Green Washing And Your Real Estate Carbon Footprint

As an internet platform for green, energy efficient and sustainable homes, we have reviewed some interesting and creative verbiage used by some sellers in the real estate marketplace. In the environmental business we call this ” green washing “.

Green washing is when someone uses ” green ” terminology to help drive more interest to an oddwise typical (in this case) home for sale, in a current flat and bloated real estate market.

This ” green ” terminology could be words such as:

  • Solar
  • Stewardship
  • Eco-friendly
  • Environmental
  • Healthy environment

We've seen ads that would say “a solar home”, when all they really had was a wall that faced south.

Or maybe the home just has CFL's (compact fluorescent lighting) and not much else in the home. Although minimal improvements help the environment in a small way, there are cool innovative green homes out there that are making heads really turn in a BIG way. includes (loves to promote) innovative building technologies that we believe will make the quickest (and the largest) change in the environment regarding the way we live, the homes we live in and the way we build them.

Listed Green

Things we take for granted every day, do have a direct impact on global warming. The toilet we flush, the indoor air we breathe, the utility bills we pay; all these everyday duties affect the environment and our health.

There are currently so many new technologies in sustainable home building, that we could make a huge impact right now, not years later. We can currently heat most of our water with thermal solar and not the black stuff you see on roofs, but innovative glass tubes that absorb UV rays year-round; recycle all our gray water (sinks and showers) and redirect that water to flush our toilets; building design and orientation to take advantage of the natural heating and cooling effects in a particular location; construct living environments utilizing innovative construction materials that may come from recycled or renewable sources that also offer a tremendous R-factor.

A one-two punch in not only saving our limited building material resources, but also less requirement from fossil fuels and the like, to heat and cool our homes everyday.

ListedGreen strives to make a difference in educating the general public about what makes a home truly “green” and helping bring an elevated increased value to these exciting energy efficiency improvements, to a level that they really deserve in the real estate marketplace today and in the years to come.

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Black Homeowners Guide To Going Green and Saving Greenbacks!

We'll have to wean Ourselves from wasting things, By thinking more efficiently we can save money effectively Yes, that's the key to thinking green. – Primm

What does it mean to go green? Without you live on the planet Mars you hear it everywhere. On the news, on college campuses, from government officials, even in car commercials. I even heard a rap song about going green.

The Going Green Movement has spawned a whole new language with words like Greenhouse Gases, Closed Loop Recycling and everyone's favorite Global Warming. Plus a host of other terms too many to mention here.

What does it all mean? The Going Green movement, popularized by former Vice President Al Gore, is performing actions that work to save the environment. For example, recycling, using low-energy appliances, preserving water and a host of other actions people can take.

Yes, Eco- friendly homes are the new trend today, whether you're a home builder or a home buyer. Because it not only works to help save the planet but it's a dependent way to save money. The US government is even paying people who own homes to go greener in the form of tax breaks and tax credits.

In this week's newsletter I'll give you simple but effective tips to helping your house go green. But most important show not only how to go green but how to save some green … as in money.

Here are 5 Tips To Help Your Home Go Green and Save Some Green.

1. Install Low Energy Light Bulbs.

A quick and easy way to start turning your home green and saving the green is by installing energy efficient light bulbs in your home.

Energy efficient light bulbs technical name is Compact Fluorescent lights or CFL's for short. These light bulbs use one-third the electrical energy of old fashion incandescent light bulbs. In addition, they can last up to 10 times longer. This is instant money savings. Can you say Ka-ching?

2. Trade Thirsty Plants and Landscaping for Drought or Low Maintenance Plants.

Low maintenance plants and landscaping will not only save your home energy cost; it can also save your energy.

Imaging having beautiful landscaping without the hassle of watering, weeding and pampering it on your precious days off. All it takes is a little thought and a little planning.

For example, use plants that are native to your area of ​​the country. Why? Because they're easier to grow and maintain – plus they'll use less water.

Pick landscaping that adapts with the climate and soil conditions in your area. The best way to do this is to consult with your local nurseries.

3. Use More Natural Products to Decorate Your Home Instead of Manufactured Products.

When decorating your home think water saving shower heads, toilets and faucets.

When decorating think natural woods like bamboo, teak and other woods that grow fast.

For example, think African Decor. Because many of the woods used come from trees that grow fast and plentiful.

4. Let Your Uncle Sam Pay You To Go Green.

You can receive Home Energy Efficiency Improvement Tax Credits. According to the US Department of Energy, consumers who purchase and install specific products, such as energy-efficient windows, insulation, doors, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment in the home can receive a tax credit of up to $ 500 beginning in January 2006 .

The EPACT (The Energy Policy Act of 2005).

This federal law provides a credit equivalent to 30% of qualifying expenses. For purchase of qualified photo voltaic property and for solar water heating property used exclusively for purposes other than heating swimming pools and hot tubs.

The credit will not exceed $ 2000.

Improvements must be installed in or on the taxpayer's principal residence in the United States. Home improvement tax credits apply for improvements made between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2007. -US Department of Energy

5. Decorate With More Plants Instead of Plastics.

EPA studies confirm indoor air pollution impacts more people than outdoor pollutions. Because of low air circulation indoors and the number of manufactured products such as plastics, glues and paint located inside homes, indoor air pollutants continue as a growing threat. Especially to the many African Americans who suffer from respiratory ailments such as asthma, sinus problems and other allergies.

