.

If you are interested in seeing how the homeowners followed the 3 R's (Reduce, Recycle and Reuse) along with all the other sustainable green feature inside and outside of this home we will be having an open house in the next few weeks, please let us know if you would like to see this home!

We want to thank the member of Team Hybrid for another project well done. Thanks goes out to Andersen Window Corporation, Hybrid Homes LLC, Homestead Timbers, Image Design LLC, Porter Sips and R-Value Concrete Structures LLC for another awesome job! We would also like to thank the Homeowner for allowing us all to be apart of the special project!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This past Sunday was the ground breaking of the Church of the Holy Spirit Addition that Image Design, LLC designed. A main part of the addition will be used as a food pantry to help local area families. The food pantry at Holy Spirit is an Emergency Pantry for Northern Kent county through the North Kent Service Center. The Pantry is a cooperative effort with Church of the Holy Spirit and Assumption Catholic Church in Belmont. This construction will bring the Pantry up to ground level, currently the pantry is in the basement. This modification will make our pantry handicap accessible and provide for additional storage space for food stuffs. In addition, this modification to the church will provide additional meeting room for the pantry and community programming.

If you would like to help food and cash donations can be made to either church. The hours of the pantry are 6:00- 7:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

You may have noticed we use Andersen Windows on all of our projects whether there are LEED certified or not! As a Residential Designer they have been my window of choice for over 20 years now (Example see the picture in the post below this one). I didn't let my personal preferences sway the choice of windows for our Team Hybrid projects they had to earn that. When Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes, LLC and Image Design, LLC had the chance to design and build the LEED "Platinum" Onekama project, we wanted to form a project team to be involve with all of our LEED for Homes projects which we call Team Hybrid. This team of companies had to prove to Adam and me that they had a commitment and a passion for sustainability and our environment with their products or services. So when we were looking for a window company to be a part of our team we didn't let either Adam's or my past preference cloud our judgment we looked at Andersen, Marvin, Pella and Jeld-Wen (Don't get me wrong these are all good window manufactures and I have used them all before.) We also looked at some local manufactures of windows. We asked to meet with a local representative from each of these companies. Before these meetings we asked them all the same question before our meetings with them. "What makes your company Green or Sustainable"? Out of these four companies only one set of representatives could answer and show us why their company was green or sustainable; and that was Aric Lavancher and Mike Bottema from the Andersen Corporation. They were able to show us why their company has been green and sustainable by providing documentation, literature and explaining their manufacturing process to us.

On April 28th Adam and I were invited by Aric Lavancher, our Andersen Architectural Representative, to fly out to Bayport Minnesota to tour the Andersen manufacturing facility and to meet with the Andersen Sustainability Team. We were able to see firsthand and behind the scenes of many of Andersen's manufacturing facilities and process. We were given access to several restricted area's that most people have never seen (even many Andersen employees) This access allowed us to see firsthand how Andersen Corporation is committed to environmental stewardship. To put it in perspective for you the Andersen plant is a 2.8 million square foot manufacturing facility that takes up 64 acres along the environmentally sensitive St. Croix River. Below are just a few examples of their commitments.

  • Andersen Corporation strives to utilize a majority of sourced wood from FSC or FSC Certified Controlled Wood in its clad wood products* based on availability and market conditions.”
  • They commissioned in 2007, a Steam Generating Facility at the Andersen plant that uses wood byproducts from manufacturing, and it produces 80% of the plants energy source. (We are one of the few people that has ever tour this facility and it was amazing to see it working).
  • 98.5% of raw materials that come into the Andersen plant are used in the manufacturing of their products. Land-filled solid waste at Andersen's Bayport, Minnesota facilities has been reduced by 83% since 1990.
  • Andersen was the first window company to be Green Seal® certified. Green Seal is an independent non-profit group that labels environmentally responsible products.

I could show you numerous more examples but don't have the room here to do it. So if you would like to find out more about Andersen Windows commitment to Sustainability please visit their web-site by clicking on the underlined Andersen Windows link at the beginning of this post.
To say the very least I was impressed with Andersen Corporations commitment to green and sustainability and give them my endorsement as our window of choice for Image Design, LLC and Team Hybrid.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

