CASCADE TOWNSHIP, MI - Architect Evan Mathison can go on for hours about all of the features he has packed into the sustainable house he designed for his family. Some are esoteric details that only architects will comprehend.
Here's one that everyone who pays the bills can understand: Mathison's utility bills totaled only $193 in the four months between May and September this year. That includes air conditioning, cooking, laundry and hot water for a family of five.
LEED-platinum certification - the highest rating possible -- is pending for the house, says Mathison, a principal with Mathison | Mathison Architects, a firm he founded with his father, Tom Mathison.
It could cost even less in the future, says Mathison, who completed the house last year. They are still learning how to take advantage of its green roof, solar electrical panels, geo-thermal heating and cooling system and triple-paned European windows.