Natural plants not only work to beautify your decor they also proved to fight indoor air pollutants. Certain plants help to clear pollutants such as dust, chemicals and allergens from the air. For more details on this subject Click Here! []

Yes, thinking green can save you green in and around your home. I encourage you to continue to educate yourself on how you can think green. It's easy once you start the habit of thinking green. You'll suddenly see how you're saving money, saving your time and saving the environment so our children can enjoy it too.

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Living Green While Getting Your Home Clean

Okay, so you've heard about global warming, the importance of recycling and a lot of talk about organic food. You get the idea that going green is the wave of the future but are not sure how you fit in. By making simple changes you will not only help the environment but you'll save your family and pets from toxic chemicals that are present in regular household cleaning products.

Whether you know it or not there are many products on the market that are extremely harmful to your health and that of your family and pets. These can cause many irritations to the skin, eyes and nose. Not to mention, these chemicals linger for days and weeks after you are finished using them. You wind up creating a little chemical mixture in your own home that you're breathing in all the time. This is in part due to cleaning products but also the paintings we use on our walls, varnishes on our furniture and the formaldehydes and glues in our carpet.

There is hope! New products are revolutionizing the way you clean and live in your home. These days you can buy an eco-friendly home and install anything from flooring to window treatments that are better for both you and the environment. Yes, these options are a bit more expensive but well worth it in the long run. You can not put a price on your own health and that of your family. There are also wide ranges of fun cleaning products that smell great, are non-toxic, biodegradable and will not hurt our precious earth. These ingredients do not include the harsh chemicals, that regular products have such bleach nor do they contain sulfates or petroleum-based contents, rather they have plant-based ingredients. Why is this important? Well, let's not forget that petrol is a non-renewable resource that is quickly being depleted. Sulfates cause an overgrowth of algae in our waters and kill off fish everyday. We can do something about this!

All of these next generation products are also usually made from recyclable plastics and are recyclable themselves. They can also be reused for your other homemade cleaning concoctions such as vinegar, or water while using baking soda.

There are many new companies providing products at the moment, you might have seen some recently on Oprah. Such companies are Method Products, Seventh Generation, Shaklee, and Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day. Of all of these products I can personally attest to using Method brand products. A girlfriend got me to try their liquid dishwashing soap and I was hooked! I soon explored their mint window wash for glass and windows as well as their all purpose cleaner in such great scents as cucumber, lavender and pink grapefruit. Who would not want to clean with these fun-smelling products ?! What I started to realize was that while I was making a difference to our planet, I actually looked forward to cleaning with these great solutions because they smelled so wonderful AND they cleaned phenomenally well to boot! For those of you who prefer fragrance-free they also offer a line called “naked” that does not have any scent at all.

They sell their products conveniently online and in your local Target stores and some drug stores carry a range of their products also. Easy to find, Easy to use and Easy on your skin, eyes and nose. So safe you do not even need to use gloves to protect your hands! Their wide range of offers include soy-based candles, oil diffusers, dish washing liquid, dishwasher cubes, laundry detergent and fabric softener to all purpose cleaners, tub and tile sprays and they now even include body wash and hand soaps! They have a product to match every regular product on the grocery store shelves including micro fiber cloths, which eliminates the need for paper towel waste and provide a streak-free shine! Do you have a specialty surface like granite or stainless steel? They ave you covered there too!

Check out their website today to see why Method Products are the # 1 selling eco-friendly cleaning products and why everyone is talking about them!

** Note: Method does not compensate me for my articles and promotion, this is strictly personal preference based on great results by both myself and other Method users. I highlyly enjoy promoting their products to educate others to make the right choices for both themselves and their environment.

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Green Development – Get in on the Ground Floor!

Green Development is a relatively new concept that relations on the promise of conservation energy and utilizing it efficiently. Through improved siting, design, construction and maintenance, Green Development enhances the efficiency of materials and ensures their optimal use.

The concept of Green Development should be inculcated with sustainable development to ensure benefits like increased productivity, reduced operating costs, improved indoor air quality, as well as less water runoff and heat island effect. The practice of Green Development does not imply that the resulting structure will lack in appearance and style. Green Developments can be equally elegant structures having the desirable ecological benefits. This sort of a construction concept is necessary for environmental conversation and is regulated by standards created by the US Green Building Council.

Green Development aims to construct structures with minimal impact to the environment. The key is to ensure that the materials used in the construction are green indicating that they are local, non-toxic and naturally renewable. Examples include bamboo, oak, straw, stone etc. Other Green Development construction techniques entail the inclusion of large windows for ample sunshine to enter thus, reducing the dependence on electricity; thermal mass that can heat and cool the building during different seasons; energy efficient machinery like refrigerators, stoves and ground source heat pumps; and insulation to prevent energy loss. It is also important to ensure proper waste disposal mechanism. A major factor that can significantly benefit the environment is the use of renewable energy sources like wind energy, hydro energy and solar energy.

