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Cottage Home News

Cottage Home News

Sit back, relax and browse through our latest news. Read about Cottage Home’s current and past West Michigan beach homes and Lake Michigan developments. Learn more about our newest opportunities, fun design and build process, and other West Michigan lakeshore happenings.

Brian Accepts HBA Board Position

Brian Bosgraaf was recently inducted as a member of the Home Builder’s Association of the Holland Area Board of Directors, and will serve a three year term. The mission of the Holland HBA is to “foster an economic and social climate that stimulates the planning, construction, remodeling, and marketing of quality homes.”

Pacesetter Award Winners – Custom Home

It makes sense that Cottage Home, a company designing and building summer homes on the shores of Lake Michigan, would come up with a marketing scheme that includes a vacation. “We wanted to have a permanent model,” says president Brian Bosgraaf, “but I thought it was a waste for it to sit empty.” Plus, most people drive two or three hours to get there, so a logical solution was to let clients inhabit the model for a few days.

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Cottages At Summer’s Gate – Cosmopolitan Home

Almost a century ago, a drive along Lake Michigan from the city of South Haven would have taken you down the well-known “Doctor’s Row”. Through the trees, you would have glimpsed elaborate cottages belonging to the elite of the day – an awe-inspiring cluster of homes marked by stone pillars and gated entryways. Today a similar jaunt down “Doctor’s Row” and you will witness the resurrection of this history. Behind the gated entrance emblazoned with “The Cottages at Summer’s Gate,” construction has begun on a prestigious residential community that infuses the luxuries of modern living with an aura of the past.

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Cottage Home ‘Green Cottage’ Receives LEED Platinum Certification

Brian Bosgraaf Guest Column in Grand Rapids Business Journal

Cottage Home, designers and builders of well-appointed beach houses and cottages, announced today that the company’s Green Cottage was awarded LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED Platinum is the highest level of achievement in green homebuilding, making the Green Cottage one of only five LEED Platinum homes in Michigan and the only Lake Michigan shoreline home to achieve this level.

LEED for Homes is a national third-party certification system for energy efficient, healthy, green homes. LEED certified homes complete a technically rigorous process that includes a home energy (HERS) rating and onsite inspections to verify that the home is built to be energy and water efficient, environmentally sound, and a healthier place to live.

Designed and built by Cottage Home, the new private residence is located at 7141 Suequehanna Lane near Glenn, Michigan, and reflects the company’s long-standing commitment to green building and sustainable designs. The many benefits of building a LEED certified home include lower energy and water bills, greater efficiency and comfort, higher quality air and less greenhouse gas emissions.

“Cottage Home is committed to sustainable design in all our new homes,” said Cottage Home President Brian Bosgraaf. “The LEED Platinum is the highest certification; we are all very pleased with this recognition. A unique aspect of the Green Cottage is the fact that you would never know by appearance that this home meets LEED criteria. It’s an excellent example of how you can achieve sustainable design while keeping the traditional qualities of a comfortable lakeshore home.”

Overlooking Lake Michigan, the Green Cottage incorporates many energy-efficient and sustainable technologies, including:

  • Geothermal closed loop heating system
  • Energy Star rated appliances and lighting fixtures
  • Highly efficient plumbing and electrical systems
  • Many appliances use time switching devices
  • 2×6 exterior wall system and Tyvek® moisture management
  • Cynene® insulation in walls and ceilings
  • Zero VOC, low odor, silica free GreenSure™ designated paints
  • ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator)
  • Waste water collection and rain water harvesting
  • Recyclable and biodegradable cedar shake siding

The Time for RCF is Now

Brian Bosgraaf Guest Column in Grand Rapids Business Journal

As a builder of more than 800 homes in the West Michigan area over the last 20 plus years, I have been required by new homeowners to justify the cost of incorporating energy efficient and sustainable technologies based on a Return On Investment (ROI). The cost of highly efficient systems, additional insulation, and upgraded features must, in the eyes of most buyers, offer an equal reduction in home heating and cooling costs or increased in resale value. This ROI approach to reducing home energy consumption must be replaced by forward thinking Reduced Carbon Footprint (RCF).

While the growing number of new homes built to Green Built and LEED standards is a welcome improvement, it has little impact on overall energy consumption of the housing stock. The energy savings produced by these new “tight” homes pale in comparison to what is wasted by existing neighboring dwellings. Conservative estimates place average home energy loss at 30%, which means the billions of dollars we are investing in alternative energy will continue to be wasted if we do not correct the 100 million plus “average” American homes.

We must place a greater emphasis on RCF by auditing and repairing existing residential dwellings. Even those homes built within the past few years have an average combined air leakage equal to a 2′ x 2′ hole, through vents, recessed lighting, insulation gaps, and construction defects. Every house can be made more energy efficient, more comfortable and a healthier living environment by conducting a Performance Energy Audit and making the suggested improvements.

There is an emergence of companies with both audit and repair capabilities (Dwelltech Solutions was founded last year). This burgeoning industry coincides with utility mandates to offer their customers financial incentives to make their homes more energy efficient and with state and federal government programs that help finance such improvements.

After all, doesn’t it make sense to stop “wasting energy” before we spend billions seeking new alternative energy sources? It is time we move from ROI thinking to RCF.

Make 2011 Your Forever ‘Green’ Summer

Cottage Home Summer’s Gate Homes Awarded LEED Platinum Certification

South Haven, Mich., July 22, 2011 — Cottage Home has once again achieved LEED® Platinum certification for the design and construction of the company’s two newest homes located in Summer’s Gate – the award-winning Lake Michigan community in South Haven.

LEED Platinum certification is the highest level of achievement in green homebuilding from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The LEED Green Building Rating System is the USGBC’s leading ranking classification for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, most energy-efficient and high-performing buildings.

Both LEED certified homes, Summer’s Gate Four and Summer’s Gate Eight, are the final homes available in the 12-home community.

Summer’s Gate Four features:

  • 1,818 square feet of well-appointed and furnished living
  • 3 bedrooms, a bunkroom and 2 1/2 baths
  • 377 square feet of decks and porches and an upper level loft

Summer’s Gate Eight offers:

  • 1,736 square feet of finished living space, fully furnished and outfitted
  • 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths
  • Finished private garage loft featuring a look out balcony

The many benefits of building a LEED certified home include lower energy and water bills, greater efficiency and comfort, higher quality air and less greenhouse gas emissions. “We are honored to achieve LEED Platinum certification for both homes in the Summer’s Gate community,” said Cottage Home president, Brian Bosgraaf. “Cottage Home has been committed to building energy-efficient, sustainable homes since our beginning. It’s rewarding that our homes continue to be recognized by the USGBC for sustainability.”