Category Archives: Green Building Legislation

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.

EPA Develops Framework For Local Governments’ Stormwater Runoff and Wastewater

DischargeThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework to help local governments meet their Clean Water Act obligations.

This framework will assist the EPA’s regional offices, states and local governments in developing voluntary storm and wastewater management plans as well as implementing effective integrated approaches that will protect public health by reducing overflows from wastewater systems and pollution from stormwater.

EPA coordinated with a variety of stakeholders, including publicly owned treatment works, state water permitting authorities, local governments and nonprofit environmental groups in the stormwater runoff and wastewater framework. It discusses the pursuit of innovative, cost-saving solutions, like green infrastructure to aid communities as they develop plans that prioritize their investments in storm and wastewater infrastructure.

Also, the controlling and managing releases of storm and wastewater into the nation’s waters are highlighted in the document. When wastewater systems, many of which are aging, overflow they can release untreated sewage and other pollutants into local waterways. Overflows can carry harmful pollutants threatening water quality, including bacteria, metals and nutrients. They can also contribute to disease outbreaks, beach and shellfish bed closings and fishing or swimming advisories. Municipalities are often faced with difficult choices about how to direct their funds to solve stormwater discharges that contain many of these pollutants.

Visit the EPA’s website, http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/integratedplans.cfm, to see the framework document. The agency also provides practical examples of how municipalities are implementing this approach.

For more information on green legislation and green housing trends, visit our site. For more on how Atlanta real estate is going green, visit Atlanta Real Estate Forum.

Energy Efficient Upgrades Free for Limited Time with Gerstad Builders

January 29, 2010 a new code was passed in the beautiful state of Illinois. The code requires contractors to meet or exceed the energy standards established in the 2009 International Energy Convservation Code when building a new home. Quite a few contractors are unaware of this new code, but Gerstad Builders is in compliance.

Many are reporting that the new code in Illinois is one of the most restrictive when it comes to conserving energy in new homes. It’s good for the environment, but can translate into higher costs for homebuyers.

Code enforcers had to learn the new standards and are now cracking down in full force. Now is a great time to buy a Gerstad Builders home, since for the next few months they will absorb the additional costs of energy efficient upgrades, since shortly they will raise prices $5,000 on each home to cope with the costs. That makes now the perfect time to receive all of the new energy upgrades for free in the following Illinois communities: Liberty Trails in McHenry, Dawson Creek in Poplar Grove, and Pheasant Ridge in Richmond.

For more information on Gerstad Builders, visit the builder’s website.

First Green Resource Center to Come to West Palm Beach

There is just one more reason to add to the long list of reasons why we love the city of West Palm Beach, Fla. Mayor Frankel recently announced that the city will be the first in the United States to partner with the National Green Energy Council on a Green Resource Center.

The resource center will become a place for the community to consider its energy efficiency and renewable energyas  well as a place to create sustainable jobs. The GEC will create educational seminars, classes and educational forums for local government officials, corporations, small business owners and local residence. The Green Resource Center has been a focus of the GEC for over a year and no other cities wanted to take the first step.  Some believe that the program is going to bring jobs with the city to the unemployed. The center will remake products that will  be  potentially shipped all over the world.

Essentially, the center will perform an analysis for clients in regards to their current energy usage.  The GEC’s Green Resouce Center Plan includes:

1.  Create a facility with educational classroom areas.

2.  Create a location within the city that consults local residents and businesses on how to reduce their energy usage through energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

3. Perform business community outreach in order to educate existing employees about energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.

4.  Entertain monthly discussions amongst community leaders about opportunities to alternative energy applications and green job training.

5.  Create an educational environment for the newly unemployed that will assist them in changing their career paths in order to take advantage of the new 21st century green tech jobs.

The Green Resource Center opened at the West Palm Beaches E4 Summit.

Take Advantage of the Green Built Tax Credits

Did you know that you can get a tax credit for all of the energy-efficient, water conserving and green products in your home? The government is doing what they can to encourage more builders to construct green homes and homeowners to renovate their homes with green features. It’s pretty obvious why you get so many breaks for your eco-friendly features – we absolutely need to decrease our carbon footprint and preserve our natural resources for future generations.

In addition to the tax benefits, energy-efficient and water-conserving features will reduce the amount of money you spend every month on your utility bills. Choosing a green built home and green renovations is definitely an investment in which you will receive the pay-off in the long run. Don’t let the higher up front prices deter you from making the switch because they will more than pay for themselves over the years.

For anyone living in metro Austin that is looking for a green home builder or a green remodeler, look no further than Sterling Custom Homes. Continue reading

FREE Eco-friendly Home Tours of Greenhaven

greehaven-eco-friendly-show-homeAtlanta’s first Eco-Decorators’ Show House, Greenhaven is now open for FREE tours through August 9th.  Located in Chelsea Landing – the first eco-friendly neighborhood community in East Cobb – the home was built by Pace Homebuilders.

Greenhaven will carry the US Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), Earthcraft House, Energy Star, Health House, and NAHB green building certifications and showcase the latest in green building techniques, sustainable design, state-of-art technology and energy efficiency.

Twenty of Atlanta’s top decorators, each with a fresh and unique perspective on eco-friendly design, has worked with Continue reading

New National Standard for Green Building Sent For Approval

The National Green Building Standard for residential buildings has finally been submitted to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for approval. If approved, it will establish a uniformity in building materials and practices and will be the first green building rating system. This will obviously be a great step forward in the business of building of green homes because the new standard would define what green practices could be incorporated into residential development and construction, and would also educate homeowners on how to operate their green homes. With a new national standard, green home building will have more accreditation and hopefully become a more popular option with homebuilders and buyers! Continue reading

Los Angeles Goes Green

L.A. Promotes Green BuildingThe city of Los Angeles has just broken records by becoming the largest city in the United State to adopt a mandatory sustainability program. An article on Multi-Housing news reports that the legislatures of Los Angeles’ City Council voted to require new developments over 50,000 square feet to be 15% more energy efficient over current California code standards. Apparently they were feeling especially pro-environment this year on Earth Day was the day that they unanimously voted in favor of the sustainable initiative. This is a huge step in the right direction in the city’s Green Building Program, and hopefully they will set the example for the other big cities in the nation. Once the new ordinance takes effect, which is sometime in November, the city’s carbon emissions will be reduced by more than 80,000 metric tons annually – to give you a better picture, this is the equivalent of removing 15,000 cars off of the road every  year! Way to go L.A.!

NAHB Encourages Congress to Promote Energy Efficient Building

ENERGY STAR is your resource for information on Energy EfficiencyThe National Association of Home Builders is trying to help increase the amount of green building in the nation by taking it to our lawmakers. They recently approached Congress with an idea on how to promote residential energy efficiency and sustainability technology by extending tax incentives for new energy-efficient homes. Currently builders who construct a home certified to achieve a 50% reduction in energy use are eligible to receive a $2,000 tax credit, but this credit is set to expire at the end of the year. Real estate industry professionals have been trying to encourage Congress to extend it, and there is currently pending legislation in the House and Senate but no agreement between the two chambers. Without the tax incentive, many new builders may cease producing green new homes, which will be a tremendous set back in the strides we have taken in progressing with the green building industry. If the benefits of building green do not outweigh the costs, Continue reading