The increasing popularity of the Green Development concept has led many countries to establish standards. The pioneers are the US Green Building Council; other bodies include UK's Code for Sustainable Homes, Canada's EnerGuide for Houses, Switzerland's Minergie, Australia's House Energy Rating and others. These countries are actively pursuing environmental friendly Green Development techniques to promote environmental health and sustenance. Some of the renovated Green Builders are Walter Segal, Steve Baer, ​​Rocky Mountain Institute, Ken Yeang and James Wines.

San Jose, California has presented an excellent example which reflects Green Development concepts. Due to the unpracted growth and economic development of San Jose in 1960s and 1970s, there is a need to meet the growing urban demands. The answer was Santana Row which is a San Jose shopping center consisting of several chic brand retailers like Gucci, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Crate and Barrel, Borders etc. Santana Row is the formulation of the shopping, dining and living dream; it boasts of 680,000 square feet of retail space; 1,200 luxury rental units including town houses, lofts, and flats; a 214- room hotel; a 12-screen entertainment cinema; 5,200 parking spaces; a pedestrian-friendly main street; public open space; plazas and courtyards. State-of-the-art facilities equipped with modern construction and amenities make Santana Row a much desirable spot for people from all walks of life. Santana Row efficiently utilized the available resources at hand to create a unique, successful and popular structure.
Santana Row has evolved as an outstanding creation that entails all facets of life within 43 acres of land. This very fact proves the competent use of limited land. Whatever the need may be, Santana Row provides the answer; it is the epitome of the one-stop concept to meet all needs.

Mixed use development is the name given to similar structures that are intended for many purposes like shopping, dining and living. Street Works is a team of professional developers, architects and planners who initiate concepts in urban locales and passionately take steps to materialize their concepts.

Street Works excels in identifying potential locations for a business opportunity and then taking appropriate steps to analyze, design and create a plan that would work with the requirements of the area. This gives birth to construction and development ideas that are relatively new. These include mixed use, residential, commercial as well as urban revitalization projects.

Street Works has been successful in identifying a few projects that can be potentially lucrative opportunities for the involved businesses. These include 620 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, Quincy in Massachusetts, Blue Black Square in Connecticut, Reston Town Center in Virginia and a few more. Street Works aspires to create the Santana Row phenomenon in each of these areas where retailers, restaurants, cinemas and builders will collectively provide an array of services and facilities to the residents and customers. Street works has arrived at these locations by conducting extensive market research and analysis. The importance of market research can not be stressed enough before the launch of any project. Potential impacts of the project should be carefully assessed before the idea starts taking shape. In this manner, one can be prepared to handle the various difficulties, challenges and situations a project may present.

The increasing population and development presents an opportunity to take up similar projects and explore the possibilities. Land and other limited resources should be put to profitable use and then create an environmental friendly and convenient experience for all. Although a mixed use development project is a risky proposition, adequate research and study will help to choose areas that have the best opportunities of stimulating with mixed use development structures. The most popular choice for a mixed use development considering all elements tend to be the downtown area of ​​a city. Planners and developers have made several observations and predictions about the success and benefits of such structures; but please note all pros and cons, mixed use developments have immunity potential and promise to be the most visited and acclaimed places provided the areas that are built in are easily accessible and acceptable to the residents of the city.

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Reinventing Green Real Estate

It's all about ugly solar panels and cold houses, right? Turn down the heat! Put a sweater on! God, those solar panels are an eye-sore! Not any more. Green building has evolved into much more than simply slapping some solar panels on the roof of your house and calling it a day. It can include such basic concepts as: the proper orientation of your house, sealed air ducts, high efficiency windows, improved insulation, high efficiency HVAC, and tight construction.

Check out The US Green Building Council for more information. A comprehensive rating system called LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) has been developed which goal to provide a road map for delivering economically profitable, environmentally responsible, healthy, productive places to live and work. ”

Too late, I've already got a house

Not really, LEED provides a document called “16 Ways to Green your Home” which advises that you:

  • Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Program your thermostat
  • Plug air leaks
  • Tune up your HVAC system
  • Choose Energy Star appliances
  • Reduce water use
  • Switch to green power (could be as simple as calling your energy company and asking for wind power)
  • Buy local
  • Use low VOC products
  • Use wood-alternative or FSC-certified wood products
  • Use rapidly renewable flooring materials
  • Plant trees to provide shade and wind protection
  • Use native plants
  • Use non-toxic garden techniques
  • Carpool
  • Buy a high-efficiency car
  • While it's true that certain areas of the country are more open to the green building revolution than others, you can certainly see from this information that taking a step in the “green” direction is not overwhelming.

    So go ahead, give it a try.

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    Steel Buildings Go Green

    Steel Buildings – Green Applications

    Gone are the outdated corrugated metal buildings of the past. The new generation of pre engineered steel buildings are finding use in an ever growing variety of Green building projects. Steel buildings are leading the way in the Green building revolution, meeting Green building design goals with innovative building design, engineering and use of materials.

    Building Green

    Green building design, also known as “sustainable building” is coming of age as we recognize that global resources are limited and that climate change is inevitable – unless we take positive action now.

