How to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly?

“Green” is actually the buzzword at present. Unlike a few years back, today people have really become a lot more conscious about the impact that they leave on environment. There are many popular production companies that are focusing on creating eco-friendly products. Along with the efforts of big companies, the general public is also ready to take the responsibility of making the planet a safe place to live. People are looking for different ways to make their home eco-friendly.

The very first step to go green is the simplest of all and emphasizes on saving wherever possible. This implications cutting back on usage of things, like electricity and water. You can conserve energy by using energy-efficient LED lights, disconnecting the phone chargers and switching off the lights if they are not being used. It is also important to buy domestic appliances that can offer high energy efficiency. Simple actions as such are not only economic but also quite potent to protect the environment.

For any property to be considered as green or eco-friendly, it must have minimum impact on environment by making use of resources which the environment offers. Things like wind and sunlight are one of the most important sources of energy which would never get exhausted. Thus, a good amount of research is being done on how to use these elements in different ways. To lower down the utility bills, installing solar panels and wind turbine generators are already gaining popularity.

Being an environment friendly home buyer, you must thoroughly consider the size, as well as location, of your new house. Choose a location where your home would have the least harmful impact on environment. Usually, it is considered better if you build up rather than expanding on ground. Beside, the design of the house also plays a significant role in making a property green. It is advisable to get all the windows strategically installed, so that maximum natural light and heat can enter into the house. For hot water, solar panels can be used which are a popular means to generate energy. Likewise, when it comes to materials and technologies to be used in a house, the options that you can have to go green are endless. The materials used must be easily reusable, renewable and recycled.

Use of sustainable products, like bamboo and other recyclable products for flooring, makes an excellent choice. Landscaping with native plants is also a good option to reduce the requirement for fertilizing and watering. Beside, it is also viable to look for homes that are created with low quality paint products. Products that contain toxins, chemicals and off-gassing are not only harmful for the environment but also for your health. Especially people, who are seriously sensitive to such chemicals, must avoid buying houses painted with highly dangerous paint materials. These small configurations can significantly reduce your energy bills, decrease water usage, bring down your building's total carbon footprint and improve the air quality inside your house.

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Green Up Your Workplace and Save the Environment

Going green refers to an approach towards the environment and focusses on the sound use of natural resources and preservation of natural elements. Even in the everyday life, people can do their bit towards saving the environment through some simple activities, like turning off the lights when not being used, using recyclable paper bags rather than the plastic ones and many more. While, for environmentalists going green may be a campaign, it has copious tangible benefits for average citizens as well. Apart from being implemented in homes, the approach of going green can also do wonders when applied in an office setting.

Creating a soothing and environmentally sound office can drastically boost up the appeal of a company, leaving a good impression on both your employees as well as clients. Due to the growing environment concerns, a lot of people support the “green movement”. A green workplace can help in gaining the approval and confidence of individuals supporting this cause. Another benefit of creating a greener office space is that it helps in reducing the company's expenses by improving efficiency, through the use of natural energy resources. Using the natural lighting, using recyclable paper, turning off computer monitors when not in use etc, are some of the things that could lead to expenditure reduction.

Such as these, there are several green practices that can be implemented to make an office space eco-friendly. Improving a building's efficiency calls for judicious use of the energy-consuming appliances, water and lighting. Talking about appliances, well today most of them, such as computer monitors, televisions, air-conditioning units etc, have energy-saving features which automatically shut them off if not used by anyone for a particular time period. By upgrading your older appliances and opting for the new ones that are available today, you can save a great amount of energy. If you do not want to purchase new machines, then the best way to save energy is by turning off the appliances when they are not being used.

Beside, lighting is also one of the most crucial elements in an office space. If you aim to have a green office space, then it is advisable to use CFL bulbs rather than ordinary light bulbs, as they are more energy-efficient and can save a great deal of your money. If your office is outfitted with large windows, then you can use the natural lighting as well. Using natural light, along with the artificial light can provide you right intensity to work, while decreasing the energy consumption at the same time. Apart from the lighting, you can also improve the water efficiency at your workplace by using low-flow toilets, water-less urinals and auto shut-off taps for sinks. Although these upgrades do have high initial costs, but in the long time this action would be financially beneficial for your company by significantly reducing your water bill. So, go ahead and implement all the office changes mentioned above and head towards saving the environment.

