Category Archives: Green Events

Earth Day, Arbor Day, Earth Hour and any other green events.

Deadline Approaching for Submissions to the 2014 NAHBGreen Awards

The deadline to submit your green building project into the 2014 NAHBGreen Awards is rapidly approaching. All entries must be submitted by Tuesday, October 15, 2013 to be eligible to win a Project or Advocate of the Year award, which will be presented in February during the International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas.

Presented by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the NAHBGreen Awards recognizes individuals, companies and organizations for excellence in residential green design and construction practices, as well as for green building program and advocacy efforts.

“In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in green building, and the industry has responded by designing and constructing high-performance homes that reflect not only green and energy efficient principles, but also innovative design,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “Each year, NAHB recognizes the very best work in this sector in its NAHBGreen Awards.”

This year, organizers of the awards have attempted to make it easier to submit entries by streamlining the submission process and making it quicker. Applications for Project of the Year have been revised this year and can be submitted online.

The awards categories include Project of the Year – Single-family, Project of the Year – Multifamily, Project of the Year – Remodel, Project of the Year – Green Site Development and Advocate of the Year.

The awards are open to both NAHB and non-NAHB members. To be eligible for the Green Project of the Year categories, projects must have been started no earlier than January 2010 and substantially completed by December 2013. All homes and developments must be scored to either the 2008 or 2012 ICC-700 National Green Building Standard® to ensure fair comparison for judging purposes. This can be done by downloading the score sheets online.

Application fees are $250 for Project of the Year categories and $150 for Advocate of the Year.

For more information or to apply for the 2014 NAHBGreeen Awards, please visit www.NAHB.org/GreenBuildingAwards. Please contact Chad Riedy at criedy@nahb.org with any additional questions.

Make Recycling a Part of Your Household’s Routine

recycling tipsWhen it comes to recycling, many people underestimate how much benefit the act of simply recycling everyday products on a regular basis could have. Here are my top five favorite facts when it comes to recycling and how you can help reduce our planet’s waste:

  1. Recycled Metal: The most important resources that should be recycled are the earth’s metals. One company devoted to this task is Brilliant Earth, a conflict-free diamond company specializing in diamond and engagement rings that works to reuse silver, gold and platinum. The recycling process includes refining the metal back to its pure elements before molding it into different objects. Not only do recycled metals put less of a demand on the earth’s resources, but they are also less harmful on the planet, making Brilliant Earth a valuable company in relationship with the earth’s environment.
  2. Recycled Shoes: Nike, one of the largest athletic brands in the world, offers a recycled shoe program that accepts donated shoes. They use the rubber from each pair to make playground turf, which ultimately eliminates waste and saves thousands of dollars. Nike also uses all organic materials for its items, making it a leading brand in society.
  3. Cell Phones: Cell phones last an average of two to three years, which means the used ones have the potential to accumulate quickly worldwide. Fortunately, they can be recycled by disassembling the phone and removing the battery; both parts can then be donated by dropping them off at computer or electronic recycler units.
  4. Plastic Bags: Plastic bags can be seen everywhere, from packaging to grocery store bags. For the average household, the material often accumulates rapidly, and adds thousands of pounds of extra waste at landfills. Instead of throwing your plastic bags away, consider donating them to local grocery stores, so that they can be reused and remade.
  5. 25 Million Trees Can Be Saved Each Year: Saving a total of 25 million trees a year is much easier than most people think. If every household recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, it would equate to this seemingly impossible number.

These few simple recycling habits are some of the easiest for households to acquire, and can largely contribute to solutions that will ultimately preserve the earth’s resources, making it a more habitable place to live for many generations to come.

Guest post written by Sophia Evans

GreenSmart Homes Make Every Day Earth Day

energy efficient homes for sale in AtlantaIf your family is looking to take your Earth Day celebrations from just a once a year thing to an everyday occurrence, there is no better way than choosing to live in one of Brock Built’s GreenSmart homes for sale in Atlanta.

Their GreenSmart homes are designed to not only be environmentally friendly, but also consume significantly less energy through features and standards related to HVAC systems, appliances, light fixtures, insulation, house wrap and air sealing.

Already live in a GreenSmart home? You can still learn more about helping the planet at a variety of Earth Day events around Atlanta.

The Atlanta Botanical Garden will be hosting a special event from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 21. With the price of admission, visitors will be able to enjoy ladybug release, conservation programs, arts and crafts and more.

