Environmentally Friendly Construction Materials

The use of environment-friendly construction materials is becoming more popular these days. Partly, because of the louder calls for sustainable living; and largely, because of the immediate need to improve earth’s health. The acceleration of environmental problems such as resource depletion and climate change has strong association with the real estate industry – specifically with new construction.

If you are buying a new home, you could already be thinking of purchasing one that is more conscious of the environment. Here are some of the construction materials that befriend nature, deserving your attention of probable choices for the house you are going to buy.

Lime

This material has been used in buildings since the ancient times probably dating back to some 5000 years ago. Evidences point to its usage because of its resilient, durable, and water resistant properties. Contrary to modern coatings, lime in its original state which is calcium carbonate, has the ability to release the moisture from the surfaces – rather than trap it. This material has been rediscovered by construction engineers and applied today as one of the eco-friendly materials in green home sand buildings.

Cob or Mud

Have you ever read history books with sections dealing with houses made of mud or clay? These houses are called cob homes. Many of them are located in Asia and in some parts of Africa and Europe. Cob made use of clay-based soil, water and straw – mixing them together until desired thickness and ladling them into the stone foundation trodding them into place. Modern construction got inspiration from this and basically employs the same materials and principles. But with the use of mud loaves, the cob can get thicker to up to 300 to 500 mm. Rubble trenches, earth bags, and rammed tyres can be used as cheap foundations.

Flax and hemp

These materials are eyed as natural alternatives to expensive insulation materials like fiberglass, mineral wool, and multi-foils. Flax and hemp are natural plant fibers which are made available to the construction industry in batts and rolls. These plant fibers contain borates which have fungi and pest-killing properties along with its fire-retardant capabilities. To bind them together, starch is added. The eco-friendly property of these materials relies on their low embodied energy.

These are just some of the environment-friendly materials which you may want to consider for use on your new construction house. For other eco-friendly construction materials, you can talk to your local real estate agent who has the freshest information about green building and green real estate.

Green Architecture – The Future of Real Estate

As we continue to find ourselves in a situation where natural resources are getting depleted at rapid rates, it becomes imperative that we consider as many options to bring ourselves closer to the environment, and to the use of eco-friendly, non-depleting resources as possible.

Take the case of fossil fuels; they are both depleting as well as non-eco-friendly, with harmful emissions being a resultant of their consumption. In such a scenario, the use of solar energy as well as wind energy can be excellent alternatives.

While the usage of alternative energy sources like the aforementioned is being explored in diverse situations, real estate is one such area where the same can actually be used effectively. In addition to the obvious benefits to the environment, long term cost savings are also multifarious. In this article, we look at some of the ways in which you could incorporate green architecture initiatives into your construction.

Usage of LEDs and CFL Lamps

LEDs and CFL lamps are an excellent way of conserving energy; their intuitive, inherent technology allows significantly reduced electricity consumption for their usage. This not only results in more efficient usage of electrical resources, it also paves the way for major energy savings. Therefore, make sure you consider the option of using light emitting devices like the aforementioned, for your construction.

Usage of Solar Panels

Solar energy is one major energy source that is not going away anywhere, anytime soon (or so it seems!). Thus maximizing the usage of solar energy in real estate constructions makes ample sense. The relatively high initial costs of solar panels is what keeps a majority of realtors away from considering the usage of solar panels as indeed the overall implementation of solar energy in buildings. Yet, one should look at the long term implications that such an initiative would have, particularly the huge cost savings.

Waste Management

Waste management is one area where green initiatives can be applied effectively. Segregation of waste at the initial stage can save a lot of effort later, for waste disposal entities. Additionally, when applied effectively, you can actually recycle a lot of the waste that you generate, yourself, and use it for your own purpose. Already, numerous home owners across the country are using the biodegradable waste that they generate, as fertilizer for their own gardens.

Thus, as you can clearly see, the green initiatives that can be taken in real estate are numerous. Ultimately, common sense coupled with a drive from within to implement such initiatives and make a difference to the environment would be the key factors in ensuring that these steps see the light of day.

4 Easy Tips To Go Green And Thus Attract More Tenants

Going green is the trend these days, and it’s because more and more people are becoming environmentally conscious. As a landlord, you should be able to identify this trend and use it to your advantage to make your house look more attractive to the tenants. There are several ways in which you can make your house green. Here are 4 easy environment-friendly tips on attracting more tenants:

1. Introduce Green Replacements

If you are about to renovate your house before putting it back on the rental market, or even before doing something as small as fixing a broken bulb, consider getting green replacements. This is generally better if your tenants are already living in the house, as it reduces the downtime.

Check if the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer have Energy Star ratings. Replace older shower heads with low-flow models. Other small things that you can pay attention to include light bulbs, carpets, window coverings, and paints.

