Written by Brett Little,
“When my wife Kelly and I bought our 110 year old Folk-Victorian home in Ann Arbor’s Old West Side Historic District, it was a dream come true: drafty old windows, lead paint, zero insulation, a half-century old furnace, asbestos siding, a gas powered mower in the shed and even a few pieces of coal scattered around the back yard. What more could a couple ask for? From the start we knew that homes use an astonishing 22% of energy consumed in the U.S. In fact, your home uses far more energy than your car. Home energy costs have skyrocketed to an average of $2200 per year. Old homes use even more than their fair share of the energy pie. . . .But using resources to build big new “green” homes to save resources just seems ironic. There are 130 million existing homes in the U.S.; half were built before 1972.” – Matt Grocoff
Imagine an existing home in a cold weather climate that produces more energy than it consumes, even with an electric car plugged in and can prove it! Come learn more about what you can do in your next remodel to go beyond conventional green and push the envelope without breaking the bank. You will also get a hint of Matt’s goals to achieve Net Zero Water and learn a little bit more about his pursuit of the Living Building Challenge.
“So, retrofitting America’s old homes is not just about preserving history, it is indeed about protecting our future.” – MG
Matt is the founding principal of the THRIVE Collaborative working to create life-enhancing buildings that harvest their own energy and water, create zero waste and are beautiful and restorative.
He was honored as a 2012 Michigan Green Leader by the Detroit Free Press, called a “proven zero energy master” by Green Building Elements and one of “Greater Detroit’s most progressive personalities” by MyFord Magazine. He is co-founder of Mission Zero Fest and a nationally renowned advocate and thought-leader on net zero energy buildings, Living Buildings and restorative design. Matt is host of Greenovation.TV, a contributor to the Environment Report on public radio, contributor to FOX2 News EnergyTeam, writer and the green renovation expert for Old House Web and ImprovementCenter.com.