LEED® on the Lakeshore

Living on the lake connects us to a symphony of waves, beach and fresh water breezes — and reminds us of our responsibility to stewardship. Sustainability is a choice, and while an intelligently designed home is aesthetically pleasing and functionally superior, building to these standards is also simply the right thing to do. This is why we design and build many of our homes to LEED standards – we believe it is our responsibility to homeowners and to the environment.

Sustainable Design/Build – Our Homes and Process

Cottage Home has a long history of environmental stewardship, as well as sustainable design and building processes. We are committed to maintaining the natural beauty of the West Michigan shoreline, while affording families the opportunity to live in harmony with the lakeshore. You’ll find our green philosophy in our communities, our home designs and our building process. Our efficient and green design process is evident in every one of our Lake Michigan homes.

LEED For Homes

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System was developed by the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide a set of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. This third-party certification process has become a nationally recognized benchmark for the development and construction of high-performance, integrated whole-building designs, for many homeowners and builders.

Cottage Home has now built 32 LEED homes, some of which are featured below.  13 of our homes have received LEED Platinum Certification, the highest level a home can obtain through LEED. Our most recent LEED certified home is the Watershed, which was certified at the Gold level in October.  This past June, Cottage Home became one of only 25 builders nationwide to receive a “LEED Homes Power Builder” designation by the US Green Building Council.

A LEED home is awarded for integrating a sustainable design so a home uses less energy, water and natural resources, creates less waste and is healthier and more comfortable for its homeowners. There are many benefits of a LEED home, including lower energy and water bills, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and less exposure to indoor toxins. Having a LEED Certified home means peace of mind for the homeowner.

ZEN (Zero Energy Net)

For those who want the ultimate in sustainable living, we offer our revolutionary design for lakefront living, the new Cottage Home ZEN (Zero Energy Net) home design. Imagine owning a home on the Lake Michigan shoreline that not only provides tranquil living with breathtaking views but also produces nearly all of its own energy with little impact on the environment. The Department of Energy defines a zero energy net house as one that uses 60% to 70% less energy than a conventional house, with the balance of energy being supplied by renewable technologies. The Cottage Home ZEN features state-of-the-art sustainable energy technologies, in a high-performance building envelop, to literally produce more energy than it consumes. Plus our ZEN homes’ interior will feature a convertible room system, allowing you to reduce the living space to minimal requirements during the off-season.

Historically, all our homes were built to be 30 percent more efficient than code requirements. Today, LEED® and our Cottage Home ZEN homes represent the future of home building.

Lakeshore Habitat

The Lake Michigan shoreline is a flourishing ecosystem spanning hundreds of miles, with a steeplechase of dunes and forests. As part of the world’s largest freshwater dune system, our shoreline is home to wildlife indigenous to this area of the world. The relationship of dunes, coastal bluffs and Great Lakes marshlands provides essential ecologic support. We take great care of the lakeshore’s ecosystem, working closely with many government and conservation agencies. We are committed to innovative building solutions that balance lakeshore living in harmony with the environment.

We recognize the presence of many animal and plant species found only in this part of the country and we understand the steps we can take as builders to help prevent the deterioration of the natural landscape. Reclamation of existing home sites, incorporating sustainable design technologies that allow better use of the land, and replanting native vegetation are among our common practices. Historically, little, if any, consideration was given to water erosion caused by storm water runoff. Today, Cottage Home designs rain gardens, or bioretention systems, as a sustainable landscape that manages storm water overflow. Rain gardens naturally absorb and filter pollutants, keeping them out of natural waterways.

While the lakeshore area is abundant with deer, robin and rabbits, just to name a few common members of the local fauna, many rare and unique plant and animal species rely on Lake Michigan’s coastal system. The endangered Piping Plover and the Pitcher’s Thistle as well as the common Monarch butterfly and Eastern box turtle . . . all have a home along the lakeshore. As we reclaim older home sites, we take great care to maintain natural trails, while preserving trees and foliage. We plant native grasses and reed grass, which stabilize the sand and are common along the West Michigan dunes. Cottage Home respects the land and encourages homeowners to live in unison with their natural surroundings.

sustainable home design

LEED for Homes