2. Use Solar Energy

It has been found that heating water using electricity is a major contributor to power consumption and electricity bills. While solar panels have been making a leeway into apartment complexes, you should make it a priority even if it’s an individual house. Solar heat pumps are available on the market, and the government has been supporting the idea with subsidies. The future will see better storage technologies for solar power, and your house will appear smart to the tenants with this choice. And hey, it would reduce the bills too!

3. Insulate Your House

Insulating your home is a direct step towards encouraging sustainability. You can trap cold air in the summers and warm air in the winters. This reduces the annual costs involved in using air conditioners and heat radiators. There are ample cheap, recycled insulators in the market that are made of wool and polyester. You should definitely consider getting them.

4. Get Compost And Recycle Bins

You can get your tenants some inexpensive recycle bins. It would be great if you can get compost bins too, as these will promote waste reduction and proper recycling of food waste. You can even buy some fruit gardens to use the compost. Tenants will really appreciate this.

These days, more and more house hunters are looking to live in environmentally friendly areas. Follow these simple steps to not only ensure that you attract green-savvy tenants, but also help the house live long.

Green Real Estate and Education Go Hand and Hand and the Timing Couldn't Be Better

What a better time to think of value in residential real estate than in the present challenging times. Most are still wondering if the projections of a turn around in the current marketplace are just fiction or truth. Five steps forward and two back, then three forward and three back. So what is really going to drive value for the buyer to buy again? What does a buyer consider in today's economic climate for the decision to buy a home? Do they think of a home for their family in terms of how their parents looked at the purchase? Do they still think a home is the American Dream where investment returns will be offered in the 6-8% in annual growth patterns as in the past?

The current climate offers a new sales technique for mortgage and real estate companies in moving property. The "short sale" market is of value to the investor, but counter productive for future community values. So, if you want to sell a home in this market, what are your options? The appraiser will always look at recent sales, and there have been several homes foreclosed and resold as short sales in your neighborhood. The bad thing is the family that wants to move across town into a nicer home, but the short sales will affect the value of their home dramatically. Appraisers will look at the most recent sales using the cost approach to determine value. This gives you only one real option to take less for your home, and hopefully buy a short sale across town if any are available. I mean why should we take such a loose; we were always on time with our mortgage and taxes, why are we being so affected by others hard times.

So you don't sell, because you do not want to take such a loss and there are no foreclosures in the area you want to go. What do you do to build value for the future? What do you honestly think will help your home stand out in front of the others? What do you think a buyer is thinking about today? Low utility bills? Are they considering looking into solar or energy savings? Are they curious about green building and green renovation products? Here is an idea. Put $ 15,000 in energy efficient upgrades in your existing home, taking advantage of the tax incentives and rebates. Now, depending on the upgrades you have chosen, the property stands out in this development. With offering up to 65% lower energy bills alone a buyer desiring your neighborhood may lean towards your home even if there is a short sale for less money. The timing couldn't be better as most are curious on how to renovate to lower utility bills. Green renovations, can make a difference in real estate values. Using healthy materials and installing more high efficiency systems will make a difference in quality of life. While economic times are challenging those involved in the energy sector hold promise for growth. Our company, Green Real Estate Education is educating all sectors in the real estate industry to bring these points to those is there markets. Our educational programs are in demand even in these economic times.

Energy Efficient Homes and proper marketing especially if they offer the added benefit of being green certified properties are some of the most sought after residences and gaining strength daily. The entire building industry is changing towards sustainable and green techniques; It's about time we embrace the new green revolution.

It is our opinion that a home seller should separate their property from the short sales and get green products and systems into their home as soon as possible. Some may not be thinking of selling right now, maybe in the future. But all renovations need to have energy conservation and the concepts of offering healthier indoor air quality in all they do in the future. . To investigate the best and most affordable way is to do a green renovation that will produce future value, is to hire a one of the 5,000 Green Real Estate Education has trained. A GCMP-GL is a Green Certified Mortgage Professional with a Level One Green Leadership Certification and a GCREP-GL is a Green Certified Real Estate Professional with a Green Leadership Certification. These professionals will offer options many do not even realize exist. Preparing your home for your future and the future of others will be a key to a successful sale. As a buyer, using these professionals will bring you additional information for becoming more aware of what your investment can bring in the future. This can and will support value while separating your home from others.

5 Reasons for Building Green

Various reasons have been given by many people and entities why they go for green homes and buildings. Through the years, developers have been very keen on abiding by the standards set by authorities aimed at promoting sustainable living. Despite the discussions and information drive, many of us are still left clueless about the advantages of such efforts. It is hoped that with the rest of the article, you, as a reader, will be shared with valuable information which will help you grasp the genera idea of ​​green building.

One of the foremost benefits of investing in a green home is the multitude of economic benefits it can give. It may be a costly investment, but as years pass, the owner can actually reap the benefits of lowered electricity and water bills. Operating costs will likely depreciate in figures as compared with operating or maintain a non-green compliant home or building.

