Green Home Tour

Report on the Ohio Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council’s 2018 Green Home Tour January 20.

ChuckLohreGreen Home Tour, Johnson Residence, USGBC Cincinnati Leave a Comment

Saturday, January 20th was the first tour of the year for the Chapter’s dedicated group of about 250 that have either shown their homes or have attended the tours since November of 2014. It was a good thing that the freezing cold weather had broken because this tour was outside! But in the warm sun, it was very comfortable for the two hours as we set up our “Zero Waste” coffee and pastry station to sign the tour waiver and check in.

Kevin Johnson, the owner of one of the homes, was there along with the architect Brad Cooper. The home was framed in and under roof but not much else. The home is built with insulated concrete forms which produce a very strong, well insulated and air tight home. The small site contains two homes that share a common wall. They are of two-story construction with a full basement. There will be a large patio in the back that doubles as a retaining wall for the hillside. One interesting feature of Kevin’s side of the structure is that it will be finished with charred cedar. The burnt surface acts as a very durable protective finish, resistant to bugs, moisture and sunlight.

We had 21 sign up for the tour, and 20 of those showed up. We also signed up six of the friends and neighbors of Brad and Kevin to sign up for future announcements. Three persons joined up or plan to join the Chapter. A few donated cash for the tour.

The two homes are going for LEED Platinum with a combination of incredibly well insulated and sealed construction that will deliver a very high-performance heating system. Also, all the benefits that come with urban redevelopment, a walkable neighborhood with plenty of public transportation help.

The owners of the home scheduled for the March tour were there, Kristin Woeste and Jake Mahle. You could see the back of their home from where we stood. Their tour is Sun, Mar 18, 2018, 10 am til Noon. They hope to achieve LEED Gold certification through a combination of factors, including, solar panels, low-flow water fixtures, draught-tolerant landscaping, blown cellulose insulation, a high-efficiency furnace and other features.

The February tour is scheduled for February 17, 2018, 10 am til Noon. It’s the Ryan Residence also in OTR. “The folks at Architectural Digest should check out Jack and Martine Ryan’s place in Over-the-Rhine. It has the “wow” factor the magazine features. The Ryans’ stunning, 6,000-square-foot, certified LEED Gold home is the product of four creative minds coming together as one. Jack Ryan is a Staten Island-born and reared New Yorker and career Procter & Gamble engineer/executive with the kind of pragmatic skills required to co-manage his first new-build home. Martine Ryan is an artistic Frenchwoman and long-time director of business affairs at the University of Cincinnati whose love for the European-city lifestyle steered the 2014-married couple away from the northern suburbs toward Over-the-Rhine. Together they created a bright, sleek and spotless living space,” from Brent Coleman’s article for WCPO Channel 9,

The Green Home Tours are sponsored by The Sustainable Partnership of Cincinnati, a group of businesses offering environmentally friendly products and services to create sustainable homes and offices. Dovetail Solar and Wind, GreenBau Design Build, Green Building Consulting, Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy, Greener Stock Sustainable Building Materials & Design, Green Streets Environmental Services, National Heating & Air-conditioning, One Small Garden Planters and Sheds, Patterned Concrete of Cincinnati, and Tepe Landscaping. Learn more at

USGBC SW Ohio Chapter Residential Green Committee’s mission is to provide education on sustainability in everyday tasks by promoting household environmentally sound practices to transform the way homes are designed, built, and operated enabling healthy, prosperous and environmentally and socially responsible living.

There is no charge for USGBC Ohio members ($70 per year and you can bring a guest). Join the Ohio Chapter. Non-members are asked to donate $15 per person at the door. Contact Chuck Lohre to register for the tours or be introduced to any of the owners of past and future tours (, [email protected], 513-260-9025.

Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you at a tour this year.

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