Residents of their intown neighborhoods should make their way to the 16th Annual Earth Day Celebration at Georgia Tech on Friday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. At this free event, you’ll enjoy exhibitors, recycling opportunities, item exchanges, eco-friendly giveaways, organic snacks and live entertainment.

For residents of their homes in Marietta, the kid-friendly educational fun at the Chattahoochee Nature Center might be the perfect outing. On Saturday, April 13, kids will be able to meet Captain Planet, explore environmental themes, watch animal presentations, paddle a canoe on Beaver Pond, visit interactive exhibits and booths and much more.

With great eco-friendly events and homes from Brock Built in Atlanta, this Earth Day is bound to be the best one yet!

For more information on Brock Built’s GreenSmart programs and new home communities, please call 404-472-5707.

National Green Building Awards Winners Announced at 2013 IBS

NAHB National Green AwardsRecently, several builders, remodelers and other industry professionals were recognized as winners of the National Green Building Awards given by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The awards were presented as part of the 2013 International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas.

Each year, the NAHB recognizes individuals, companies and organizations for excellence in residential green design and construction practices as well as green building program and advocacy efforts.
“This year’s winners are particularly impressive,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “All of those honored have shown superior dedication and leadership to the mission of sustainable and eco-friendly living.”

Individual Project Awards

  • The New Edition at Damonte Ranch, Reno, Nev., for Project of the Year: Single-family, Small Volume
  • Maryland Green Designer Show Home, Gambrills, Md., for Project of the Year: Single-family, Custom
  • Persimmon – Willis Ranch, San Antonio, Texas, for Project of the Year: Single-family, Production
  • Seabourn Cove, Boynton Beach, Fla., for Project of the Year: Multifamily
  • Finding Paradise on Picardy, Raleigh, N.C., for Project of the Year: Remodel

Green Building Advocacy Awards

  • Drew Smith, Two Trails, Sarasota, Fla., for Advocate of the Year: Individual
  • Dan Wise, Wise Construction, Boalsburg, Pa., for Advocate of the Year: Builder
  • Paul Sullivan, The Sullivan Company, Inc. Newton, Mass., for Advocate of the Year: Remodeler
  • Maryland Residential Green Building Council, for Advocate of the Year: Group
  • Build San Antonio Green, for Advocate of the Year: State/Local Government

Laclede Gas Company of St. Louis, Mo., was also named the Utility Partner of the Year for its dedication to high-performance building, the ICC-700 National Green Building Standard and education at the local and national level.

Additional information about the National Green Building Awards can be found at www.nahb.org/greenbuildingawards.

2013 NAHBGreen Awards Now Accepting Entries

2013 NAHBGreen AwardsThe National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is pleased to announce that they are now accepting submissions for its 2013 NAHBGreen Awards. Individuals, companies and organizations are recognized annually for excellence in residential green design and construction practices, advocacy efforts and green building programs.

This year, the award winners will be announced in conjunction with the 2012 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas on January 23.

“The NAHBGreen Awards showcase the best and most innovative work in green,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “This is an excellent opportunity for industry professionals to be recognized for their hard work.”

Both members and non-members can apply for these prestigious awards. In order to be eligible for the Green Project of the Year categories, projects must have been started no earlier than January 2010 and substantially completed by December 2012.

Project of the Year award categories include: single family, multifamily, remodel and site development. You may also enter to win Advocate of the Year.

All projects must be scored to the ICC-700 National Green Building Standard to ensure fair comparisons for judging purposes. This can be done by using on the online Green Scoring Tool.

All entries must be received by October 18, and application fees are $250 for Project of the Year categories and $150 for the Advocate of the Year award.

For more information or to apply, visit www.nahb.org/greenawards. For examples of green building in Atlanta, visit Atlanta Real Estate Forum.

If you have any questions, please contact Chad Riedy at criedy@nahb.org.

How Energy Code Changes Affect Atlanta Home Building

energy code changesWondering how current and future energy code changes could affect your construction or renovation plans? Attend the Greater Atlanta HBA Green Building Council‘s expert energy code panel on Thursday, September 27 at 11:30 a.m. at the Southface Energy Institute (241 Pine Street, Atlanta 30308).

The panelists will discuss current, upcoming and future building and energy code requirements for construction in the Atlanta metro area and the state of Georgia. They will also provide insight into the reasoning behind energy efficiency code requirements as well as tips and tricks for implementing these requirements and designs in the field. This is a great opportunity for industry professionals to network and learn about green Atlanta new home building.

