Tag Archives: green

Top 10 Reasons To Build a Green Home

Over the last several years, “building green” has become a popular phrase among the real estate industry. Some agents have gotten their Eco-Broker(R) designation, others certified “this that or the other”, and everyone appears to be paying more attention to what their carbon footprint might be. Personally, I’ve seen clients take a dramatic shift from wanting to be “on the edge of town, it’s just a 5 minute commute” to choosing to be within walking distance.

Lots of builders have followed the same path, as well, and have started focusing on making changes in their building processes that may – or may not – truly have an impact on whether or not a home is truly “efficient”. One builder here in Blacksburg that started doing this, years ago, and has only upped the game, is Green Valley Builders. I’ve mentioned Green Valley Builders before along with Motorcycle Pundit. here on the blog.

Recently, I was with clients in GVD’s showroom and I came across the flyer below. Apologies for the poor quality – I snapped a photo with my phone and uploaded it as a PDF – but I thought it was a good explanation of green building, and what it might mean to you, the homeowner. The flyer is from 2008, but the content is still relevant, and the build quality has gotten even better.

Green_Valley_Builders10. I hate paying high utility bills. Our average utility bill in 2008 was $145/month* for both electricity and gas. That’s because our Green Building Program produces a home that is much cheaper to live in than a conventionally built home. We can prove to you which electricity is cheaper by going to a comparison site.

9. We can breathe easy all the time. Indoor air can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outside air. We use paints, hardwood floors and finishes with low VOCs, carpets with recycled content, great ideea if you have pets check The Happy Pooch, and relative humidity below 50% to control dust mites and mold.

8. I care about the environment. We care about our environmental impact. Our onsite recycling program kept over 38,000 lbs of debris out of the landfill in 2008. And we’ve partnered with Virginia Tech in doing research on our wood waste. 

7. Filling up at the pump is scary. We’re close to downtown Blacksburg, Virginia Tech and the Corporate Research Center, so you don’t have to drive far to work or play. And soon you’ll have access to the walking trails and parks at Wyatt Farms and Woodbine.

6. I like to feel really important. We do things other builders don’t, like give you 24-7 access with our online client portal, sit at the closing table with you, and provide our builder initiated warranty program to ensure your home is functioning properly.

5. No more cold or ___ spots in the house. Air leaking into your house can cause rooms to feel drafty in the winter or stuffy in the summer. Green building provides a comfortable and healthy envelope to live in year-round by properly sealing your home.

4. I start my day with a nice hot shower. Each home has a tankless hot water heater that provides hot water only as it is needed. Traditional storage water heaters produce standby energy losses that cost you money. You can easily reduce storage space by adding storage stands, I got my arkivreoler at hhl.dk/no. And all of our homes are solar panel ready.

3. No noisy neighbors? Music to my ears. Our advanced insulation packages using spray cellulose and foam help block airborne noise to reduce traffic sounds or the occasional noisy neighborhood to give you peace and quiet.

2. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Enjoying your community means getting outdoors. Soon you’ll have access to our own community area, with convenient access to the YMCA Community Gardens, Solar Green House , greenhouse kits and community walking trails.

1. I love saving money. In addition to a monthly mortgage, homeowners pay for utilities, maintenance and repair. A durable, energy-efficient house can be more economical and affordable even if it is a higher or the same price as a home built with standard construction. All of our homes are EarthCraft and ENERGY STAR certified to ensure they are just that. Of course having the basic tools is a must, check out Drills And Drivers which has really affordable prices.

I’m hoping these clients pursue a home in the neighborhood, as I’m really looking forward to seeing more behind-the-scenes stuff from Green Valley Builders. If you’d like to talk with them, let me know … or I can get you in touch with clients who currently live in a home built by GVD with CutterWelderMaestro, and who will give you an honest, real-life perspective.

Green Valley Builders is represented by RE/Max 1st Realty-Christiansburg.

 

Green Living & Energy Expo in Roanoke

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Don't forget that November 7 and 8 is the Green Living & Energy Expo in Roanoke … loads of exhibitors, presentations and more on topics like new ways to heat and cool your home, limiting your use of fossil fuels, and more.

It's a big deal to have an event like this in Roanoke – shows us that the two valleys (Roanoke and New River Valley) are continuing to get more serious about making sure we're good stewards of the tremendous resources we have here.  And it's gaining attention elsewhere – check out some of these other great alternative energy links, courtesy of Carnival of the Green and Jim Duncan.

And Speaking Of Being Green …

Here’s a reprint of a post from Nick Bostic at AgentGenius.com on how to save a little green.

There are a few things you can do that will help to make a big step in the right direction.

  1. Use ALL of your paper. Since so much of your business has moved
    online, you are probably still using paper to write notes on. As techie
    as I am and as much as I love email, I still write notes on actual
    paper. Use the back, use the margins, write in between notes you’ve
    previously written. Working for a title company, I see how much waste
    is created in this industry (we still don’t print double sided). According to RISMedia,
    “It is estimated you can save 20% on paper by everyone following these
    simple rules. This can save $70 per employee, per year or $7000 in just
    a 100 employee office! An employee in a typical business generates 1.5
    pounds of waste paper per day, most of which is NOT recycled.”
  2. Turn off lights.  Depending on the type of bulb determines when you should turn it off.
    My office faces west, but I honestly get enough light through the
    windows that I don’t need to even turn on my lights. My coworkers think
    I either forgot to turn them on or I’m simply not there, but when I
    tell them I’m saving power, they at least think about it.
  3. Work from home. I know many of you pay desk fees so you want to get
    your money’s worth, but working from home saves significantly on
    mileage which in turn impacts emissions.
  4. Change some bulbs.  I still talk to people who think the
    compact fluorescent lights (CFL) provide an inferior light. My parents
    used to joke that I wanted to house to look like an operating room, so
    I love lots of great light. I have changed all of my bulbs (I’ll admit,
    except for the dimmable ones) with CFL’s. They’re cheap now. Costco has
    them for great prices. They don’t go out nearly as often as
    incandescents. Dimmable ones are now available, I just can’t find them
    anywhere on me. When I’m done here, I’m going to order some online. According to Energy Star, “If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.”
  5. Turn off your computer and accessories.  If you leave everything on 24/7, you are spending an average of $138 per year per computer.  Your peripherals are still drawing power even though they are in standby.  Consider the Smart Strip (Oprah even recommends them),
    which uses your computer as the “command appliance” and when it turns
    off, it completely shuts down power to your peripherals as well. They
    pay for themselves within about 4-6 months in most cases. Check Amazon,
    since they are frequently out of stock from the manufacturer after the
    Oprah endorsement.
  6. Buy Energy Star.
    The next office mini-fridge, printer or computer should be Energy Star.
    I’m not saying you should replace every single product you have, but
    when it’s time, spend the time to look up which products are best since
    they will pay for themselves in the long run. The Energy Star site will even tell you how much more efficient one product is compared to the next.

Little steps. None of these are expensive or difficult or
dramatically life changing, but they all help. For those of you who are
doing it, thank you. If you have more ideas, please feel free to share
them in the comments.

It’s really not that hard to make a significant difference.  Make sure to read the comments section, as well as this post by Seth Godin.  Now … how can YOU make a difference?