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Go Green While Choosing an Office Space

Are you motivated to build an energy-efficient, eco-friendly and sustainable business? If yes, then finding an eco-friendly or green commercial office space must have your first step towards the goal. There are numerous sub factors which reveal the green status of a space. If you want to go green, then following are some of the most critical features that you should consider while choosing a new office space. Even if you are planning to have an office refurbished then make sure that your workplace has all these features.

* Natural light – Decreasing dependence on the artificial light implying increasing more on sun's natural light and using less electricity. This ever reduces your energy bills by helping you save a great deal of money. To maximize the effect of sunlight, you can choose reflective or light-colored office interiors.

* Windows – Today, most offices are outfitted with sealed windows, in order to easily control and monitor the climate inside. However, a more eco-friendly option is to have large windows, which can be shut shut in winters but opened during summers to decrease load on the air-conditioning units that use a good amount of energy. So, see to it that your new office does have large windows to welcome the sunlight.

* Proximity to the public transportation – If your employees take public transport to reach your office, then they can significantly reduce the overall impact that your company has on environment. Thus, as an employer, you should provide your employees with the easiest and most convenient way to arrive at the office ie via public transportation and not by their own conveyance.

* Insulation – Lack of proper insulation is one of the most common causes of energy wastage. So, another thing that you need to make sure while choosing an office space is that it does not lose heat easily. This applies even if your workspace is situated in an extremely cold climate. To know the total energy consumption of your office, you can seek services of power consumption evaluators, who would not only tell you how much total energy is consumed by your office but also suggest appropriate solutions. The best part is that usually these solutions are quite cost-effective.

* Solar panels – It is one of the most popular features of green offices. Solar panels can generate electricity in a natural way using the sunlight. There are several equipment in an office that require power to work, such as computers, servers, fax machines, printers, photocopiers etc. The presence of so many machines consumes more energy, leading to higher electricity bills. To cut back on these costs, installation of solar panels can work wonders. If you already have or are planning to look for a large commercial property, then you would probably have more space for installing them. On big properties, they can be installed on the roof, in the car parks, gardens, sheltered walkways and other spaces.

By having these features in your office space, you can successfully fulfill your responsibility towards the environment.

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Tips on How to Build Green Real Estate

Reducing the energy usage required for building or maintaining a house can help in substantially reducing the carbon footprint. Moreover, a green or environment friendly approach ensures greater physical comfort and tranquility. Irrespective of, whether you are purchasing a new house, remodeling the existing one or planning a new construction, a green lifestyle would not only make you more consider towards the environment but also save a great deal of your money. Given below are some useful tips on how green real estate can be built.

* Use of the recycled materials, non-toxic paint, formaldehyde-free insulation and energy-efficient construction techniques are just some of the methods to create an eco-friendly home.

* There are numerous ways in which you can harness the green energy. One popular way is installing highly energy-efficient appliances in your home.

* Passive cooling and heating techniques also make a great way to deflect or capture solar heat through intensive insulation, reflective roof or strategically placed ceiling fans. One can even opt for wind turbines to trim down the utility costs. The best part is that for people, who install wind turbines and solar panels, the government offers great support.

* Homeowners can even purchase environmentally safe products, like energy-efficient water heaters and light bulbs and flooring products made up of renewable materials, such as recyclable plastic, glass, cork, bamboo etc.

* For those, who have a garden or backyard, planting vegetables and herbs in this space is a nice way to enhance your property's green credentials. As you would know how much hard work has really gone into growing the food, you would not waste even a crumb of it.

* While building earth-friendly homes, the priority should be to think about the environment safety and using as many renewable resources as possible. Materials, like lightweight concrete, timber, straw etc, should be thoroughly investigated before bringing into use.

*ides, when it comes to styles in green homes, the choices are endless. You can go for traditional designs, rounded styles, organic designs, earthen homes and many others. Traditional home styles include contemporary, Victorian, ranch homes, bungalow and more. On the other hand, rounded homes are known for their hurricane resistant designs and are believed to keep the residents close to the environment. Earthen homes have a unique design. They are usually built either entirely underground or partly in the earth.