    Green building recognizes the environmental impact of buildings, their construction, life-cycle and ultimate demolition, and works to lessen this impact through

    * Energy efficiency

    * Environmentally sound building materials

    * Innovative building design

    * Healthy indoor environment

    Environmentally Friendly Pre-engineered Steel Buildings

    Pre-engineered steel buildings also known as prefabricated buildings or prefab metal buildings are an innovative building solution featuring solid steel I-beam building construction.

    * Pre-engineered buildings are designed and engineered by trained and certified structural metal building engineers to meet all local building codes for snow and wind load and seismic conditions.

    * Building components are engineered and fabricated to precise specifications using the highest grade commercial steel available.

    * Modern steel manufacturers employ energy efficient methods in steel production that help to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    * When a steel building is demolished to make way for new construction the metal building materials do not end up in a landfill like asphalt shingle, concrete, brick and wood. The steel is recycled instead.

    * Steel can be recycled over and over again without loss of the quality of the steel.

    * More steel is recycled than all other recyclable materials combined.

    Cool Coatings Get Cool Energy Credit

    “Cool” coatings are special siliconized polyester paints with superior reflective qualities. “Cool” coatings applied to metal buildings act as a thermal barrier to keep the insides of metal buildings cool in summer. This means that buildings covered with “cool” coatings use less energy, making steel buildings more energy efficient. The use of “cool” coatings saves money and the environment through reduced energy costs over the life of the building and can even qualify for Federal tax credits.

    Urban Heat Islands: Cool Roofs Bring Relief

    Savvy builders are taking advantage of the fact that metal building roofs reflect light and heat keeping buildings cooler in hot weather. Plus, metal building roofs do not store heat and radiate it back at night like other types of roofs. This saves energy in cooling costs and helps save the environment by lessening the urban “heat island” effect. An “urban heat island” occurs when urban concrete and asphalt construction absorbs heat during the day then radiates it back at night so that temperatures do not fall at night as they normally would, and is a powerful contributor to climate change and global warming.

    In places like California, Texas and Florida, commercial building construction is taking advantage of the “cool” properties of metal roofs for commercial buildings such as warehouses, industrial manufacturing plants, aircraft hangars, storage buildings, retail outlet stores, auto dealerships, strip malls and more.

    Metal building roofs also work to save energy and the environment in cooler climates. A painted metal roof not only reflects heat in summer, but also keeps heat inside the building on cool days, saving on heating costs and keeping the indoor environment healthy and comfortable in both summer and winter. New metal building roofs qualify for Federal tax credits.

    Steel Buildings: Cost Effective, Energy Efficient and Green

    * Do not require cutting down valuable forests.

    * Are manufactured with a high proportion of recycled content.

    * Employ sustainable building design and construction and erect in less time than conventional building construction.

    * Fire and rust resistant and steel buildings are essentially maintenance free.

    * By their very nature steel buildings are durable, cost-effective, energy efficient and green.

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    The Rise In Green Building Trends Today

    The green building trend that has taken hold across the US in the past few years, and is surprisingly evolving toward a whole new level. Whereas before when there were only a few green real estate developments, today this trend in sustainable development has expanded to whole communities and neighborhoods as well.

    The west coast city of Portland has been well known as an urban-design innovator, particularly for its transit-oriented developments, and is noted to be among the pioneers of green building and design.

    Single-Family Home Builders Are Now Joining The Trend

    The basic tenets behind green building- energy and water-efficient buildings that have features that stress the natural over the chemical, the recycled over the new and the renewable over the finite- have now become firmly mainstream.

    According to environmental and real estate consultants, big developers today are slow to move, but they still see a using eco-friendly designs and materials green building. Even in the suburbs, which are home to large-scale builders of single-family homes, there is a lot more consumer interest swelling. In a McGraw-Hill Construction survey done in March of 2006, it predicted that green building would reach a “tipping point” in 2007 and that two-thirds of US builders would be constructing greener homes.

    Why Home Builders See The Need To Go Green

    Home builders and real estate developers and are not simply riding the green building trend purely out of a sense that it's the right thing to do. The housing and development industry knows that they can not afford to be left behind. By 2007, it is expected that at least 6% of the nation's non-residential construction, which represents a $ 15 billion slice of the industry, will be green, according to green-building experts, as six years ago it was less than 1% . More real estate developers are finding that using green technologies and construction materials adds no more than 1% -2% to total costs, which area easily recovered through energy savings.

    Offering Incentives For Developers To Go Green

    At present, the federal government, 15 states and 46 cities now require new public buildings to fully comply with the US Green Building Council's LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), that requires the use of non-toxic building materials, among others things.

    Four states and 17 cities now offer incentives for LEED-rated private buildings. The Green Building Council has certified nearly 550 buildings across the country since 2002, and recent real estate developments have adopted eco-friendly standards by creating greener multi-structure projects, such as South Waterfront in Portland, Oregon. The Green Building Council is also working on creating LEED standards for single-family homes as well.

    The corporate world was the first to see the value of going green that is way beyond energy savings. Businesses and companies now notice less absenteeism among workers, less time lost to asthma, allergies and other illnesses aggravated by mold, stale air and chemicals found in many conventional buildings.