Panelists include Chris Laumer-Giddens of LG Squared, Lande Beaton of Vis Viva Energy & Service, Ryan Taylor of Ryan Taylor Architects and Rick Logan who is the head building official for the city of Decatur.

Lunch will be provided at this event. Registration for council members is $25 and the cost for non-members is $35.

The Atlanta Green Building Council is devoted to uniting professionals who work with green building and related products and services within the housing industry. The council aims to provide and promote green certification programs and educational as well as networking opportunities.

For more information, please contact Janel Grant at jgrant@atlantahba.com or 678-775-1446. For more on the Greater Atlanta HBA, please visit their website.

Change the World Pledges at the Georgia Force Arena Football Game

This summer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been partnering with organizations nationally to take the ENERGY STAR® pledge. In Duluth, Ga, the EPA and the Georgia Force collected Change the World with ENERGY STAR® pledges at the Georgia Force Arena Football game in the Gwinnett Arena on July 14. The Georgia Force pledge drive urged attendees to make a change with ENERGY STAR® by challenging them to take simple steps to save energy, which can help save money and protect the climate.

EPA Regional Administer, Gwen Keyes Fleming was designated the honorary captain of the team and performed the coin toss on the fields at this televised game (126 Charter, 248 Comcast and MeTV). Change the World tables were staffed by EPA in the concourse and took pledges. At halftime, a drawing determined the winner of a signed football.

“In recognition of the 20th Anniversary of ENERGY STAR®, we want the metro area to know that saving energy not only helps save money and the environment, but it can also be a lot of fun,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator, Gwen Keyes Fleming. “We’re excited to broadcast this important message as a service to our community.”

About ENERGY STAR

Launched in 1992 by EPA, ENERGY STAR is a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. This year marks ENERGY STAR’s 20th anniversary. Over the past 20 years, with help from ENERGY STAR, American families and businesses have saved about $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.7 billion metric tons of carbon pollution. To date, more than 1.3 million new homes and nearly 16,500 buildings across all 50 states have earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification. The ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 63 different kinds of products with more than 5 billion sold over the past 20 years. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).

Americans can take the “Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR” pledge. The pledge is a way for individuals to commit to taking action on energy efficiency in their homes and daily activities such as switching to more efficient lighting, choosing ENERGY STAR products, sealing and insulating homes, and using power management features on home computers and monitors.  For more information on the pledge: http://www.energystar.gov/changetheworld

For more information about Atlanta green living, visit Atlanta Real Estate Forum.

Green Building Leaders Invited to Attend Building Conference

EEBAMark your calendars! The Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) is proud to present the 30th Annual Excellence in Building Conference & Expo on September 25 through September 27 at the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz.. Celebrating the best in building science, EEBA’s Excellence in Building Conference & Expo presents a year’s worth of value in just three days!

EEBA will provide  hands-on building science training, innovative ideas, critical information and relevant resources you need from the nation’s leading experts. Participants will hear presentations from John Tooley, Sam Rashkin and Mark LaLiberte, and enjoy more than 55 educational sessions covering building science with insight from the industry’s leading thinkers.

This is a great opportunity to learn how to deliver energy efficient and high performance homes to the public. This conference will provide green building leaders and newcomers alike with a chance to network with other professionals, and to develop solutions to problems within the green building industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in two unique off-site tours that will provide hands-on experience as well as mingle with 60 exhibit partners in the Exhibit Hall.

The early rate of full conference registration is $500 from now until July 31. The regular rate is $550, the onsite rate is $600 and the student rate is $350. One day passes are also available. Reserve your room at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess with a single or double room rate of $159.

For more information, visit www.eeba.org/conference or email conference@eeba.org. Become part of the EEBA network on Facebook at www.facebook.com/goeeba. To register, call the registration hotline at (952) 881-1098. For more information on green building, events and trends, check out our site.