* To make sure your family stays in a cleaner and healthy home environment, you should buy and use only safe products, which are biodegradable and non toxic. Avoid using materials that contain ozone-depleting components, dyes, formaldehyde, heavy metals, solvent-based finishes, adhesives and other items, which discharge volatile chemicals in the air. It is advisable to always check that the appliances and other products that you purchase have green-rated labels on them.

Such as these, there is a plethora of ideas that can be implemented quite easily to build a greener home, without spending a fortune.

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Benefits of Green Real Estate for Homeowners

In the recent couple of years, the cost of electricity, gasoline and home heating has hiked at an alarming rate. Thus, most homeowners today are turning towards the copious benefits that come along with going green. If not for the environment, they aim at building a green home either to save money or add to the value of their homes. Green or eco-friendly real estate uses uses of things, like energy-efficient devices, alternative sources of energy and better insulation for conservation energy. Talking about green homes, which are known to have a skyrocketing popularity, well as the name suggests these are built using eco-friendly building materials. Sometimes, they are even such areas built inside the house which make it more energy-efficient. For instance, in order to maximize the insulating properties and conserve energy, these homes are built on the sides of hills.

Green properties are not only for the environmentally conscious people. Green real estate offers numerous practical benefits to every homeowner. For instance, if you use low-flow plumbing fittings and energy-efficient devices in your home, then you can literally save a lot on water and utility bills. Also, if you have an alternate source of energy, then you can substantively lower down your increasing energy bills. In the older homes, several appliances, which may be available since seventies or eighties, would probably be using a lot of electricity. By updating all such appliances with the modern energy-efficient ones, the homeowners can save a great deal of money. The initial costs are usually a deterrent, however as a homeowner would likely be staying in his house for several years, the costs of upgrading are outweighed by the long-term savings.

Beside, use of solar panels is also one of the various ways in which a homeowner can go green and enjoy advantages of the same. Those living in the high sun regions can benefit from numerous government programs, which subsidize your purchase and installation of the solar panels. Although the initial expenses for the solar panels may seem to be jaw-dropping, but in the long run, they can be very gainful for you. In fact, many homeowners run their house solely with the use of solar energy and pay nothing to utility companies.

Just like the solar panels, even the wind turbines act as a great asset for homeowners, especially for those who stay in the high wind areas. For domestic use, wind turbines are quite unobtrusive, small in size and sometimes a little ornamental to match with natural surroundings. These devices do not produce equivalent energy, as the solar panels; still they can make a huge difference in what a homeowner can save by using them. Going green is not a big expense. By simply making certain changes, like switching conventional incandescent bulbs with the CFL lights, opting for wooden flooring, planting lots of trees in the garden area etc, can significantly increase your savings as a homeowner. So, go ahead and enjoy the copious benefits of green real estate.

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Going Green – Latest Theme in the Real Estate World

Today, design schemes used by architects highly focus on strategies to make green homes. “Going green” – this seemingly is the newest theme in the real estate world. The idea behind this latest trend is the fact that green homes contribute towards the critical cause of protecting the planet through their excellent energy-efficiency. Beside this aspect, green homes bring a drastic change in the person's overall affordability to own real estate. Those, who stay in energy-efficient homes, do not need the utility set-ups like electricity, while the residents of a non-green community do require them. Green neighborhoods result in cutting down the demand of these utilities and this is exactly what makes the prices drop for people, who still rely on various other methods to get power.

Moreover, the construction cost for building green homes is less than the cost for building non-green properties. This is one of the most common reasons why green residencies are likely to get approved for the building permit. Going green also gives an easy way to safeguard the environment, ensuring that occurrences of harmful atmospheric events slow down. Recent studies have disclosed that, if green construction standards are followed, while building any property, the upshot will be a substantial decrease in various emissions, which cause global warming.

In addition, use of green materials to build properties lead to a significant reduction in the waste and this acts as an added benefit for contemporary green homes. Materials, which are used in the eco-friendly properties, are recycled and this is exactly what makes such a waste reduction possible. The process of recycling, therefore, decrees the total cost of a real estate project. Beside, eco-friendly structures have a longer life, as compared to houses constructed by the non-green methods and thus contribute to the saving factor.

