Green Home Revisited – The Shoe Storage Area

March 19, 2012

Shortly after the home was finished, we began holding open houses to promote the completion of the first LEED certified home in Wichita and “green” building. During one open house, the local Fox TV station made an impromptu appearance to prepare a segment for their 9 o’clock news program. They were most intrigued by and show-cased the shoe-storage area because it is not immediately obvious how such a space would contribute to sustainability.

Shoe Storage Area in Laundry Room

But in fact, in the LEED rating system, this home did earn one (1) point for having a built-in shoe removal and storage space. Here’s the reasoning: Since Americans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors, LEED rewards homes that address issues related to “Indoor Environmental Quality”. According to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), a majority of the dirt in homes is tracked in by the occupants on their shoes. This debris can contain lead, asbestos, pesticides and other hazardous material. Shoes will also track in moisture that could lead to mold growth on the carpet. A built-in bench and shoe storage area, right at the main entry into the home, will encourage the occupants to remove their shoes. Less dirt and contaminants equal better indoor air quality, less energy to run the vacuum and fewer  chemicals to clean the floor.

We asked the homeowner if he was using the area. He replied that he was and that “it’s a very nice thing to be able to come in, sit right down and take your shoes off”. While we have no quantifiable measurements on the indoor air quality, nor on the vacuum usage, we can point to a homeowner who likes the convenience and is happy with this feature.

2012 Kansas Preservation, Energy and Sustainability Conference

February 13, 2012

The 2012 Kansas Preservation, Energy and Sustainability Conference was held in Wichita, January 25th – 28th. Featured speakers at the conference were:

Carl Elefante, FAIA, LEED AP is Quinn Evans Architects’ Director of Sustainable Design and a Principal in the Washington, DC office. He has built an extensive body of work that has defined and shaped the field of sustainable preservation by blending the discipline of historic preservation with sustainable design.

Eric Corey Freed, LEED AP, Hon. FIGP. Founding Principal of grganicARCHITECT, a nationally known award winning architecture and consulting firm, with nearly 20 years of experience in green building and sustainable planning, San Francisco, CA.

Bob Yapp, President, Belvedere School of Hands-on Preservation, Hannabal, Missouri. Yapp founded the Belvedere School for Historic Preservation in July of 2008 dedicated to teaching students from all over North America how to become artisans in the preservation trades.

Gary Jay Saulson, Director of Corporate Real Estate, The PNC Financial Services Group. Gary Jay Saulson is executive vice president and director of Corporate Real Estate for The PNC Financial Services Group where he leads PMC’s Realty Services business unit. Saulson oversees all of PNC’s real estate (approx. 30 million square feet), including property management, construction, occupancy ownership strategies, leasing, and transactions.

Karen Alderman Harbert, President and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce’s institute for 21st Century Energy, Washington, D.C. In this capacity, Harbert leads the Institute’s efforts to build support for meaningful energy action nationally and internationally through policy development, education, and advocacy. Under Harbert’s leadership, the Energy Institute has evolved into a premier national and increasingly international organization dedicated to advancing a constructive energy agenda and transforming the energy and environmental debate into a widely supported plan of action.

The complete list of speakers and events can be found at

During the conference, local individuals, organizations, and businesses are presented with the annual Clean Air and Sustainability Awards for their efforts to improve and preserve air quality in the four-county metro area (Butler, Harvey, Sedgwick, and Sumner Counties) and for incorporating Sustainability measures in their organizational structure. This year, Bauer & Son Construction Company was a recipient of an award for designing and building the first United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified home in the City of Wichita. The home was designed to save the homeowner nearly $500 in annual energy costs and will prevent approximately 13,000 Ibs/year of C02 emissions.

Bauer & Son Construction's Clean Air and Sustainability Award for 1st LEED Certified Home in the City of Wichita.

As part of the conference, sponsors and other exhibitors conducted a 2 day Energy & Sustainability Fair.

Kansas Preservation, Energy and Sustainability Conference Fair at Century II Exhibition Hall.

