| by Arley Kirby | No comments

Getting Green With Bamboo

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 onset 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 …

Read More
| by Arley Kirby | No comments

Prefabricated Homes

The prefab has gotten a bad rap from shoddy building practices in the past, due to mass-produced, low-quality buildings of the past. Also, prefabs have been erroneously associated with mobile homes, which have their own stigma. It has taken interest in economical, customizable and “green” buildings to overcome the perception that homes manufactured in a factory are inherently ugly and poorly constructed.

A prefabricated home is, as the name indicates, built before it is placed on the property where it is to stand. Some of the advantages that people cite are that the factory process results in less waste, less chance of environmental damage, less overhead from stolen tools and equipment (that might be left during the building process of a traditional home), and less chance that structural faults will be overlooked. Once built, most prefabs don’t look different from “stick-built” or traditionally constructed houses. High quality prefabs also age and appreciate in value similarly to stick-built houses, making them a viable choice for the property owner who wants to have a home constructed according to their specifications.

Recently, a number of award-winning environmentally sound designs and structures have awakened the public’s interest in manufactured homes. There are now a …

Read More
| by Arley Kirby | No comments

Eco Realtor

  1. Drive a hybrid. Because 33% of CO² that is being produced is from transportation (Sources of CO² in he US as of 2004). This conscious change in vehicles would make the biggest impact of all. We spend A LOT of time in our cars and when you are in the market for a new one…think green. For all you show-off realtors who need to have the best of the best, hybrids are very trendy and hip. Google “new hybrids” and you’ll see.
  2. Recycle and reuse. How many listings do you print off that you end up not using or even keeping? Lots! Please recycle. Or better yet, turn them over and re-print on the good side. I do it all the time. It’s my copy and when it is noticed by the buyer, I can brag how I am saving the environment. You’ll be saving some coin in your pocketbook too.
  3. Use electronics. Instead of driving all over to get signatures, please fax, scan, or email. As long as you pick up the originals in the end, it all works out. You’ll not only save emissions from driving, money for gas, but your time as well. Another great electronic device
Read More
| by Arley Kirby | No comments

Pro-Active Build Green Mentality

Cost resistance is losing its credibility. Cost at the expense of the environment and accompanied by high energy costs no longer makes sense, or is that cents.

The Obama Administration has invested in the green movement. Government has shown unprecedented support for the value and future of sustainable construction. The Obama stimulus package has set in motion plans to create about 3.5 million green energy jobs over the next two years. The private sector has been slower than the public sector to respond to the merits of green construction.

Not all the private sector’s cost resistance is unfounded. In the formative years of the green movement, sustainable technology costs were prohibitive. These costs required a true commitment to the future and to the green movement.  The return on investment was lacking. However, as sustainable technology has evolved and as demand for equipment has increased, the cost of the technology has declined substantially.

Reports from the National Association of Realtors indicate the costs related to sustainable, green construction have decreased appreciably. Recent estimates put new green construction costs at 1-1.5% above traditional construction costs. Meanwhile, energy savings range can yield a 15-35% savings.

In the 1970’s, the green movement began to …

Read More
| by Arley Kirby | No comments

Eco-Friendly Construction Trends

When building a bathroom, they make sure to put together a nice and energy-saving set up. Bathroom accessories are also chosen very wisely. Smart and low flow toilets are installed, which not only save water but also look very attractive. In fact, this would also provide great relief to the areas where scarcity of water is a serious issue during hotter months of the year. Builders are also taking good care of decreasing energy usage in other parts of the house. Installing solar panels on the roof is a good example of this.

Builders, today, have become much smarter when choosing the materials which go into the whole construction process. They are seeking building materials which are good for environment. Thus, they pick raw materials that can retain heat and reduce energy consumption. The best part is that all these materials release fewer harmful gases and detrimental waste in the environment. Structural insulated rim boards and insulated panels fit well here and this is the reason, why they are highly used in most of the homes, built recently.

The best constructors and builders combine all elements of latest style with environmental concerns, so as to come up with the best …

Read More
| by Arley Kirby | No comments

Impacts on the Development of Real Estate

To a certain extent these factors are being considered in most new development projects. The partial provision of energy through low carbon technologies is becoming the norm as part of the planning application process for major development. Standards controlling the way flood risk assessments are carried out take into account future precipitation patterns. These considerations are often driven by current requirements from planning authorities or other statutory bodies and focus on the greenhouse gas element of climate change management.

