Friday, January 19, 2007

Green is Becoming the Color of Real Estate

The environmentally conscious are gaining allies in residential construction from the efforts of Built Green Colorado; which is administered by the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver with the support of the Governor's Office of Energy Management and Conservation, Colorado Association of Home Builders and E-Star Colorado among others. The designation "Built Green" is issued to builders who chose from a list of more that 200 building features in 22 categories; including materials, resource conservation, energy efficiency and conservation of resources. Builders must obtain a minimum number of points accumulated by the inclusion of building features in order to register their project as a Built Green Community.

There are six primary benefits derived from the Built Green program: 1. Better Energy Efficiency. 2. Improved Durability and Reduced Maintenance. 3. Healthier Indoor Air. 4. Reduced Water Usage (this is critical in Douglas County). 5. Preservation of Natural Resources. 6. Pollution Reduction.

Special financing known as "Green Mortgages," are available to finance the purchase of a new Built Green home as well as to cover the cost of improvements to an existing home. As a result of energy savings the total housing cost resulting from these mortgage products are lower than the cost without special financing. Not all lenders offer Green Mortgages, so it is important to identify a lender familiar with these programs. I have estimated that a client utilizing our Green Mortgage product can achieve a savings of $45 per month on a $250,000 purchase price. The homebuyer could purchase an additional $7,500 in home value for the same payment by using the Green Mortgage program.

One example of a Built Green Community is the Highlands at Stonegate located at the southwest corner of C-470 and Jordan Road in Parker. The community is comprised of nearly 450 contemporary designed units containing a number of environmentally friendly features and building materials. Communities like the Highlands at Stonegate represent a tremendous value and appeal to buyers who recognize the benefits to the environment.

Those old enough to remember the environmental friendly homes of the 1970's will recall seven foot tall solar panels on roof tops and walls manufactured from old car tires; this in no way is representative of the Built Green home of today. The majority of features are not noticeable to the untrained eye; engineered lumber, low-e windows, fiber-cement siding, energy efficient appliances, and xeri-scaping all contribute to a beautiful and efficient alternative to traditional construction materials.

As consumers become more conscious about greenhouse gas emissions and the effect of global warming on our environment, many industries including the automobile industry and public utilities are seeking ways to satisfy the demands of the public for responsible management of our natural resources. Built Green Colorado has taken a key leadership role within the new homebuilder community in Colorado and residential communities throughout the state are seeing green.


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