Bauer & Son Construction's booth at the Kansas Preservation, Energy and Sustainability Fair.

Adam Bauer, with Bauer & Son Construction's Clean and Sustainability Award for the 1st LEED Certified Home in the City of Wichita.

Green Home Revisited – In The News

February 10, 2012

The only LEED certified home in Wichita.

“What makes this home special?’ is the title of a feature article, written by Ron Sylvester, that appeared in the Wichita Eagle newspaper on November 15, 2011. The answer is, it’s the only one LEED certified in Wichita. Read Ron’s article and watch his video at

Green Home Revisited – Bamboo Flooring

November 7, 2011

This is the first of several blogs we’ll be doing to check in on the ‘green’ home – to see what features have worked well, and maybe a few  that could have been re-thought.

For this first blog, we  went back and looked at how the bamboo floor was holding up.

Bamboo is one of the darlings of the sustainable  construction world.  It is very much  like wood but actually it is a grass; a very fast growing grass.  It is this rapid growth that defines it as  sustainable.  It can be harvested in 5-7  years; versus 60-70 years for most hardwoods. It is moisture resistant and  insect resistant. In general, it is harder than oak, although it is available  in a wide range of hardness’s. As for installation, it can be nailed, glued, or  floated just like a conventional wood floor.

During the design phase of the home, we had planned for cork  flooring, another sustainable option. However, the homeowner decided to use Bamboo simply for it’s aesthetics.  Premium  Green Bamboo, Hand Scraped, Vintage Collection, Jacobean flooring was chosen and it looked fabulous when it was first installed.

It appears that not all bamboo flooring is equal.  A Google search will reveal a wide range of experiences with bamboo flooring – from very satisfied to very unsatisfied. The 2 major complaints seem to be softness (showing scratches) and color fading. Our LEED home, however, has had neither of these issues. As you can see from the photos, after 18 months of use, the floor still looks fantastic. The owner pointed out one dent where he had dropped an electric drill.  Otherwise it looks as good as the day it was installed. It has even held up to high heels and dog traffic.

So far,  for this home and this home-owner, bamboo flooring has proved to be a great sustainable choice.

Photo taken January, 2010

Photo taken October, 2011

Photo taken January, 2010

Photo taken October, 2011

Parade of Homes

May 10, 2010

For three weekends in April, Bauer and Son Construction held an open house for the Spring Parade of Homes, sponsored by the Wichita Area Builders Association. On Wednesday, April 12th, after the first weekend, our house was judged to be one of eight in the parade to win an award in the Most Unique Features category. Each winner in this category won for a different “Most Unique Feature”, our feature was being the 1st LEED Home in Wichita.  

2010 Spring Parade of Homes, Judges Award for Unique Feature

We want to thank the 177 people who visited our house during the Parade. We hope everyone who came to our open houses in March and to our Parade of Home open houses in April learned a little more about green homes.

Certifications & Acknowledgments

April 16, 2010

Soon after the third-party performance testing was performed, all the required forms were submitted to the various agencies to review and approve our applications for certifications.  


Sponsored by the US Department of Energy, Builder’s Challenge recognizes exceptional attention to quality and energy performance. The program uses the EnergySmart Home scale to rate efficiency. To meet the challenge, a home must achieve a rating of 70 or lower, representing an improvement of 30% over a typical home. This home met the challenge on March 1st, 2010 with a rating of 55.  


The NAHB Green Building Program was initiated in 2005 by the National Association of Home Builders. The NAHB Green Building program is similar to LEED, but only applicable to residential construction. Green Building Program houses are awarded points within specific categories and can receive a rating of Bronze, Silver, Gold or Emerald. On March 24, 2010 this home was awarded a Gold rating from NAHB.  


The LEED for Homes® rating system is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED projects are awarded points within specific categories and can receive a rating of Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. We are proud to report that on April 6th, 2010 this home was awarded Gold certification.  It is the first home to achieve LEED certification in Wichita, Kansas.   