Appraising the effects of climate change on development projects will gain in importance and a strategic and pro-active approach to its integration in the management of these projects has many benefits. These include the improved management of risks, for instance by providing protection against litigation for failing to take into account known future risks, the protection of future asset values and strengthening a forward looking reputation of the organisation.

The near future will see significant changes in the way climate change is being addressed within development projects. The awareness of client organisations and local planning authorities about the effects climate change will have on the future usability of buildings is increasing rapidly. This will lead to a range of new requirements, …

Read More
| by Arley Kirby | No comments

Garden Apartments

Such an apartment will have one or two bedrooms but you can find some that have three or more bedrooms, especially if they are used as a vacation apartment. The more bedrooms there are the more people they can accommodate when on vacation and renting the apartment. If it is an apartment that is rented out long term it is generally not furnished. If the apartment is rented out on a weekly or monthly basis for vacations, it will be furnished. Garden apartments may also have one or two stories. The common area can include outdoor amenities like a swimming pool, tennis or basketball courts, a spa or clubhouse. The entrance to the apartment could be off the courtyard or the street.

The owners of the garden apartments are responsible for the outdoor area being kept up with the lawn mowed, any outdoor equipment cleaned, clean swimming pool without leaves and other debris, etc. Many owners will plant the area with well cared for trees and floors. If it is an apartment complex and you have a pet you need to find out if there is a special area for the dogs. Make sure that you clean up after your …

Read More
| by Arley Kirby | No comments

Find Green Homes for Sale

Utilize your personal connections

You may not be aware but someone you know might just be the key person to help you find the right green home for you. A relative, neighbor, friend, officemate, or even a coed in college might have the information you are looking for. Of course, this method is also a pretty exhaustive one as you really need to know which one of them holds the right information. To reduce efforts, know which one has recently purchased a home or is at least planning to buy his or her own house too. You could at least compare notes regarding prices, location, and features of the green home you are looking for.

Seek professional assistance

One of the best ways to look for your ideal green home is by seeking professional assistance. Real estate professionals lead the list of top-notch and expert persons who could help you in this endeavor. One or more properties in their selling lists might just be the green home you are looking for. Their professional interconnection will also open your doors to numerous other persons who could be of assistance to you.

Read More
| by Arley Kirby | No comments

Zero Carbon Rated Houses

Simon Williams from Percy Williams & Sons explained that the ‘Government declaration that Zero Carbon-rated houses were to be exempt from Stamp Duty Land Tax was at first a psychological shot in the arm to us over this project of eco houses, but a close study of the strict definition of Zero Carbon and how we might clear this hurdle ended in disappointment’

A Zero-Carbon Home needs to have energy efficiency in three areas, including heat loss, dwelling CO2 emission rate and net CO2 emissions. If they meet the requirements an accredited assessor will inspect the dwelling and issue a certificate.

To receive the actual ‘Holy Grail’ of Zero Carbon is difficult at the best of times, as it requires a building to have a net production of carbon into the atmosphere of zero. At Fairglen in Hayle the houses are almost uniquely efficient for this sort of development, but in addition would need a wind-turbine to achieve the last bit of balancing electrical generation. Because of the sheltered valley location that the site is in the turbine could not have been efficiently done.

With the help of John Peapell Sustainable Solutions, a specialist consultant in this area, Percy Williams …

Read More
| by Arley Kirby | No comments

Checklist For Your Next Green Home

  • Location Location Location – pick a location that’s convenient and easy to get to. Close to shops, amenities and public transport will reduce the amount of emissions that come from getting around. Inquire about the council’s recycling program.
  • Orient yourself with the right orientation – if a house is to have good eco principles, it will designed with the right orientation. This means that the living areas will face due north, to make the most of the winter sun while allowing the hotter summer sun to pass overhead. Sleeping rooms, meanwhile, will be oriented towards to the South to capture cool summer breezes.
  • Cosy is not a four letter word – consider how the space is used as much as the size of it. Oversized houses utilises more resources in both construction and maintenance, while smaller dwellings are cleverly conceived can feel quite spacious.
  • Inquire about insulation – ask about the insulation. Higher R values means the house will better protected against extreme weather elements. See if the windows are double glazed. While you’re at it, ask about other green home features such as solar panels and solar hot water. Make your message loud and clear!
  • Good green help –
Read More