Tag Archives: energy efficiency

Atlanta Home Builder Caters To Growing Energy-Efficient Buyer Segment

homes for sale in Gwinnett CountyAccording to the latest Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors, homebuyers are thinking green when it comes to their new home purchase decision. This year’s top priorities for those purchasing a new home included heating and cooling costs, energy-efficient appliances and energy-efficient lighting.

Atlanta home builder Smith Douglas Communities has developed building practices that maximize energy performance for all of its homes. Green features of the builder’s metro Atlanta homes include two-zoned HVAC systems with thermostats for each floor (in two-story homes), low E windows, house wrap, steel insulated high efficiency front and rear doors, 50 gallon electric water heaters and high efficiency insulation.

In addition to building green, Smith Douglas also offers award-winning floor plans designed to meet the needs of today’s buyer. Each home is loaded with features and finishes such as granite countertops and vaulted ceilings in the bedrooms, while also offering buyers the opportunity to customize the plan to include additional layout options. Plus, each Smith Douglas home comes with a 2-10 Home Buyer’s Warranty for added peace of mind.

With more than five communities of Canton and Woodstock GA homes in Cherokee County and another 13 communities of metro Atlanta homes in Forsyth, Gwinnett, Henry and Paulding Counties, homebuyers are sure to find a location convenient to where they live, work and play, an additional key factor among buying decisions.

To learn more about Smith Douglas’ new homes and communities, call 770-485-7086.

EPA Recognizes 2010 WasteWise Award Winners in Southeast

green buildingWhile you may already know about the green building trend that’s moved across the United States, what you may not realize is that the southeast is a hotspot for green activity. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently recognized five WasteWise partners in the southeast for outstanding achievement. Nationally there were 24 winners in categories including business, education and government.

The 2010 WasteWise award winners were:

Better World Books, Georgia — This company collects and sells new and used books online. They also donate a portion of each sale to help literacy initiatives worldwide.  In 2009 alone, the company recycled 7,090 tons of materials, which is equivalent to removing 2,900 passenger vehicles from the road for one year in terms of carbon dioxide output.

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp (FCCC), South Carolina — Freightliner is the nation’s largest producer of diesel-powered chassis for the RV and walk-in van industry.  By taking a ‘green’ initiative, the company has gone from dumping 125 tons of solid waste per month in January 2008 to zero landfilling in September 2009. Not only is this great news for the environment, but it has also saved FCCC $157,598 in 2009 alone.

Fetter Group, Kentucky – Fetter Group, a printing company out of Louisville, has switched to reusable plastic shipping boxes and no longer uses “proof approval stickers,” eliminating the production of more than 10,000 proof stickers per year.  In 2009, Fetter Group was able to add $250,000 to its bottom line through its efforts to reduce waste.

Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Legal Services –The Division has implemented several environmentally friendly practices. Its paper reduction efforts saved Florida taxpayers more than $1 million in 2009.  TBy switching to electronic processing tools, paper use was reduced by 1.5 million pages per year, saving  more than $85,000.

Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Tradeport Complex – In 2009, employees recycled 100 tons of traditional recyclables and diverted one ton of used coffee grounds for use in home compost bins. These efforts saved taxpayers almost $6,500 and eliminated greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to nearly 37,000 gallons of gasoline.

The WasteWise program is a free, voluntary partnership that helps businesses reduce their environmental impact and find cost savings through innovative waste reduction and recycling activities. Currently, over 2,700 participants and endorsers are involved in the program.

For more information on the WasteWise program and the award winners, visit http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/partnerships/wastewise/events/2010awardees.htm.

Maintaining Your Green Built Home to Maximize Energy Savings

energy efficient homesWith the weather as cold as it’s been in the first weeks of December, even people with a green built home are probably wondering what to expect with this month’s energy bills. Homes that are built to green specifications still require a combination of maintenance and common sense to maximize energy savings. A recent post on the

Equifax Personal Finance blog offers ideas that may help.

Real estate expert Ilyce Glink wrote the article, entitled “

Cut Your Energy Bills Without Cutting Comfort.”  Of course, the most obvious recommendation is to turn down the thermostat, yielding a potential savings of 10 percent for every two degrees you lower the temperature in your home this winter.

Another commonsense, but often forgotten, solution is to close the chimney flue when you’re not burning a fire to keep your warm air from escaping.

As part of your green built home’s regular maintenance, you should invest in some inexpensive caulking and weather stripping and use them to seal gaps that may have developed around your doors and windows. This will keep the warm air in and the cold air outside where it belongs.

If you’re still in the process of greening your home, then investments such as added insulation – perhaps blown into the walls – and new energy efficient windows can result in significant energy savings. If you invest a lot of cash, then you’ll want to check out another post on the

Equifax Personal Finance blog,  too – one that talks about the

tax savings you could enjoy this spring.  Now there’s a thought that will keep you warm!

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.

Independence Station Uses Ice to Offset Energy Consumption

independence_station_progress_2009-04-09001As Independence Station progresses they form more and more partnerships with green companies that aid them in their quest to become the world’s greenest building. Recently, the green developers announced that they chose CALMAC’s IceBank® Energy Storage System for eco-friendly cooling of Independence Station.

The ice storage technology from CALMAC was chosen to be a part of the overall HVAC system to offset energy usage during peak demand hours. The system is simple, ice made during off hours is used during peak hours so the building can run off grid. During the peak demand period the building will operate on power produced by biodiesel generators and cooled by the ice storage plant. This alternative saves costs by minimizing expensive electricity demand charges. Continue reading

Homeowners Turn to Energy Efficient Remodeling Tactics

The National Association of Home Builders recently conducted a survey with results suggesting a rise in the popularity of green and energy efficient remodeling. Many of you are feeling the effects of the rising gas and energy costs, so to help balance out these expenses, many homeowners are turning to remodelers for money-saving suggestions. The results of the survey show 33% of remodelers report that they are increasingly called on to improve the energy efficiency of their client’s homes. The following is a list of the most popular energy-efficient products for remodelers:

  • Windows–73% of surveyed remodelers installed more energy-efficient windows that are insulated to prevent outdoor heat exchange.
  • Insulation–65% made upgrades such as insulation replacement and spraying foam or fiber insulation into enclosed walls and roof cavities, while 27% insulated foundations and 52% installed insulated exterior doors.
  • High-efficiency HVAC systems (56%)
  • High-efficiency kitchen appliances (47%)
  • Water-saving faucets and fixtures (46%)