    However, to large corporations like Ford, Bank of America, Target, Toyota, Honda, Starbucks, Adobe and others, going green was also about image-building as well as cleaning the environment and cutting costs. Many corporate people know are aware that aside from image-building, the products they make should also be green, along with their manufacturing processes and factories as well. – Real Estate PR

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    Three Practical Solutions To Stop Florida’s Green Sustainable Housing From Free Falling

    There are three, interdependent challenges to Florida housing providers: a) Safety; b) Affordability; and c) Energy efficiency.

    If we can not find a way to address all three challenges at the same time, we're likely to complicate solutions for two of them while we focus only on the third. For instance: We can make houses super-safe and super-energy-efficient while driving costs beyond the abilities of most people to pay.

    We can make houses cheap enough for most people to own by taking short cuts on safety and energy efficiency. But making homes that are safe and energy efficient and also within the reach of most citizens requires addressing the ways these challenges are connected.

    Green building requires green community planning. As important as our innovative approach is, we can not address the larger carbon footprint / climate change issues through housing technology alone – no more than we can address the problem through automobile technology alone.

    Going Off The Grid

    Creating off-the-grid, energy-efficient housing in “greenfield” suburbs and rural enclaves will still require each adult in the family to commute to separate daily needs in separate automobiles, canceling out many of the energy gains. Over the last 30 years, the number of miles

    Americans drive has grown three times faster than the population and almost twice as fast vehicle registrations. Spread-out development-sprawl is the main reason for that.

    Research suggests that people who move into compact, walk-capable neighborhoods are making as big a contribution to fighting global warming as those who buy hybrid vehicles but remain tied to car-dependent lifestyles. We need to make living in more dynamic configurations appealing.

    Practical Can not Be Ugly

    To succeed, green community planning needs housing alternatives that are not only practical-safe and energy efficient-but also beautiful. Neighbors have to be willing to welcome these new additions to their communities. Even if they can not explain why, neighbors must immediately associate these new house designs with expected regional vernacular, and they must immediately sense quality in the choice of materials and construction approaches.

    Affordable Can not Be Cheap

    The trouble is, quality design and construction costs more than inferior design and construction. Factory-built housing approaches can help deliver higher quality at manageable price points. But up until now, the manufactured home industry has focused on using systems building technology to reduce prices and not to raise design and construction quality. The result is factory-built housing's image as the last resort for home ownership.

    Many communities, including those in hurricane zones along the Gulf Coast, have zoned manufactured homes out of existing neighborhoods for fear of lower surrounding property values.

    In conclusion, our new mission is to re-invent a whole category of manufactured housing that delivers optimum safety, energy efficiency, and curb appealing – while making the most of cost-saving advantages inherent in factory building.

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    Build and Renovate Environmentally

    If you are about to buy or build a house make sure it is environmentally sound. It will make a difference to you. You will be much more comfortable in a house that is working to help the environment rather than being against it. It can be cooler in summer and warmer in winter without any additional use of electricity.

    If time allows go to look at the house you are about to spend hard earned money at at the worst possible time. Go on a hot and windy day or when it is freezing cold. Go in the rain when the sky is dark or in the late afternoon. Do not let yourself be seduced by a spring day or lovely autumn weather that will make the house seem perfect. It may not be on the wrong day. See past the flowers and the smell of coffee if the house is being tarted up to receive you by an estate agent. Check which way way is facing, where the windows are and smell the drains.

    If you are renovating an existing house you probably already know its faults. Renovating the right way may fix some of them. If you are planning to build a house you can make a perfect plan on the drawing board and stick to it. Creating an environmentally friendly house is getting easier. Councils are being forced to look at buildings in a different way.

    Begin by making a list of all the things you would like to have in your home such as how many rooms. Bedrooms, living spaces, at-home offices, kitchens, bathrooms, verandahs and patios. There could be more than one kitchen if you include an outside kitchen / barbecue. Then add all the subsidiary things you want such as picture windows, heated floors, pantries, built in wardrobes and book cases etc. When you are sure that you have included everything you want then show it to a builder who understands and has already built eco-housing.

    You can get a list of such people from the Housing Industry Association. A suitable builder will talk you through your ideas and tell you if they are possible before anyone sets down to make a plan.
    You may be suggesting a very expensive house but good design is not expensive if simple construction is understood and carried out. Any extra expenditure on design features and appliances will be promptly repaid by the saving in energy bills and maintenance. Australian families spend 40% of energy costs on heating and cooling their homes. If all this is part of the house it just contributions comfort without fuss as a background accessory to the life of the house.
    To some people a house is only four walls and a roof. It uses x amount of energy and emits x amount of waste over its lifetime.

    But a house can be looked at as a living organism. Water can be accessed from the sky to a tank big enough to service the whole house. Proper insulation of ceilings, walls and floors will help produce an even temperature throughout the year. Strategic vents can extract heat by wind power. Australia has enough sunshine to provide solar power to the house with sufficient left over to feed back into the system ina sort of banking system. Waste water can be recycled for the gardens. Cross ventilation was once considered imperitive for Australian homes but now many large homes are being built on American and English patterns that have no cross ventilation. Bring it back so that in summer your house catches every breeze that blows. Site your house to face north with wide eaves or covered verandahs that will let the sunshine in when the sun is low in winter and exclude it in the summer.

