Thorntree Commons at Suttons Bay
Home   News   Vision   Resources   Photos   Sales & Contact  

Links & Resources





Green Building Resources

The sites below are excellent and invaluable sources for further reading on sustainability in housing and Green building practices.

TreeHugger: Design & Architecture Archives

TreeHugger is a fast-growing web magazine, dedicated to everything that has a modern aesthetic yet is environmentally responsible. Their goal is to make sustainability mainstream and to be the one-stop for the environment. If you want doom & gloom, this is not the place. They are looking for solutions, constructive developments and positive initiatives.

Green Building Talk

Green Building Talk by BuildCentral is good resource to share, ask and learn about green building products and methods.

Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association: Michigan Energy Fair

This annual fair brings together energy experts, vendors and companies to educate the public about solutions to our energy future. Learn how businesses in Michigan and elsewhere are offering products and services that help save money, build energy security and independence, and benefit the environment. Dozens of booths offer education and connect participants with information and services concerning energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable technologies.

Insulating Concrete Forms

Insulating concrete forms (ICFs) are hollow foam blocks which are stacked into the shape of the exterior walls of a building, reinforced with steel rebar, and then filled with concrete. ICFs combine one of the finest insulating materials, Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), with one of the strongest structural building materials, steel reinforced concrete. The result is a wall system of unmatched comfort, energy efficiency, strength and noise reduction.

Alliance For Environmental Sustainability

Alliance provides education to consumers and industry professionals on environmentally friendly materials, energy efficient systems and products, healthy indoor air quality and affordable construction.


SEEDS' focus on Engineering and Design relies on biology to inform and enhance human designs. They design, develop and install things like constructed wetlands to filter wastewater, LEED certified construction, and other projects to minimize the human 'footprint' while maximizing integration with the diverse natural world.
P.O. Box 2454, Traverse City, MI

LEED For Homes

The LEED for Homes program is being developed by the United States Green Building Council with input from local and national stakeholder groups. It is a voluntary initiative promoting the transformation of the mainstream home building industry towards more sustainable practices.

LEED For New Construction

LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations is a green building rating system that was designed to guide and distinguish high-performance commercial and institutional projects, with a focus on office buildings. Practitioners have also applied the system to K-12 schools, multi-unit residential buildings, manufacturing plants, laboratories and many other building types.

The Energy & Environmental Building Association

The EEBA seeks to provide education and resources to transform the residential design, development and construction industries to profitably deliver energy efficiency and environmentally responsible buildings and communities.

Rocky Mountain Institute

Rocky Mountain Institute is an independent, entrepreneurial, nonprofit organization that seeks to foster the efficient and restorative use of resources to make the world secure, just, prosperous, and life-sustaining.

Energy Star

Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.

Center For Resourceful Building Technology

CRBT, a project of the National Center for Appropriate Technology, is dedicated to promoting environmentally responsible practices in construction. It works to serve as both catalyst and facilitator in encouraging building technologies which realize a sustainable and efficient use of resources.

Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES)

BEES is free Windows-based software aimed at designers, builders, and product manufacturers that can be used to select cost-effective, environmentally-preferable building products. Developed by the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Building and Fire Research Laboratory with support from the U.S. EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program, the tool is based on consensus standards and designed to be practical, flexible, and transparent. The software includes actual environmental and economic performance data for nearly 200 building products.

Home Builders Association Of The Grand Traverse Area

The Home Builders Association has been representing the Michigan home-building industry in a five-county area including Suttons Bay for over 35 years.

Green Built Michigan

Builders across Michigan care for our natural resources and are looking for a better way to build. Consumers are asking for green homes. Green Built Michigan certifies homes and home builders. They are the official green building program of the Michigan Association of Home Builders.

Sarah Susanka: The Not So Big House

A series of books about the mistakes people make in thinking that a bigger house is a better house. In Sarah's words:

"The inspiration for The Not So Big House came from a growing awareness that new houses were getting bigger and bigger but with little redeeming design merit. The problem is that comfort has almost nothing to do with how big a space is. It is attained, rather, by tailoring our houses to fit the way we really live, and to the scale and proportions of our human form."

Daniel D. Chiras

Dan has published numerous books on environmental issues and sustainability for a general audience, and has written extensively on Green Building. He hasn't needed to pay an electric bill since 1996.

Jim Vann: Superinsulated Houses

An overview of superinsulated homes by by Jim Vann, owner of Ra Solar Company and chair of NESEA's Quality Building Council.


LandChoices is a Milford, Michigan based national 501c3 non-profit organization promoting choices for landowners that conserve land, including conservation design for subdivisions. Randall Arendt, the nation's foremost expert on conservation subdivision design, is on the LandChoices' Advisory Group. LandChoices is preparing to launch a new national campaign to take conservation subdivision design mainstream.