There are certain building techniques, which are used for turning a house into a green or eco-friendly residence. For instance, while designing the floors of the house, use of woods, like bamboo, is considered. In fact, the type of paints used also play an important role in making a property environment friendly. Non-green variety of paints contains toxic solvents, metals and many harmful chemicals, which are detrimental if inhaled by people doing the painting job. Such paints also create certain by-products, like more pollution and smog. So, using low quality paints is an eco-friendly building technique, which not only protects the house occupants but also keeps the environment clean.

Apart from these, the way you keep your garden is also a qualifying factor, which determines whether your house can be called as a green residence or not. To go green, you must buy simple hand devices for the gardening needs, rather than equipments which run on electric power or gasoline. Also, instead of making use of a power-driven leaf blower, which releases harmful CO2 emissions, it is good to rake and sweep leaves on your own. Such as these, the techniques to go green are immense. So, implement this latest theme of going green in your life by building an energy-efficient home.

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Finding The Right Green Home

There are a number of great things people can do to help ensure that their next home is as environmentally friendly as possible. We'll go over the top tips to help you make sustainable choices and ensure that your home is an asset you're proud to own.

1. Find an Agent with Green Designs

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Ecobroker have both created Green Designation programs, which will help your real estate agent assist you in finding green real estate that follows the most efficient sustainable practices. NAR has also built a green business network that allows individuals to find eco-friendly businesses, ranging from architects, designers and energy auditors to appliance vendors, attorneys and title companies. Find a Realtor with a Green Designation and they will be able to help you find a low-impact home that meets all your needs.

2. Alternative Energy Homes & Real Estate

One of the best green real estate resources to look for is homes with alternative energy already installed, like solar panels, wind turbines or geothermal systems. Many homes are coming pre-fit with these great technologies, making it easy to own green real estate at no extra effort.

If these features are lacking in your region or your dream house does not have alternative energy pre-installed, look at homes that can easily be modified to include non-electrical energy sources. For example, solar panels do best on south-facing roofs, while a geothermal system will require adequate yard space. Research alternative energies to find the solution that's best for you and then ensure the real estate you view can accomodate it. Also include a budget outside of your mortgage for installing alternative energy as soon as you take possession, to ensure you are reaping the benefits right away.

3. Retrofit Simple Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Technology has made massive strides in the last decade and dozens of home-energy innovations have been made. In addition to replacing old appliances with Energy-Star alternatives, there are a number of more budget-friendly upgrades that can be made. To get started, you can draft-proof windows with caulking, install low-flow showerheads and replace halogen light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs. Once implemented, these simple features do not require any modification to your daily routine and have been proven to save money.

4. Research The Neighborhood

Most neighborhoods have their own distinct style and vibe, which attracts like-minded individuals. Choosing a city or community that is known for being eco-friendly will help you find relevant real estate resources with greater ease. If you're unfamiliar with the area, your real estate agent will be able to let you know what neighborhoods are most likely to suit your needs. Concentrating your search for a home in these areas will help you in meeting your energy-saving goals.

Overall, green real estate is a fantastic investment. In addition to saving money on monthly energy costs, eco-friendly homes tend to be worth more than those high-impact alternatives. Environmental concerns continue to increase the demand for sustainable initiatives that have been proven to work, making green homes a hot commodity across the globe.

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How to Be Green at Work and Save Money

While you and your family may have perfected your green routine at home, sustainability measures often fall by the way-side in the work place. Below are five easy, eco-friendly tips to help you green up your act while on the job. And as an added bonus, most of these ideas will save either you or your organization money.

  1. Put your computer down for a nap & nix the screen saver: According to the University of California, Riverside, by setting your computer to go to sleep during periods of activity you can cut your energy use by 70%. Screen savers only waste energy so get rid of them. And thanks to advances in display technology, we no longer need them to protect our monitors from phosphor burn-in. Finally, please do not forget to turn off your computer along with all of your other electrical appliances at the end of the day! Remember, less energy used means a lower electricity bill.
  2. Pack a lunch: Not only are home lunches better for your health, they're also better for your wallet and for the environment. Avoid styrofoam take-away boxes and plastic cutlery by preparing your own meals (hopefully they include lots of organic and locally grown veggies!) In re-usable containers.
  3. Stop! Do not print !: Thanks to modern technology, there's really no need to print off the latest draft of that report you've been stressing over. Google Docs allows you to create and share your work with collections online and to access your documents from anywhere in the world. If you absolutely must print something make sure that it's double-sided. If everyone played by these rules just imagine how many trees we could save. Not to mention the money we would save on paper, printer ink and toner cartridges.
  4. Make it easy: People are much more likely to recycle if it's simple. Talk to your boss about putting well-labeled recycling bins in high traffic areas. If you're feeling ambitious you might also consider starting a battery recycling program (see: Earth911's How To Create a Workplace Recycling Program ).
  5. Share the road: Get to know your collections. If there's a few of you that live in the same area consider carpooling. Alternately, there is always public transportation which is another great way to make some new friends. Well, maybe not but at least you can reduce your carbon footprint and save some money on gas and parking!