    It is completely possible to live in eco housing that will give you year round comfort and the cheapest energy bills in your street and suburb. Make your garden part of the scheme. Plant wind breaks where necessary. Grow your own vegetables and plant deciduous trees for shade in summer and sunshine through the bare boughs of winter. Fruit trees for instance. It is all simple and possible.

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    The Basics of Buying a Green Home

    Is there a Green Mortgage?

    Yes! Unfortunately, only 3 lenders currently offer this new kind of loan, with less than 25% of mortgage brokers aware that green mortgages even exist. The borrower will not have to pay for this new incentive, as the lenders are starting to offer more competitive rates. Title companies are starting to offer a donation on settlement statements to environmentally friendly organizations. Green mortgages are becoming a new trend as our world becomes more aware of its changing environment.

    Finding a Green Home

    Where can you find a brand new Green Home? Simply take a look around Western North Carolina. It has everything from green built real estate developments to energy efficient condos in downtown Asheville. There are also eco-friendly real estate developments outside of Asheville in small towns like Black Mountain, Marshall and Leicester, NC.

    Or, if trying to stay locally in your area, ask your real estate agent for information on green builders.

    Green houses incorporated intelligent design, the latest green technology, construction and maintenance elements to help drastically reduce the negative impact on the environment and improve the living conditions on the inside of the home. Less allergies, asthma and mold problems. The options are limitless!

    Reaping the Rewards

    Owning a Green Home can certainly be rewarding in the long run.

    Check out Energy Star for more information about keeping your home green. Their many tips point out which energy is being wasted and where and how to avoid it. The on line site offers great advice on how to live green and how to continue to build green.

    Also, the government offers great incentives and rebates for green homeowners. Did we mention Tax Breaks? Even utility companies now offer Wind Power to make an even smaller environmental footprint.

    We can all make a difference one home at a time.

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    Green Building – The Challenges Towards Widespread Acceptance By Home Builders

    Energy savings, higher productivity and less waste. These are but a few of the many attributes towards implementing green building concepts and practices. These days, because of programs like the US Green Building Council's landmark LEED rating system for buildings, the ideas and concepts of green building have now entered the mainstream.

    Currently, sustainable development analyzes have noted that there are around 500 million square feet of green buildings under design, development, and implementation, and there has been a lot of success in LEED applications in different industries and sectors.

    The Challenges Toward Widespread Acceptance of Green Building Ideas

    Despite the rising acceptance in the concepts of sustainable building, there still remains a large challenge towards widespread acceptance and long-term practice, and constantly the growing awareness in sustainable practices, green products, and high-performance technologies in building design and construction, many worry that there continues to be a lack of accurate, thorough, and quantifiable information regarding the financial and economic impacts of high-performance buildings within the construction and home building industry. In addition, there are also hurdles when it comes to the perception of cost, which has become a stumbling block in the quicker acceptance of green building concepts.

    According to some sustainable development purveyors, there's a consistent disconnect between capital costs and operating costs, as for instance, a building owner knows there is a return on investment of 40 percent going into a green building, as the investments are taken from capital; however, the year-to-year, the operating budget is not linked, and that poses a real stumbling block. For the past years, many entities have discussed and analyzed what it actually costs to build green and the ultimate value that results from structuring an environmentally responsible, high-performing facility in opportunities of convicting the facilities industry to rethink construction budgeting and financing.

    The Attributes Of Green Building Designs

    Home builders and developers who have embroidered the concepts of eco-friendly building, say that the four attributes of green building design, which are increased ventilation control, enhanced temperature control, enhanced lighting control, and increased daylighting, have been clearly and significantly correlated with increased levels in productivity.

    Many note that indoor air quality also has been linked to potential productivity and health gains in workplaces and educational facilities, which helps to explain that the greatest benefits of green building come in the form of benefits to the occupants. The other financial benefits of green buildings are more than 10 times the average initial investment required to design and construct a green building. Construction industry insiders say that for energy savings alone, these exceeded the average increased cost associated with going green, and the benefits and savings mark the true value of sustainable construction.

    In these times where cost-efficiency, productivity and concern for the environment need to go hand in hand, home builders and property developers have a choice between a building designed to be healthy and efficient or one that is not. According to experts, with a 50-year life-cycle investment, green buildings are increasing at a rate of around 40 to 50 percent each year, and as global energy costs also soar up, the risks of simply doing conventional design are increasing, as well as the risk of going obsoleste has fast become a large phenomenon too. – Real Estate Press

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    Getting Green With Bamboo

    What is all this fuss about being green? If your social conscience is pricking and you want to feel virtuously green, have you thought of utilizing bamboo? You can build a shed with it, eat it, sleep in it, walk it on, wear it, or grow it as a tree or bush to make more oxygen for the planet! Now that is being green!

    Bamboo is so fast growing it could be the most 'sustainable' and natural commodity on the planet! On the question of it being replaceable, well some bamboos can grow as much as one meter in one day which is 1.5-2.0 inches per hour (under special accelerated conditions).

    Even under natural growth conditions, a large full-sized bamboo tree could grow in six years, as opposed to sixty years for an average North American tree. This is a very high yield; in fact bamboo has been labeled the fastest growing renewable resource on the planet.