ENERGY STAR® was developed in 1992 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Its mission is to promote clean and efficient energy technologies, enabling consumers to save money while protecting the environment. This home received the ENERGY STAR on April 8th, 2010.On Friday, April 9th, Teresa Burk, from the Wichita Committee of the USGBC Central Plains Chapter presented Adam Bauer with the LEED for Homes – Gold certificate. 

Teresa Burk and Adam Bauer.

We want to acknowledge everyone that helped Bauer & Son Construction achieve these awards. The following are sub-contractors and suppliers participated in the construction of this home.

Fremar Corporation L.L.C. 
Nies Foundations 
Lafarge North America, Kansas Office 
Contractors Waterproofing Systems 
Kelly Smith Construction 
Andale Lumber Company 
Pro Build 
Lowe’s of E. Wichita 
Wheeler Lumber, LLC 
Shawn Nelson Framing 
Douglas Fry Roofing 
J.F. Miller Masonry 
North Star Comfort Services 
Overhead Door Company 
Cheney Door Co., Inc 
B & B Drywall 
Garcia’s Painting 
The Countertop Place 
Quality Granite & Marble 
Designers Expo LLC 
Bob Smith Tile Company 
Bell Mirror & Glass Inc. 
Cranmer Grass Farm, Inc. 
Hogan Sprinkler Installation, Inc. 
Hojoca Corporation 
Fahnesctock Plumbing, HVAC & Electric 

Our third-party verifiers were Guaranteed Watt Saver Systems, Inc., and Fahnesctock Plumbing, HVAC & Electric 

We also want to acknowlege all the Bauer & Son Construction employees that participated in the construction including Drew Wyss – Project Supervisor, Michael Hansen, Ed Miller and Richard Ashford. 

Finally, we want to give special acknowlegment to Adam Bauer for his vision and determination to undertake this project, Greg Bauer for his support and expertise, Laura Heagler for her dilligence and persistance and Steve Houser for his expertise.

Open Houses

April 15, 2010

Every month people who are interested in the environment meet up for a beer at informal sessions known as Green Drinks. On Tuesday, March 2nd, this group was the first to accept an invitation to the open house and tour. Please visit to learn more about this self-organizing network.

Green Drinks group gathering and signing-in at the Breakfast Bar.

Laura Heagler, Bauer & Son Construction’s Green Development Coordinator explaining the home’s green features.

In addition to Green Drinks, a local TV station showed up and did several impromptu interviews. Adam Bauer, the home’s owner is being prepared for an interview.

Laura Heagler is being prepared for an interview.

Please visit the KWCH web site at to read the story and watch the video.

Tuesday, March 23rd, an open house and tour was held for local architects, and on Friday, March 26th, the Wichita Committee of the USGBC Central Plains Chapter attended an open house and tour.

The largest group to attend an open house was on the Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW), on Monday, April 5th.

A group of Young Professionals of Wichita waiting for a tour to start.

Parking in front of the house for the Young Professionals of Wichita open house.

The final open house was held on Tuesday, April 13th, for the Visioneering Environmental Sustainability Alliance.


April 15, 2010

Now that the testing and the final inspection are complete, furniture can be move in. Since the house will be used for promotion of “green building” by holding open houses and entering it in the Parade of Homes, it was decided that some furniture would help it “show” better. 

Couch and chair in the Living Room.

Glass table and bar stools in the Dining area.

Chairs on the Deck.

Certificate of Occupancy

April 15, 2010

On March 10th the Bauer & Son Construction received a Certificate of Occupancy for the house. This completes the inspection process required by the City of Wichita.

Signed inspection card.

Certificate of Occupancy.

Shower Doors & Mirrors

April 15, 2010

Glass bi-pass doors were selected for the Bath 2 shower. A decorative framed mirror was also selected by the owner to be hung above the pedestal lavatory.

View of the top of the shower doors installed in Bath 2.

View of the bottom of the shower doors installed in Bath 2.

A frameless door and glass panel were selected for the Master Bath shower.  A plate glass mirror was selected to be installed above the vanity.

The shower door and glass side panel installed at the Master Bath shower. The mirror above the vanity is on the right side of the photo.

The mirror above the vanity in the basement bath room.