These are just some very basic tips for getting started on the path to a sustainable work place. If you're ready to step up your green game then there are plenty of resources available to help you get organized. One of my favorites is the David Suzuki at Work Toolkit because it shows how being environmentally friendly actually can save money. Sounds like a great way to impress the boss to me!

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The Real Green With Rental Properties

As we live in a time of recycling, we must come to the realization of housing properties and the effects of living in a Green time.

Ownership or Renting, which is viable option for you? I know we want to own our homes but everyone is not capable of ownership, so what's the answer to the Real Green with Rental Properties.

As a home owner, I have always tried to figure out how to add solar panels or create generators for energy in my home. Why can not we have rental properties with green technology, so we can educate the tenants on why housing recycling is important to us all.

Well, we can with the understanding of not destroying rental homes because we do not own it. At some point we are all accountable for something green in this world we live in. The housing industry in no different based on fixing, remodeling, and selling homes in everyday business.

The Real Green with Rentals helps you explore the possibilities of recycling properties not just for profit but for the realization recycling. Everyday I realize how energy has evolved and it continues to grow.

Would you rent a home with solar panels for energy? I ask this question because we need to know answers about energy sources that can save us money. Of course, I could rent one of my home for so much money a month. But why not rent my home that has green technology to save a potential client money in the future. You would probably ask why anyone would be concerned with saving a potential tenant money. The answer is real easy for me because it alleviates the pressure paying rent in a timely matter.

All, I can say is some people have the wrong perception about home rentals. How can we expect a person to take care of something that they do not own. Well, I believe we can with a little education, nurturing and love about the situation.

I hope this has enlightened a few people about change because we live in a world of change. We really need to change our housing market and stop judging people on the perception of what they own. As a responsible citizen I want to do more on bridging the gap with recycling housing for a profit. I think the correct term in the business world is flipping for a profit.

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Will the New Legislation of Energy Act 2011 Mean Greener Properties?

The Energy Bill was first introduced in the House of Lords in December 2010, and the process completed within the Commons on the 14th September 2011. The House of Lords were in agreement with the amendments made to the Bill by the House of Commons, which allowed the Bill to receive Royal Assent on October 2011 and the Energy Bill was passed then as the 'Energy Act 2011'.

The new legislation, which is part of the Energy Act 2011, makes landlords legally responsible for improving the energy rating of their property by various means. 'The Green Deal' is also going to be introduced as part of the 'Energy Act 2011' where there would be a financial arrangement to allow landlords or homeowners to make energy-saving improvements to their property and pay back the cost over time through their electricity bills. Although some of the legislation is yet to be bought in to action over the next few years, it is advisable for landlords to plan ahead and start making their properties more energy efficient.

So the pertinent question now is, will this new legislation really push landlords and tenants to concentrate their efforts on keeping their properties energy efficient? Perhaps it will because more recently, landlords, tenants and even lettings agents in London and other parts of the UK are being trained to conduct the audits or certification of properties (Energy Performance Certificates). This audit or certification considers factors like identifying the type of boiler, the water heating and storage, thickness of walls, number of low energy light bulbs, etc.

The Energy Act aims at introducing energy efficiency measures to residential and commercial properties in order to achieve low carbon emissions with better energy supply and use. This will then help to create fair competition within the energy markets.

The current Energy Performance Certificate rating is from AG and the figures from a recently conducted, over 14% of landlord owned properties come under the bottom two energy efficiency categories F and G. Ideally, each home must have this certificate which displays the complete information on how much energy the property typically uses.