March & April were very busy months for us. We now have 16 projects under design in our office with several of them in the pricing stages. Such as the Grand Rapids, West Branch, Glenn, Howard City and Pittsford, Michigan projects. We also have several projects under construction beside the one's mentioned above. Our projected LEED for Homes "Platinum" "Turtle's Hope" project is now under construction. The existing cottage (Which was un-savable) was taken down last week and and recycled. The augers cast pile should be going in next week. Please follow the Turtle's Hope projects web-log. The picture above is a updated photo (South Side or Rear Elevation) of our projected LEED for Homes "Gold " project called "Granite Hill" which is under construction in Kingsley, Michigan (Just outside of Traverse City) they're moving along to have this home ready for the 2009 Michigan Energy Fair this will be the 2009 Michigan Energy Fair Show Home. To find out more about these two projects please read the previous web-log posts on these projects. We also have a non-green project under construction in Forest Hills and a sustainable project near completion in Lake Placid, New York (I'll try to get some up dated picture from the owners of this project to post soon!). We also have the "Watercress" and the "Vineyard" projects now complete and anxiously waiting for their final LEED for Homes rating.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Team Hybrid has done it again. The Vineyard Project is now complete except for the final LEED for Homes certification which is expect to be at least "Gold". This net-zero or Zero Energy Home (ZEH) is sure to be another national award winning home with all of its sustainable features such as being Passive Solar, ICF construction and having Solar Hot Water, Radiant Heat, Geo-thermal, 3.3 kw of Photovoltaic and pre-wired for Wind Generation just to name a few.

If you are interested in seeing all the sustainable green feature inside and outside of this home we will be having an open house in the next few weeks, please let us know if you would like to see this home!

We want to thank the member of Team Hybrid for another project well done. Thanks goes out to Andersen Window Corporation, Bauer Power, BuildBlock, Hybrid Homes LLC, Image Design LLC, and R-Value Concrete Structures LLC for another awesome job! We would also like to thank the Homeowner for allowing us all to be apart of the special project!

Update: Read the post on PrairieMod web-site about this project!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day everyone! I hope you all take a moment today to really appreciate our earth and maybe do something today to help save it. Try planting a tree or picking up some garbage get your kids involved too. Please remember one of my favorite Indian quotes today.

"We didn't inherit the Earth from our ancestors: we are borrowing it from our children."

Last chance for our special Earth Day incentive see the post below!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

To help celebrate Earth Day on Wednesday April 22nd Image Design will be taking $500.00 off our design fee for any new design projects that we are hired for between April 15th and April 22nd 2009. We hope that you all enjoy the different Earth Day events through-out the next week.

Take action this Earth Day, encourage your states law makers to adopt programs that will help support green homes like Michigan House Bill 4193 http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB-4193. Call your local State Representative and ask what they are doing to support green homes in your area.


Monday, March 02, 2009

Come see us at the National Award Winning Team Hybrid booth #84 ( it's in the atrium across from our friends at Bauer Power) at the West Michigan's Home & Garden show . Many of you meet us there last year. Come see all that's happened since last years show. Check out our latest LEED for Home projects just nearing completion and see our new projects just about to start construction.

Dates & Times
Thursday, March 5th 3:00 - 9:30
Friday, March 6th 12:00 - 9:30
Saturday, March 7th 10:00 - 9:30
Sunday, March 8th 11:00 - 6:00
On March 21, 2009 from 8:30am-4:00pm Pierce Cedar Creek Institute will be having their Seventh Annual Renewable Energy Conference. This conference is designed to provide a quality experience for anyone interested in renewable energy, from the novice to the expert. The conference consists of a keynote session, break-out sessions and an exhibit area. Please save the date to join us for an exciting set or presentations. Renewable energy is incredibly important for the future of the state and our local communities.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The award winning Onekama Project is feature in this months ICF Builder magazine. It was the ICF Magazines award winner for Best Large Residential ICF project in the nation for 2008. Congratulation to Buildblock our ICF manufacturer, WallTech Products our ICF supplier, Hybrid Homes LLC the Builder and ourselves for designing and building this award winning project. Be sure to check out the extra photo of the project on their web-site. You can even see a photo of me helping to build this home.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Here is a sneak peak of the new Turtle's Hope project which is projected to be a LEED for Homes "Platinum" project. This near Net-Zero Farm House Style cottage will be built by Adam BearUp of Hybrid Homes, LLC. The perspective above is a southeast 3d perspective created with Google SketchUp software. By double clicking on this perspective you are able to see an enlarged view that shows the suns angle on June 21st. Which enables you to see how the 2'-6" overhangs and the passive solar awnings shade the sun from coming it to the home. You can also see the location of the Solar Hot Water system that will be installed by Mark Bauer from Bauer Power. To follow this project through construction please follow the home owner web-log by clicking on Turtle's Hope at the beginning of this article.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sarah Susanka is back, with a new book that shines the spotlight on remodeling, Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live. With new house sales continuing to flounder, many people are opting to stay put and work with the house they have. The book walks through the process of evaluating problem areas in a house and identifying the least invasive and most effective strategies for solving the challenges. The book, like Susanka's others, is packed with photos of actual projects, including a remodel of her own home. This is a must read book for anyone looking to remodel their homes. Image Design, LLC highly recommends reading this book!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

We just got the news from the World of Concrete 2009, held in Las Vegas. That the Onekama project has won the 2008 ICF Builder Magazine Award for Large Residence 3,000 to 6,000 sq. ft. We are proud that BuildBlock our ICF supplier believed in our project so much that they entered us it this prestigious award. Buildblock also had two other projects besides ours win awards too.