    With all this growth, bamboo can be exploited without guilt, but in the West we have not, so far, found many uses for bamboo. All this is changing with the sunset of the green outlook; in Asia, bamboo has been used for almost everything.

    For centuries, Asians have used bamboo to make houses, to form single span bridges and to build scaffolding for high rise buildings; they have been making hard wood-effect floors with it, making towels and sheets with it, eating from it and even eating it (bamboo shoots). How versatile is that?

    Strangely, to date, we do not seem to revere it so much over in the West. It has traditionally been used in North America for outdoor furniture, outdoor fencing, musical instruments and baskets. Recently we have seen fabric made from bamboo and with the call for sustainable living getting louder, bamboo is proving to be a 'must-have' commodity in North America.

    If you are having a new home built and want to subscribe to the sustainable living ideas, there are many bamboo products that you can order from your builder. For instance, bamboo flooring, furniture, drapes, mats and food containers are all available in USA.

    Bamboo flooring appears just as if it is a hardwood floor. Like wood, it can be used in the bathroom as it is suitable for radiant heat floors. According to the National Hardwood Flooring Association bamboo flooring is 10% harder than red oak hardwood flooring. It usually has a tongued and grooved finish which produces a smooth sheen to the floor.

    Another use of bamboo that is gaining more popularity is as its use for fabrics for drapes and clothes. It is a breathable fabric and is very soft. For clothes, bamboo can take up to four times more moisture absorption than cotton, although this is not useful for drapes. Sheers in bamboo can be bought, they are available in several shades and have a soft look and feel that is unique to bamboo.

    Bamboo can be bought and raised successfully in North America, even in most climates of the west coast, including the damp ones, (hello Seattle!)

    You can mail order or email order from photos illustrated on the web site of a bamboo nursery in Chilliwack BC This company offers delivery and they quote actual temperatures that their plants can withstand. Some of the temperatures that Japanese bamboo can live through are well down in the sub-zeros.

    Bamboos start from tiny house plants to bushhes in one gallon tubs and on up to seven gallon tubs. Bamboos would be a great tree to choose for a new home, or for a newly landscaped garden, as they can grow to full size within 6 years, unlike most of the trees of the North West which take ten times longer.

    Some trees can be bought which sport the massive bamboo stems that we associate with the look of bamboo, and some just bush out voluminously almost hiding all their branches. You can choose from brown, green or golden stems and leaves come in green or variegated colors including yellow, orange, green and white or thinly striped.

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    Consumer Attitudes About Green Building

    Consumer interest in green building exploded in 2007, and it's still growing. Thanks to extensive media coverage, an increasing number of consumers are becoming familiar with sustainability and green building. Newspapers warn about climate change and soaring gas prices. Retail giants like Wal-Mart have adopted sustainable practices and opened green stores. Hollywood has jumped on the green bandwagon, incorporating green practices in its 2008 Oscars. Home and garden television shows offer a steady stream
    of shows promoting green living.

    As the media pushes green building into the mainstream, consumers are becoming more attuned to the benefits of green homes. Homebuilders have an opportunity to meet consumer demand by adopting practices that improve the energy efficiency, durability, and indoor air quality of homes. It's important to know the variety of consumer attitudes about green building in order to respond to the changing market.

    Consumer uncertainty: Is green building more hype than reality?

    Some consumers are skeptics and wonder about the hype surrounding green building. They may acknowledge that green is an effective marketing strategy, but they question companies' motives for advertising a product or home as green. Many of these consumers are cautious of greenwashing, a tactic that companies use to mislead consumers into thinking their products or practices are green when they're actually not. Homebuilders must be able to prove to these consumers that they're homes are legitimately green.

    Consumer profile: Who buys green homes?

    People who buy green homes can not easily be lumped into one category. They buy for different reasons. A family may find a green home appealing because they want their kids to grow up in a healthy home without allergens and toxins. Empty-nesters may be attracted to the cheaper utility bills.

    For a growing number of consumers, green building is not a hard sell. These consumers have done their research; they're concerned about reducing their ecological footprint or impact on the environment. They understand that energy-efficient homes can alleviate global warming and soaring gas prices even more than hybrid cars can. In some cases, they're more knowledgeable than the homebuilder and can shop around for green features. Many others recognize the benefits of a green home, but their understanding is
    more basic.

    Consumer values: What are the benefits of green building?

    The key to selling green homes is to understand the values ​​that consumers hold and what motivates them to buy green products. In other words, the best way to market green building is to educate homebuyers on its benefits. Realize that sustainability and environmental benefits will not resonate with everyone. However, if you frame the benefits of green homes in terms of indoor air quality, comfort, and economy, you're more likely to convince buyers that green homes have a direct impact on their health, happiness, and quality of life. Avoid using the volcanic of the builder- “energy recovery ventilators” means little to most buyers, but lower utility bills and fresher indoor air make a whole lot of sense. The more relevant you make green building to consumers, the more they'll recognize its value.

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    Green Homes – Save Money In The Long Run

    More and more companies are beginning to see the benefits of having energy efficient buildings and physical plants. Cleaner, more efficient office buildings and work spaces not only help the environment but also save the company money. One organization helps the companies to realize the benefits of greener building.