Interestingly, as per the legislation under the Energy Act 2011, renting out properties that lie below the minimum standard E will be against the law from April 2018 onwards. In such a case, landlords shall become legally assembled to upgrade the energy efficiency and rating of their property.

It is important that this legislation be forced into practice because introducing new energy efficiencies will only contribute in making a property more appealing to tenants. This is because tenants would obviously want to reduce their overall costs by saving on soaring energy bills. Landlords must therefore focus on improving the property from this perspective also to face the upcoming competition in the rental market in London.

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Green Homes – What Makes Your Home Green

Over the years gone by people have become more conscious of the impact they make on the environment. A lot of production companies and popular products are focusing their energy on creating environmentally friendly produce. It is no secret that the earth is taking a good pounding because of our reckless actions. Beside the shift in focus from the big corporates, so-called average citizens are now also taking the responsibility on themselves. People are changing their homes to green homes and we will be looking at what makes a home green.

Save where you can

This is the general trend with green homes. You have to look where you can save and cut back on the usage of thing like water and electricity. As a rule of thumb, most green homes – in order to be called green – save up to thirty percent when it comes to energy usage. We all know that this figure includes the use of hot water geezers and so forth.

Size and design

For a home to be considered green it needs to have minimal impact on the environment and make maximum use of what the environment offers without damaging it in return. Things like sunshine and wind is a source of energy that will never be exhausted, so a lot of research has gone into utilizing these elements. So when you think of a big home, you will agree that it will use more energy than a smaller one. You also want to consider the location of your home where it will have the smallest negative impact on the environment. It is better to build up instead of expanding on the ground. The design is also important in sense of strategically placing every window or panel to get the most sun for natural lighting and also heat. Solar panels are a very popular means of generating energy for things like hot water and lighting.

Materials and Technologies

Bio-degradable is the key here. Your house needs to be able to dissolve like a piece of toilet paper in the ocean when it is no longer of any use to anyone. Materials used should be renewable, reusable and recycled easily at all cost. Bamboo flooring and environmentally friendly paint are just two of the more popular materials that green home owners tend to go for. Using only native plant species will also reduce the use of water for your garden. It is also a good idea to explore different eco-friendly technologies for the interior as well as exterior of your home. These are all small thing that make a bid difference.

All of the above will also have a positive impact on the valuation your home receives and makes for an increase in the price of your house.

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BREEAM – A Good Start Is Half The Job Done

For many development projects achieving a certain BREEAM rating is mandated through a planning requirement. Where in the past the planning requirement was often to achieve a “Very Good” rating, the current trend is for local planning authorities to ask an “Excellent” rating to be achieved. Where careful planning was already necessary to achieve the 55% score required for a “Very Good” rating, BREEAM “Excellent” puts the bar significantly higher at 70%. To avoid significant additional cost, hassle and program issues it is critical to allow the early consideration of BREEAM and sustainability measures.

This article discusses three good reasons to consider the BREEAM requirements of a project at a very early stage in the project cycle.

One of the core aims of BREEAM is to drive the development and implementation of good and best practices in sustainable design and construction of buildings. Early consideration of BREEAM enables the cost-effective adoption of sustainability measures within the design of a building. During the feasibility study stage and the early design stage full integration of sustainability measures into the total design solution can be achieved. During construction any sustainability improvements will be isolated, add-on measures. The ability to control the cost of design is there before highest in the early stages of a project and is inversely correlated with the cost of design changes.

BREEAM recognizes the importance of early consideration of the sustainability performance of a project and includes a number of incentives to do so. There are a total of 12 credits available only if certain actions have been taken in the early stages of the project, equivalent to the RIBA stage A to C. Half of these credits would require action before adopting the design brief and should there before be completed at RIBA stage B. These credits can make a significant contribution to the final score and losing the opportunity to achieve these can put a project at a disadvantage right from the start.

Both the BREEAM assessment and the planning application require a number of very similar studies to be transported out during the design and planning stages of the project. These include for instance a flood risk assessment, travel plan, ecology report and a renewable energy feasibility study. The requirements are often slowly different between the two processes. Adequate specification of the study requirements based on both the planning needs and the BREEAM targets can avoid doing the studies twice.

