Ankeny family builds top notch eco-friendly home


Tammie Krausman and Derek Dautremont outside their home with their two children, Sophia and Oliver. Photo courtesy of the Des Moines Register.

Tammie Krausman and Derek Dautremont did not necessarily set out to build a home that would set the green bar so high. But they wanted a home that would last and wound up with an award-winner. 

The Des Moines Register reported last Friday that the couple had received a five-star Energy Star certification and a bronze green certification from the National Association of Homebuilders. 

It’s green amentities include a furnace that runs on 80% less energy, which has cut their heating bill to a mere $106 per month.  The contractors from Emerald Homes worked with the couple’s budget to create a home they could grow into that would resist erosion and last a lifetime. 

Check out part of the Des Moines Register’s story below:

Tammie Krausman and Derek Dautremont’s house looks like any other pretty, average-sized suburban space when viewed from its gravel driveway in a quiet neck of the woods east of the Saylorville Dam. But dig a little deeper, and there are a host of environmentally friendly surprises, enough so that it earned a five-star Energy Star certification and a bronze green certification from the National Association of Homebuilders.

The couple didn’t set out to build an eco-standard bearer; what they wanted was to get as much longevity out of the home’s setup as they could while making a small impact on the environment – all on a super-tight budget.

“If we were going to build, we were going to build right,” said Krausman, who works for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “We were going to be in it for the long-term, and clearly that means thinking about durability and energy use.”

Krausman and Dautremont decided to work with Steve Theis, president of Emerald Homes, who has made his company’s focus high performance housing, or homes that work smarter and more efficiently.

“Energy efficiency isn’t a political statement,” Theis said. “It’s about reducing the load, reducing costs and extending the life cycle.”

It took a lot of sifting and sorting on the couple’s part to figure out what would work, what they could afford and what made sense for their family. But they describe the whole process – the planning, the 90-day build time – as just plain fun. Here’s some of what they considered:

Size. At 2,000 square feet, Krausman and Dautremont’s house has space enough for three bedrooms on the ground floor and an expansive kitchen/living/dining area, with extra square footage in the walk-out basement.

Aging in place. Krausman and Dautremont were dedicated to the idea of staying in their home for as long as possible, and that meant designing so rooms could adapt to the changing physical requirements of age. The hallways and doors are wider, and the children’s two bedrooms can be shut off from the living and master bedrooms to cut down on energy use. “The greenest thing you can do is not build a new house every five to seven years,” Theis said.

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