Insulspan’s Lakeside Green Cottage Wins Green Building Category in the BSC 2011 Excellence in Home Design Awards

Blissfield, Michigan, November 8, 2010 — Blissfield-based Structural Insulating Panel System home manufacturer Insulspan, Incorporated received a national home building accolade with its Lakeside Green Cottage, capturing First Place, Green building using SIPs in the 2011 BSC Excellence in Home Design and Marketing Awards program. The honor was awarded by the Building Systems Councils (BSC) of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)—a trade association that represents the concrete, log, modular, and panelized building system industries—at their annual awards program on November 8, 2010.

Sponsored by the NAHB Building Systems Councils, the BSC Excellence in Marketing and Home Design Awards has promoted excellence in the systems-built housing industry for more than ten years. All winners were announced at an awards luncheon in New Orleans, held in conjunction with the BSC SHOWCASE event—the leading trade show and conference based centered on the systems-built housing industry. Home manufacturers, builders and industry associates were among the groups recognized.

“This year’s award winners like Insulspan, Incorporated prove that despite a sluggish housing market, the systems-built industry is raising the bar in residential marketing and home design concepts,” said BSC Chairman Vic DePhillips, a modular manufacturer from Moosic, Pa. “Our award winners are adding credibility to their businesses and shedding a positive light on the building systems industry as a whole.”

The annual BSC Excellence Awards are judged by a panel of industry experts and companies like Insulspan were given praise for the quality of their submittals. The Lakeside Green Cottage  is a model of sustainable construction that maintains the design & character of its historic community.

“It is truly an honor for the Lakeside Green Cottage to receive the BSC Excellence Award for Green Building with SIPs,” said Frank Baker, Lakeside Cottage Homeowner and PFB Board member “At Insulspan, we strive to provide innovative, practical housing solutions using systems-built technologies. This award shows the hard work and vision of Insulspan dedicated employees. It is a proud day for them.

Awardees were recognized for excellence in achievement in several marketing and design categories and covered a range of concrete, log, modular and panelized homes.
There were scores of entries submitted for award categories ranging from Outstanding Model/Sales Center, to Presentation of Home Plans and Best Web site.

For a complete list of winning companies and projects, including Insulspan and its Lakeside Green Cottage, visit

Award winners were announced to a crowd of nearly 200 systems-built industry professionals at the awards luncheon. Winners received plaques to commemorate their efforts. They will be featured in upcoming editions of NAHB’s e-newspaper, Nation’s Building News.  Some projects will also be on display on the BSC Awards Wall at the 2011 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

ABOUT THE BSC: The Building Systems Councils of the National Association of Home Builders is made up of manufacturing, builder, and associate members who advocate building with systems. Systems-built homes are constructed with concrete, log, modular, or panelized systems.  They are constructed to the same code standards and reflect the same, and often enhanced, quality levels as any site-built construction. The advantage of systems-building is it’s done in a fraction of the time, with a fraction of the waste, reducing costly weather exposure.  Many systems-built homes are inherently “green,” adding an environmentally friendly label to the product.

ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 175,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB’s builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for 2010.

Lakeside Green Cottage – Open House

You’re invited to a preview of

The Lakeside Green Cottage

Saturday, May 8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At 174 Vine St., Lakeside, Ohio

The Lakeside Green Cottage is a model of sustainable construction that maintains the design and character of its historic community. You’re invited to tour this high-efficiency home, now in its final phase of construction, and discover how eco-friendly building technology and historic character can go hand-in-hand.

Learn more about the project and the Chautauqua community of Lakeside.

Come for the open house, stay for…

Lakeside Daisy Day and the Lakeside Association’s Annual Plant Sale

Celebrating the hearty yellow flower that grows only on the Marblehead Peninsula, Lakeside Daisy Day will be marked with events throughout the area, including Lakeside’s Annual Plant Sale on the steps of Hoover Auditorium. For more information visit or

Lakeside Green Cottage

Last June our 100 year old seasonal cottage in Lakeside, Ohio took a direct hit from a 100 year old maple tree during a storm that came across Lake Erie. We loved the funky old cottage but we knew from the outset that repair versus replacement would be the major decision in front of us. After months of debate, evaluation, structural analysis, historical study and consultation with experts and some not so experts, we finally decided that the Greenest thing we could do was salvage what we could from the old cottage and build a new, state of the art Green Cottage. Tearing down the funky but appealing old structure and the history that would go with it was a tough decision. We also knew that we may have difficulty getting the Lakeside community to accept the idea of tearing down one of its treasured architectural structures. The entire Lakeside Community is on the National Historic register.
 It initially seemed that the Greenest thing to do was to repair the old cottage. We had already been planning to repair it and spruce it up, but the tree forced us into action. But how do you economically and esthetically repair something that had no real foundation, no level or square floors or walls, would not meet any current building code, had antiquated cobbled wiring and plumbing, a compromised fireplace and chimney (the only heat source), no insulation or subfloors, inoperable and deteriorating old windows, multiple broken structural members, hidden areas of rot, and a roof way past it’s prime. As we considered all the options, repairing the cottage was looking more like the classic money pit.
So we decided to rebuild. Once that decision was made, we were excited at the opportunity to build what would be a much better cottage and would also be a state of the art Green Cottage. For 30 years we have been advising and supplying sustainable design and materials to clients. Now we had an opportunity to incorporate all we have learned into our cottage. With all the experience and the resources available, that should be easy, right? If only that were the case.
I’ve heard it estimated that there are over 30,000 decisions to be made in the construction of the average home. Add in the considerations to make that home truly green, the complexity grows immensely even for folks like us who have had experience with Green and sustainability thinking.
In an effort to assist those hoping to build their own Sustainable Green Home, we will chronicle the path of how we have made our Green choices, developed Green specifications and rationalized decisions where Green was more like Gray. We’ll be keeping a log here on Greenspeak as the project progresses. Follow this link for a general overview of the project and follow Frank’s Green Speak for updates on the process.