In summary: the benefits of considering BREEAM early in the project cycle are:

1. Allow sustainability measures to be integrated in the whole design
2. Qualify for a greater number of BREEAM credits
3. Align planning studies and BREEAM studies to avoid double work

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Southern California Real Estate Is Hot and on a Comeback Mode

Southern California real estate is on a high. This surge in demand has graced the commercial as well as residential segments. The revival is coming after the great bubble burst of 2008 that sent the sector into a cold slump.

There was a 20 percent increase in transactions in May 2012 and the median price became a 20-month high. According to Jon Walsh, president of Southern California HomesDataQuick, “the spurt in sales for Southern California is driven by low interest rates and an improved economy.”

Since home sales went up in San Diego County and Los Angeles County with the median price for houses increasing 5.4 percent in the whole of South California from $ 280,000 to $ 295,000.

As things are changing there is jubilation in the market with many agents and consultants asserting that the market is in the pink of health now and the emerging market signals are trustworthy.

Attractions of Real Estate

The Southern California real estate market holds many attractions. They include:

• Excellent Locations
• Wonderful Weather
• Entertainment Options
• Good properties
• Many Picnic hotspots

A buyer will never regret the purchasing of real estate in California. There are multiple reasons for it. It gives an escape from cold weather conditions unlike the coastal regions elsewhere. Most people prefer warm climate. Southern California can fascinate any visitor with its warm weather and pleasant surroundings. The scope for unlimited entertainment is plentiful by way of San Diego's sports festivals, famous museums and good zoos.

Good property mix is ​​yet another attraction. Beside expensive properties southern California also offers options like condominiums closer to the beaches and ocean. This is affordable and is quite a value for money option in housing.

Make a Profit

The analysts and brokers are encouraging buyers by citing at least three reasons to show the revival as genuine.

• No cheap loans floating in the market
• Housing Inventory is very low
• Reduction in disturbed properties

Those looking for San Clemente Real Estate exciting properties are now up for grabs. San Clemente, lying in the southern part of the Orange county is extremely business friendly and has headquarters of many business corporations.

Investor Confidence

A survey conducted by Market Research Group Trulia, is reassuring. It says 60 percent of people expect prices to rise in the next year. Rising prices are also swinging developers into action to create finished properties.

Economic Recovery

The indications of a housing revival are there. If the rising property prices can drive the construction sector to the erstwhile glory, the housing market will become the engine of economic recovery. The rising house prices can also facilitate mortgage- modification in the medium and long term.

Riding the customer optimism it is not out of place to believe that rising prices may finally peak in the next 10 years. It is very pleasant to see the battered markets like Las Vegas and Sacramento seeing soaring prices. Certainly this is good news for all!

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The Importance of Ecofriendly Options When Investing in Real Estate

Ecofriendly houses are the key trends in building houses these days. There are a lot of people who are spending more money than usual just to be able to build homes that have less carbon emission and will be beneficial in helping our environment to fight global warming. The problem is that that are a lot of people who are too afraid of spending a lot of money, because they think that buying these homes will not be very beneficial for you. In this article, we will be discussing the importance of having different options when buying ecofriendly homes and how you can use it to your advantage.

If you are planning to buy an ecofriendly house, the first thing that you need to consider is that price that you are going to pay. Of course, you can not spend $ 100,000 if you can only afford a house that is worth $ 75,000. What you can do is to look for a house that was built to be an ecofriendly real estate but does not have everything that is necessary. Since you can simply work on it overtime, you do not have to spend a lot of money at once. There are a lot of things that you need to consider, and if you are going to spend all your money to buy an expensive property, you will probably run out of money that can be used for the relocation and for renovating the house.

An ecofriendly house can be built overtime and you simply need to work on the materials that you can use. All you have to do is to decide the things that you want to be installed in your house and it will be taken care of by the professional that you have hired. For example, you are going to buy the house next month; you can start painting it with ecofriendly paint after a couple of months and start installing solar panels after a year. This will not force you to spend a lot of money at once and it will be easier for you to manage your funds. Aside from this, you will also have the ability to be more flexible with your finances.

More than the amount that you will be spending when building ecofriendly houses, you will also have the ability to choose the facilities and features that you want your house to have. If you do not want to install solar panels, then it is up to you. There are a lot of things that should be done when building ecofriendly houses, but you also have all the options that you need to spend more money or not. The only thing that you need to do is to make sure that you are going to hire a professional who can explain the process to you. This will ensure that you are going to do things perfectly and that you will not have problems while building your house or while creating a budget for the real estate property that you are planning to have.