The market value of green properties surges as time passes by. Demand for this types of homes are projected to go up by 2020 with more millenials jumping into the realization that owning a dream house should be aligned with embracing environmental obligations as well. If time comes that the owner decides to sell his piece, gain is probably on his edge. Life span of green homes is projected to be longer than their non-compliant counterparts.

Families invest in homes because of their kids. Essentially, the social welfare of younger family members is in the high ranks of consideration when a house is built or bought.

With this come the associated health advantages that owners are likely to get. Planned ventilations and well-located air circulation appliances contribute to improved air quality. In general, windows of green homes are also designed to let natural air and natural sunlight pass according to controlled amount or as needed.

Green homes would not be called such if without for the benefits that the environment gets. These types of homes and structures in general are built using hybrid raw and recycled ingredients. This lessens trees cut for use as boards, lumbers, and hardwoods. The trees are given more time to mature in their natural habitat. Well-planned water sewage and waste disposal systems are also incorporated in the designs of green houses. There is lesser chance that the owner will likely be contributing to the accumulation of untreated waste products.

If you are planning of building a green home, the various benefits discussed above are more than enough reasons to give your plan a green signal.

Evolution of Green Real Estate Properties

The ideologies of the buyers in the real estate industry have been drastically changed over the years. All they need is eco-friendly or environmental properties with required facilities. Some of the environment friendly features are:

Use of renewable energy sources
The current trend in the market is demand for eco-friendly properties. Use of solar energy in water heating appliances, air conditioners and inverters can attract many buyers. This kind of energy sources can reduce their E-bills.

Rainwater collectors
Rainwater harvesting is effective way of storing rainwater for domestic use. By using this method in our home, a large scale of water scarcity can be reduced.

Use of wooden furniture's
Consumers are considering organic materials like wood and bamboo to be used in interior furniture. Plywood made from wood chips and window treatment, which include bamboo shades are some of the organic designs evolving in the green properties. Wooden furniture can add warmth, richness, comfort and finesse to the household area.

Natural landscaping
It is one of the important factors for the green real estate property. Properties, which have native plants and trees growing in and around the surroundings, have much demand among the consumers. A property, which has artificial grass lawns, requires a lot of water to be supplied whereas native plants and trees require only seasonal rainfall to grow. Plenty of water can be saved by having natural growing trees and plants.

Eco-friendly interior insulations
Interior insulation in home is necessary as it affects the room temperature. Use of eco-friendly insulations with wooden chips, cotton, small broken pieces of stones and rocks, newspapers, cellulose insulation can reduce the noise and green house gas emission. Natural insulations have a low embodied energy and are fully disposable / recyclable at the end of their life.

Due to the increased demand in green real estate, many companies have started to promote their properties as eco-friendly homes. Buyers are showing more interest in having energy efficient products and systems in properties. Many financial institutions and private sector firms are investing huge money in green real estate predicting its demand in the future. According to government policies, investors who are investing in this sector pay fewer taxes compared to commercial sector investing. Green building construction has become increasingly popular and construction of such buildings has been a great challenge in long run. A green building is setting up new avenues in sector and increases the talent among the architects, environmentalists and suppliers.

Green Real Estate Features

As the health of our environment and our own personal wellness become issues of greater importance, the demand for eco-friendly homes continues to rise. Home builders and developers have responded to this rising demand, and are building “green” properties in greater numbers. According to McGraw-Hill Construction, a home must contain at least 3 of the following 5 elements to be considered green: energy efficiency, indoor air quality, resource efficiency, water conservation and site management (site management would refer to a home’s exterior use of water resources and electricity).

Buyers can enjoy a multitude of benefits associated with the ownership of eco-friendly properties, not the least of which is significant annual savings on energy bills. Most of all, owners of green properties delight in knowing that they’re effectively doing their part to contribute to a healthier environment.

Preserve Precious Resources

In order to conserve electricity, green properties utilize the power of solar energy. Installation of solar panels can provide most or all of the electricity that a home may need. While this solution is relatively expensive, homeowners can easily recover the cost of their initial investment over time by way of savings on their energy bills. Solar water heaters, which are relatively inexpensive to purchase and install, are a great way to heat your home’s water without the need for electricity or natural gas. Green property may also include radiant roof barriers and upgraded insulation, which can also greatly reduce your home’s consumption of energy. Low-E windows and exterior sunscreens are very effective in lowering the amount of exterior heat that your home absorbs. This heat would otherwise make its way inside, and would cost the homeowner more to keep it cool. If you can keep the heat out, you will use less electricity!

Discover Other Simple Solutions

Other, less expensive ways to “go green” include purchasing high-efficiency HVAC systems and Energy Star appliances. Install digital thermostats with timers to further maximize your HVAC system’s energy efficiency. Outside, choose to plant trees and shrubs that require less water. Installing low-flow toilets inside the house is also a great way to conserve water. Buyers will find all of these features and more when they look into purchasing eco-friendly homes. Purchase a green property today, and do your part to contribute to a healthier environment for generations to come.