    The Green Building and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating systems were developed and implemented by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). This nonprofit organization's stated purpose is to support and advance buildings that are environmentally friendly and also profitable and healthy for its inhabants. This system grades existing buildings on their capacity for sustainable operations.

    LEED is awarded to buildings that have been planned, developed and built to be high-performance, environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. Leed charlotte has rated many buildings as environmental friendly. LEED is an environmental performance benchmark used by many developers in comparing their buildings relative to others.

    More than 5,500 companies and organizations are members of this council, which had certified more than 200 million sq. ft. of commercial space as LEED certified. Companies that are certified by USGBC are then able to flaunt their environmental stewardship, and also will save money in the long run for having built cleaner operating, more energy efficient buildings.

    Green houses incorporates smart design, technology, construction and maintenance elements to significantly reduce the negative impact of the home on the environment and improve the health of the people who live inside. No matter your location or living situation, the opportunities for living a greener life at home are restricted only by your imagination.

    Turning your home into a greener place is a commitment you make, not just to yourself and your family, but to your community and the world. Moreover, it is also a learning process. Keeping abreast of new developments and scientific breakthroughs in technologies and products for green homes will ensure that you obtain the most benefit out of your efforts.

    Less water, energy and natural resources are used in a green home where there is less of waste. It is healthier for those people who live in a green home as compared to those living in a standard home. While constructing a home it can be made green or can be converted green later on. The green process can be done at one time or can be made as a continuing process. The home can be made green from front to back, top to bottom, inside and outside and an energy efficient kitchen. A person can be guided as there are several green developers.

    The benefits of staying in a green home are numerous. Eco-friendly homes are better for your health, sturdier, and affordable. In addition, people can qualify for rebates, tax breaks and other incentives from the government, utility companies and other nationwide sources when they choose to live in a more eco-friendly manner.

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    What’s In Store For Home Developers & Builders Who Go Green?

    With the talk of global warming and climate change dominating headlines these days, many industries, including the real estate sector, are contemplating on finding ways to reduce waste, pollution and improve profits at the same time.

    The home building industry now has totally bought into the idea of ​​green building, and a lot of reasons are in store for why they are rerouting themselves in this direction.

    How Fast Should Building Green Go For The Real Estate Industry?

    The major question these days is that, how quickly should the industry adapt the concepts of “building green”, and when would it become the norm for all home developer decisions?

    Since 2007, the industry has seen a 70% rise in total LEED registered and certified home building projects, on top of more than 50% cumulative growth in 2006. The reason is that, there have been major events or developments in the past two years , among them are the outpouring of concern over carbon dioxide emissions from energy use of all kinds, Al Gore's Nobel Peace Price for An Inconvenient Truth, and the effects made by Hurricane Katrina and its exposure of the vulnerability of a major American city to natural forces .

    With these events in mind, much of the public today is demanding action on climate change, in ways both small and significant. Because most major US businesses still know how to listen to the consumer, it realizes that a large part of its future success would certainly come from reducing its carbon footprint, through initiating energy conservation programs and greening new buildings.

    Potential Benefits For Home Builders Who Go Green

    For home developers who would embrace the concepts of green building, there are a lot of potential benefits that would await them. Among the positive aspects of going green are:

    – The Demand is Present.

    Many commercial office seats are realizing the business case for productivity and health in LEED-certified buildings, and are looking at options that offer superior daylighting and indoor air quality. A previous survey on businesses found out that the levels of employee satisfaction with their working conditions showed greater increases when they are working in more energy-efficient and greener workplaces, than on non-certified workplaces. In the public sector, the demand is also growing, as one agency after another makes a commitment to LEED-certify all future public buildings.

    – More Savings On Energy

    This idea has gone from being a “good one” to a necessity for many businesses. It's not simply because energy conservation has a positive life-cycle cost impact, but also that it offers a direct reduction in a firm or corporation's total “carbon footprint.” A number of researchers have indicated that energy conservation not only also offers a positive way to save and make more money, but that it's also the most cost-effective way to lower society's carbon dioxide output, and only requires an ability to finance the investment, and will not need to buy new technology.

    – Green Building Shows A Visible Sense Of Corporate Social Responsibility

    Corporate America these days is desperate for getting good people. Going green helps improve a businesses reputation, and will help in them hiring the good types of people to work for them, especially the younger ones aged 24 to 45. If a company can not attract and keep these people by conforming their business practices to their values, then it would be quite hard for the firm to prosper. Green building represents a visible and more positive affirmation of the values ​​of sustainability and social responsibility, and is an indicator of what companies' need to make to get and keep good people.

    Going Green Helps Increase Property Values.

    A study released in October by the University of San Diego, revealed that in the 2,000 large office buildings in the CoStar® database of commercial properties, the ones that had Energy Star-rated office buildings, which are those in the top 25 percent of energy performance, have had 2% higher occupancy levels, as well as $ 2 per square foot greater rents. In addition, Energy Star buildings as of 2006 sold at a 30% premium in dollars per square foot, as compared to non-Energy Star-rated buildings. This shows that green buildings are more valuable, and will continue to be become more valuable with each year. – Real Estate PR

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