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What Makes a Home “Green?”

GREEN: 10 often capitalized: relating to or being an environmentalist political movement b: concerned with or supporting environmentalism c: tending to preserve environmental quality (as by being recyclable, biodegradable, or nonpolluting) Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

“Green” is the buzzword these days in regards to just about everything: cars, cleaning products, food, and, especially in my world, houses. In all realms, there is certainly a lot of “green washing,” meaning claims of eco-friendliness that are purely marketing ploys for products that are not in any significant way environmentally kind. Even with homes, it is not always easy to determine “greenness,” and that very term or the concept of “eco-friendly” can mean different things to different people.

I have found two kinds of environmentally conscious home buyers. First, there are the folks who are concerned with making as small an impact on the planet as possible with their home. These people prefer homes that have used sustainable products (bamboo floors are a common example, as bamboo is a fast-growing renewable crop) and recycled products. Along with sustainability goes making a small “footprint.” Less square footage is better; building up rather than out is preferred. Also, there is a definite preference for native plant landscaping which reduces the need for watering and fertilizing.

The second group of eco-friendly home buyer is primarily concerned with health issues. These folks often have serious sensitivity to chemicals, toxins, and off-gassing. They are looking for homes created with no VOC (volatile organic compound) products (paint is a good example, or certain glues and formaldehydes) or homes that have aged long enough to have completely “off-gassed.” This group also includes people who must avoid homes with mold, pest treatments, carpets, vinyl, etc.

Clearly, these two groups of people over-lap, but generally one concern over-rides the other (lack of allergens versa sustainable products). For example, a client recently pointed out that a home which is “eco-friendly” because it used recycled products can still off-gas the chemicals from the recycled product that make her sick! I am all for sustainability, but I would have to go with a home with the least mold potential possible (kryptonite to me).

So, then, how do we define an eco-friendly home? I think there are many aspects of a home that can make it “friendly.” The state of North Carolina has established a certification program for new homes called the Healthy Built program. A home with this certification falls into one of three categories (silver, gold, and platinum) by meeting strict criteria. (See ). The Healthy Built certification covers energy efficiency, non-toxicity, and sustainability. Another certification is the Energy Star, used for appliances for years, this now applies to homes also. Energy Star is primarily concerned with reducing energy usage through highly efficient appliances and heating and cooling systems (HVAC) and insulation.

No doubt more certification programs and designs are forthcoming to help us define an environmentally friendly home. However, I maintain that there are many things that can make a house “eco,” and no one design can capture everything. Like most movements, the “green” movement is, and needs to be, one where everyone does what he or she can do to ease our impact on the planet and create healthy living spaces. For some people, like me, that means living in an “old” home. My last home was built in 1929. The footprint is already there; the impact on the earth already made. The original materials in the home have long-since off-gassed, and any new materials I put in to update can be sustainable and eco-friendly. This home is also in one of the oldest parts of Asheville, so it is close to town and walking away to all kinds of groceries, drug stores, restaurants, and “walking” neighborhoods, so lessening my dependence on my car. I think an older home is a terrific way of truly recycling and reusing! For others, building a dream-home need not be an endavor that is detrimental to the earth. By using earth-friendly materials, making a small footprint (up verses out), and landscaping with native plants, a new home can be a great a positive addition to life on the planet.

Finances dictate what most of us can do to be environmentally friendly. An old home can be made efficient and non-toxic, but it takes patience and revenue. I worked on my home in stages, starting with sealing the building envelope, reducing toxicity, and installing the highest efficiency heating system possible. Many areas, like Asheville, are lucky to have local professionals that can assess a home and create a plan for making it efficient and “green.”

But I must express one note of caution: some builders have jumped on the “green” bandwagon without the experience necessary to create a safe and sustainable home. When a home is tightly sealed, precautions must be taken to assure adequate ventilation and air exchange. And just because a home is newly constructed does not mean that it is perfect. Always have a home inspection by a licensed professional, and do not hesitate to call in specialists to evaluate any home you are considering buying.

In the end, a green or eco-friendly home may be what you can afford and modify right now, with an eye on future improvements. The important thing is that we all do everything we can to create sustainable and healthy homes.

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