Tips for a Cool Summer

summer lakeIt’s officially summer! Time to relax by the pool, go on vacation, spend time with friends and family and more. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to make sure you stay cool, safe and under budget this summer, so they’ve provided a few tips to guarantee this summer is the best one yet:

  • Energy Star savings for your home: Cooling off comes at a huge cost for homeowners/ Lower your utility bill by using Energy Star qualified lighting, raising your thermostat two degrees and using ceiling fans can help cool off costs.
  • Breathe Easy: People spend more time indoors in the summer when it’s hot. Make sure your air is mold, radon and carbon monoxide free, so you can breathe easy.
  • Stay SunWise: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Be sure you practice safe sun habits before heading out for summer fun.
  • Have a beach blast! If you’re making a trip to the shore, make sure your plan includes ways to stay safe at the beach.
  • Bug Off! Mosquitoes and ticks carry diseases that be prevented by using proper protection. Make sure you check the label before spraying away!
  • Increase gas mileage: There are plenty of ways to improve your fuel economy including obeying the speed limit, going easy on the breaks, avoiding hard accelerations, reducing idle time, unloading necessary items and removing unused racks.
  • Water wise: Keep water from going to waste by watering in the morning, and installing WaterSense labeled irrigation systems.
  • Clean Green: Cleaning your grill, car, deck, boat or RV? Make sure your cleaner is earth friendly by using only those labeled Designed for the Envinroment (DfE).
  • Project Compost: Looking for a fun summer project that beats the heat? Try composting.
  • Go Mobile: Want to connect with the EPA on the go? They have an app for that! Check your local air quality, UV index and more all from your smartphone.
  • Make memories: Help the EPA capture the State of the Environment by submitting environmental photos to their Documerica project.
  • Check in: Hotels spend more than $2,000 per room on energy each year. Make sure your hotel is saving money and the environment by choosing one that is Energy Star rated.
  • Summer Inspiration: Keep your creative juices flowing by submitting a meaningful story or idea in just six words.

Be sure to visit the EPA‘s site for more tips for a cool summer. If you’re looking to make a move, be sure to check out all of the green Atlanta new homes on Atlanta Real Estate Forum.

Are Solar Panels Helping or Hurting?

Solar PanelIf you are considering a green remodel of your home, you might want to think twice about solar panels. Solar energy has been touted in recent years as the smartest form of renewable power, and it would be, if it weren’t for solar power’s predisposition for waste. Unfortunately, solar panels only have a life span of approximately twenty-five years, and now that our initial solar experiments are beginning to require replacements, electronic environmentalists are having a hard time figuring out how to recycle these old panels.

Electronic Waste

Electronic waste is beginning to gain widespread attention as our society continues to mass produce and mass dispose of electronics. As of late, electronic waste, also known as electronic scrap, has been discarded to third world countries, where impoverished scavengers cut and burn old electronics to profit from the valuable materials within. In addition to putting their own health at risk by taking apart electronics without proper safety gear, these electronics hounds are endangering the health of their homes by releasing contaminants into the surrounding air and water.

Solar panels have obvious benefits for the environment, and environmental scientists are currently experimenting with more and more uses for them, from heating conductors to cars. But on the downside, solar panels also contain the same harmful materials found in many electronics, including cadmium, silicon tetrachloride, selenium, and sulfur hexafluoride. Of course, green-conscious solar power producers are hoping to maintain the eco-credibility of their solar products.

Solar Panel Recycling

Fortunately, there is some motion towards solar panel recycling, but it is still very limited.  Arizone-based First Solar, the world’s number one PV-cell manufacturer, has initiated an end-of-life solar module collection and recycling program. It currently recycles 95% percent of metal-rich semiconductor materials and 90% of module glass. But while the recycling program is free-of-charge, it is only applicable to First Solar products. This seems to be a common drawback with electronic waste recyclers. If they were truly concerned with the current state of electronic waste, wouldn’t they accept any form or brand of e-scrap? Yes, I’m more likely to buy new First Solar products, knowing they offer free recycling, but where does that leave me with my old, unusable solar panels?

Unfortunately, First Solar does not expect much solar recycling business any time soon. Though the company believes the service should pick up within the next ten to fifteen years, they might also want to consider producing solar products with waste-conscious updates in the meantime. As one of the premier solar recyclers, First Solar needs to set an example for other solar manufacturers. The addition of solar recycling plants around the country will not only benefit our earth, but create countless jobs in a struggling economy. Solar panels also are embedded with numerous precious materials, including pure silver. An effective recycling system could assist in the protection of our Earth’s valuable natural resources. Creating a solar panel from recycled materials costs nearly the same amount as creating a solar panel from new materials and requires only one-third of the energy. With these statistics, it’s obviously time to start recycling solar panels. Let’s not hurt our earth with the very products we use to protect it.

Written by Lynn Jackson