Category Archives: Green Certifications

EarthCraft, LEED and more.

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.

Going Green Making a Universal Impact

green building universal impactIt seems like everyone these days is green or is talking about going green, but you have to stop and wonder if being eco-friendly is just another fad? According to recent data from the U.S. Green Building Council, it looks like green may be here to stay.

The total footprint of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified commercial projects has now surpassed two billion square feet, and an additional seven billion square feet worth of projects are in the planning stages. In addition green building is projected to support or create nearly 8 billion jobs between 2009-2013 and contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product.

Many buildings, both old and new, are installing roof gardens, systems that recycle water and heating, solar panels and drought-resistant landscaping. In addition, the green trend has spread to now include whole communities with the new LEED for Neighborhood Development program.

And while the eco-friendly way of building may have benefits for the environment and our wallets, it also has a positive impact on our day to day lives. Many employees are demanding healthier work spaces and actively choosing to work for companies located in green buildings. In addition, improved indoor environment quality has contributed to healthier employees and reductions in absenteeism, according to a study in the American Journal for Public Health.

With all of this positive news for the green building industry, we want to know how being energy efficient and eco-friendly is impacting your day to day life? Let us know in the comments section below!

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.

What Does a Green Home Mean To You?

In today’s age, homeowners are turning to energy efficient and green building practices. With more and more companies offering green products and services, it is important for consumers to do their homework.

According to a nationwide Angie’s List poll, 72 percent of respondents consider green work practices important, and of those, only 15 percent have tried to hire green only service providers. However, 62 percent of respondents, in a separate poll, say they’re either somewhat skeptical or consider most green claims to be fake.

From insulation and flooring to lawn fertilizer and paint, there are number of energy efficient and green building practices to make your home more environmentally friendly. With so many green options, it is hard to weed out the real green products from the phonies.

Here is Angie’s List of tips to find out if a company is really green:

1. Scrutinize ads: Because advertising is often misleading, make sure you read the advertisements and call the company for more complete details.

2. Seek Certifications: Authentic green companies should earn their certification from a reputable third party, such as LEED, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) or the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

3. Research: Confirm green training, licensing (if applicable), credentials and work practices within the company.

4. Sustainable Products: Ask companies if they use sustainable products, such as the Forest Stewardship Council’s certified wood from sustainably harvested forests. Energy Star or WaterSense products ensure energy and water efficiency and the national fenestration rating Council certifies windows for energy performance.

5. Talk it Up: Make sure your potential employees know that green work practices are important to you. Set and discuss your priorities and share your passion with others.

Want more green innovation ideas? Visit Atlanta Real Estate Forum for the latest information on Atlanta green building.

EarthCraft Certified Homes Offered at 50+ Community

Soleil Laurel CanyonToday’s active adult buyers are interested in energy-efficient, eco-friendly and healthy living. Now they can find all of these things in a home at Soleil Laurel Canyon in Canton, Ga. where the developer is offering EarthCraft-certified homes. Any home plan within the masterplanned community can be upgraded to be EarthCraft certified, allowing home buyers to select the ideal plan for their lifestyles while insuring they are energy efficient.

The developers of Soleil Laurel Canyon decided to start offering EarthCraft certified homes because more and more buyers were selecting upgraded insulation and other features to reduce energy costs.

Homes at Soleil range from 1,500 to almost 3,000 square feet and are priced between $200,000 and the high $400,000s. Yard maintenance, a 24-hour staffed security gatehouse, and home security monitoring are included in the association fees. This environment, which also includes a clubhouse with heated indoor saline pool, billiards parlor, gourmet teaching kitchen, fitness center and aerobics studio, library, two card rooms and an arts and crafts studio, is why Soleil is truly one of Atlanta’s best active adult communities.

EarthCraft certified homes provide a number of benefits, including lower utility costs, enhanced indoor air quality, increased comfort and reduced home maintenance. On average, EarthCraft certified homes sell for a higher price than the average home  at the same list price and sell more quickly than conventionally built homes. EarthCraft was established in 1999 by the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and Southface. For more information on EarthCraft, visit www.EarthCraft.org.

Where to Retire Magazine even rated Soleil Laurel Canyon as one of the country’s top 50 master planned communities for active adults.  A performing arts center, outdoor amphitheatre, outdoor lagoon-style pool, six clay tennis courts, full-time tennis pro, walking trails, a greenhouse and neighboring golf course round out the long list of amenities. For more information on Soleil Laurel Canyon, visit www.SoleilLaurelCanyon.com or call 678-880-3071.

Ground Broken on Green Chicago Residential Tower

The Chicago real estate industry is getting a new high-rise that will fill two popular needs in the city right now: Green building and rental opportunities.