Congratulation to the Homeowners and "Team Hybrid" members Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes, LLC (Builder), Dave Russell of Wall Tech Products, LLC (Distributor), ourselves Image Design, LLC (Designer) and BuildBlock (Supplier) for winning another prestigious award. Also a big thank goes out to all the behind the seen people who worked on this project, we could not of done it without all of you. Team Hybrid would like to send a special thanks to BuildBlock's Marketing Department for all of their hard work.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Great news our projected LEED for Homes "Platinum" "Watercress" project in Pentwater is one of the main features in Walls & Ceilings Architect Magazine this month please take a moment to read the article. Also our national award winning "Onekama project" was feature on the 9 & 10 News Northern Michigan's leading news station click on the link and watch the video. We are also excited to have been hired for three new LEED certified projects here in Michigan, there in Ionia, Fruitport and Dexter. Five of our projects are now under construction or nearing completion, we now have sixteen projects in various stages of design in our office. Also we interviewing for several more new and exciting projects all over the country.

Besides being able to follow the "Turtle's Hope" project on there web-log you will also be able to follow our newest project we were just hired for through their design & construction process on there web-log called "Building our Green Dream Home" . This project will be in Dexter, Michigan (just out side of Ann Arbor) and were looking forward to working with these new clients on it. Some of the main features there looking for in their new home are a passive solar design with a rainwater cistern on it. Please watch the two web-log for updates!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Our latest LEED for Homes project call "Granite Hill" is under construction on 60 pristine acres in Kingsley, Michigan (just outside of Traverse City) This home sits on a ridge next to a hill of large granite boulders thus comes the projects name "Granite Hill". The project is being built by a new builder that were working with, Joel Diotte of the Frontier Group, LLC. The project team will be registering this project as a projected LEED for Homes "Gold" project. It will also be the first LEED for Homes project in Grand Traverse County. We are also striving for this to be a Carbon Neutral Home.

This home will be a Passive Solar Arts & Craft style home built with BuildBlock ICF's (Insulated Concrete Forms) from foundation to the second floor, then the gable end and dormer will be framed using Advanced Framing Methods, for the roof will be using Kasselwood metal shingle which are energy star rated and uses 30% recycled materials. The exterior will be using some of our favorite products James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding and Andersen windows. The interior will have tile and stained concrete floors on the main level which will make great thermal mass. The home was also design with lifetime design principles. The main heat source for this home is a Tulikivi Masonry Heater from Positive Chimney in Cadillac as backup heat we will be using electric base board heat and low EMF electric heat mats from SunTouch which will be installed in the master bath and the main bath. The ideas behind the the electric heat is that in the near future the homeowners hope to add Photovoltaic (PV) and or a Wind Generator to their project to provide all their electrical needs for the home.

This home will also be using re-used /recycled products from Odem Re-use Co through-out the home.
Update: This will be the Official 2009 Michigan Energy Fair Show Home!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The West Michigan Chapter of the USGBC has named two of its members Residential Green Building Advocates (RGBA) for the State of Michigan. Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes, LLC and Eric Hughes of Image Design, LLC both have accepted the nomination of Residential Green Building Advocates for the chapter. A chapter’s Residential Green Building Advocate (RGBA) volunteers to serve as the local face of USGBC’s LEED for Homes program, helping to educate, build awareness and demand for green construction practices in the local & state homebuilding industries.

Besides being one of the two RGBA's Eric Hughes has chaired the Residential Green Building Committee for the last two years and also is working on be coming a LEED AP + Homes certified professional. Adam & Eric also were founding members of the Residential Green Building Committee.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Here is a unique chance to follow the construction of a projected LEED for Homes "Platinum" project from start to finish. The project is called Turtle's Hope it is a small (1,328 sq.ft.) energy efficient cottage being built in rural Southwest Michigan, on a small inland turtle-filled lake in Hope Township (Thus giving it the name Turtle's Hope). This near zero energy cottage will be using some interesting construction technique on it. Because of the soil this project will sit on 27 Auger Cast piles roughly 48'-0" deep. Our special foundation system was designed by Roger Kelley of Engineered Structures.

The construction of the cottage will be done by Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes, LLC. This home will have a special floor system with radiant heat designed by ourselves and Adam, the main construction will be SIP panels, with a large amount of southern glass on this house Passive Solar will do most of the heating in winter. There will also be Solar Hot Water on the roof and that should also help with the heat distribution, when integrated with a radiant floor heat system. With the home also being pre-wire for Photovoltaic it will be ready for future upgrades when and if the homeowners choose too. The homeowners will be recycling anything they can from there existing cottage that's on there site, which will then be donated to Habitat Re-store for anything they can use. We would like to thank the homeowners for sharing their design & building experiences with you through there blog.

Updated!!! We are happy to annouce that "Turtle's Hope" will be the show house for this year's Pierce Cedar Creek Institutes renewable energy conference on March 21, 2009. Adam and I will be giving a presentation on the design and construction of this near zero energy cottage.