With homeownership at historic lows, many residents in Chicago and around the nation are turning to rental properties for living quarters.

Developer AMLI Residential broke ground last week on a luxury 50-story apartment tower in downtown Chicago that will be built for LEED Gold Designation and designed as part of Chicago’s Green Permit Process.

The high-end AMLI development will include lots of luxurious features, including a pool, fitness center, theatre room and in-unit floor-to-ceiling windows that provide natural night and beautiful city views.

The building will also include a no-smoking policy in which offenders found lighting up anywhere on the property, including in units, will have to send $250 to the American Lung Association.

Want to find out more about this pet-friendly residential tower, including its green features and expected completion date? Check out our story:

Construction Commences on Chicago Luxury Tower

and then check back to Chicagoland Real Estate Forum for updates on this exciting project.

Green Chicago Rental Nabs Prestigious Award

A new Chicago real estate tower has been named “High-Rise of the Year” by Multifamily Executive Magazine.

EnV, one of the first LEED-certified apartment buildings in Chicago, is a 249-unit luxury rental property that was designed by Valerio Dewalt Train Associates.

The building was honored with the 2011 MFE Award for its green design.

The 29-story, mixed-use tower was completed last year with environmentally friendly features, including:

*A green roof made of sedum, which lowers energy costs.

*Energy Star appliances in all units

*Outdoor landscaping that requires no irrigation

*Onsite service to Zipcar and bike storage

There is also a multitude of amenities at this modern property, which is located across the street from Chicago’s historic Merchandise Mart. Want to see more? Check out our story:

Chicago Real Estate to be EnVied

Chicago Multifamily High-Rise First to Earn Green

A Chicago real estate apartment building has earned the city’s first multifamily LEED EB Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

One East Delaware (OED), which is located right off the Magnificent Mile in Chicago’s premier Gold Coast neighborhood, becomes the third largest community in the country to earn the certification.

Owned by Waterton Residential, OED is a Chicago high-rise that features studio, convertible, one- and two-bedroom residences for rent.

The units are filled with energy-efficient additions, including floor-to-ceiling windows, which not only offer natural sunlight but also provide fantastic views of Chicago.

This building received the certification by meeting standards established by the USBGC.

Want to find out more about those standards and all that this multifamily green building has to offer? Want to get a glimpse of the fabulous view?

Check out our story:

Multifamily Chicago Real Estate First to Earn Green

ENERGY STAR 3.0 Coming to Atlanta New Homes

energy efficient homesAtlanta new homes with the ENERGY STAR 3.0 designation will be available after Jan. 1, 2012 from Ashton Woods Homes. The national builder, headquartered in Atlanta, is working hard to ensure all homes built to close after Jan. 1 will qualify for the designation.

The ENERGY STAR designation means homes offer more than just energy efficient appliances, heating and cooling systems. It takes a more holistic approach in ensuring the home is overall designed to be energy-efficient from its initial planning stages.

Ashton Woods Homes is the largest builder of energy-efficient homes in the Atlanta area. The builder has committed to building 100 percent ENERGY STAR complaint homes. Since becoming a partner in 2002, Ashton Woods has built more than 2,100 energy-efficient homes in the Atlanta area; during April 2010 to March 2011, 319 were built.

In addition to the ENERGY STAR qualification, every new home built by Ashton Woods is rated energy-efficient through the PowerHouse Green with Environments for Living Program. Utilizing low-e windows, low-flush toilets and other low-energy features, home buyers can save up to 45 percent on their utility bills.

Start your energy-efficient Atlanta home search today. Visit the Ashton Woods Homes website for more information.

New Chicago Neighborhood Will Focus on Green

The Chicago real estate landscape will be getting an entirely new community in the future, and that community will qualify for the nation’s first sustainable rating system for green neighborhoods.

Lakeside is a proposed community to be built along Lake Michigan on Chicago’s South Side where the U.S. Steel’s South Works manufacturing plant used to sit.

The 500-acre site will include enough single-family homes and high-rise units for 50,000 residents, retail and entertainment space, a marina and a new high school.

The Chicago Lakeside Development Master Plan is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) certified community from the U.S. Green Building Council and will include these environmentally friendly features:

*Large open spaces, compact walkable neighborhoods and access to bike paths and public transportation.

*1.7 miles of additional lakefront access, 91 acres of lakefront park and 125 acres of green space.

*On-site and off-shore wind development.

*Geothermal/lake water cooling.

*Solar panel inclusion.

*An innovative stormwater management plan.

Want to learn more about this new community? Read our story:

Untapped Chicago Real Estate About to Bloom

Then, check back to Chicagoland Real Estate Forum for updates on this exciting project.