Essential Green Factors for Real Estate – Turn Green Time for Real Estate

The factors to be considered by Construction / Real Estate firms to turn green are:

Energy Saving Electricity: – Solar Power

Moving away from first generation power usage techniques i.e. depending on Electricity generated by power plants which run on water / coal, present day Realty sectors could possibly adopt the technique of absorbing the power of Sun, otherwise named as Solar Power to generate electricity.

Solar power makes us to think of energy efficient techniques in constructing a home or gated community’s viz. quipping solar Facades in exteriors to absorb the energy of SUN, painting interiors with brighter colors to radiate more light with less power etc. The other useful power saving technique could make Realty firms in turning green is automatic power off system which helps in turning off unused electricity automatically.

Inserting solar panels, solar equipped glass facades, solar powered water heaters & illuminating systems and using energy efficient paints at interiors could really help Realty firms in turning attentive to Green Earth Revolution by reducing usage of power and coal generated electricity.

Water Storage: – Rainwater harvesting tank

Water shortage, the popularized household problem these days is the major concern for Realty builders. Against drilling down 1000 to infinite feet down the ground for water and settling with non-resulted trials, some Real Estate firms have dusted the age old technique of storing water through tanks to tap the requirement of daily necessity – WATER. With the increase in demand for water and less adequate resources to fulfill it, apartment builders adopted the Rainwater Harvesting System which possibly can resolve the water problem restricted to certain qualitative measures.

Rainwater Harvest tank is a specially paved area on the rooftop / in the courtyard of a building to store rainwater or sometimes even a gutter in the garden would help to be a water harvesting tank. Heightening these kind of water storage techniques, builders could give uninterrupted water facility to dwellers though it depends on water sources i.e. rainfall in that particular area. With the minimal concerns for clean and safety water, builders can effectively use this technique to address water related problems especially without depending on ground water levels.

Plastic Usage:- High toxic levels

Matching up with the global uproar against plastic usage and to be in the path against global warming, ‘plastic-free environments’ are rapidly dotting up the cities like never before. Plastic the excessive use of which may contaminate under ground water due to its very slow decomposition levels compared to other materials can harm the marine population and is severely hazardous for drinking water. Disposal of plastics either into water or on ground should be avoided cause of the high toxicity it has in using and by manufacturing them.

Hence, in the course to turn towards greener earth, real estate firms have the need to build their gated communities or any other form of group housing insisting on absolutely ‘Plastic – Free’ environments. Indeed, attaining plastic free environment certificate will also be beneficial in escalating flat or plot sales, is also a major factor for real estate firms to turn green.

Plantation: – Air Purification

‘How about residing amid greenery? Wake up and say good morning to 75000 Tulips’; these were the catch-up lines pitched by some of the Realty firms in recent times at Hyderabad. Having heard of the same intentional messages for numerous times, it’s been proved that Real Estate has lent its hand / land to sufficient plantation required for healthy life.

More plantations in the vicinities makes the area protected from pollution thus leads to air purification which of a great concern in giving a quality living style. Against deforestation and concrete landscapes, turning to green panoramic landscapes would fetch Realty industries to cope up with the increase in need of life style away from regular hustle – bustle with more fresh and quality breath.

Waste Management Techniques: – Landfills

Probably, the foremost hectic task confronts by contemporary construction world is managing the waste. Maintaining Garbage dumping yard popularly known as landfills, has been a difficult task for present day apartment builders as the vicinities are dotted up with concrete blocks not allowing space.

In this scenario, allotting a special slot outside / inside the row housing for garbage dump is definitely a valuable idea. It creates opportunity to be hygienic and indeed can helpful in producing bio fuel. Adding to it, with the help of Plasma we can even turn garbage into Gas which is another advantage of using dumping yard or landfills. Instead of spewing up the garbage into neighborhoods and leaving the environment more unhygienic, dumping yards are of more useful methods for Realty firms in tapping the turn of green revolution.

In this way, Realty Firms can effectively turn green by following above stringent factors.

On an ending note, though the methods like solar systems and dumping yard maintenance demands more practicality, with the little care Real Estate firms can turn to greener phase easily.

LEED Advantage – Should Real Estate Agents Pursue a LEED AP Certification?

So, I wanted to learn and understand more about green buildings and all that it means. One solution I was researching led me to join the non-profit US Green Building Council (usgbc.org). This is the organization that wrote and owns the ‘LEED’ green building certifications.

LEED is a USGBC building certification system that is recognized internationally. It provide third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies that improve performance. LEED also provides building owners and those who operate buildings a way to identify and implement solutions in the building design and construction process.

So, I went to a local chapter meeting in Phoenix Arizona and found out it was free for individuals to join locally, and companies join at the national level for a fee. Everyone was very helpful, and all were volunteers with regular jobs. So, feeling quite comfortable as an real estate agent, I joined and chose to volunteer with the Education Committee. Soon I had learned enough to help at tradeshows with the USGBC booth, and it turned out to be fun and very enjoyable.

But back to the LEED AP designation (Accredited Professional). I purchased a thick textbook for about $200 that had chapters and chapters of information to help me pass the big certification exam. Available courses were available, but I want to study on my own. It was college all over again for me with memorization. Some of the terms and concepts were not very familiar and required more online research (i.e. ASHRAE, VOC, etc.). You see, my college degree was in Accounting and my MBA in Finance. I was actually doing well for awhile in the memorization department. I was starting to make sense. Speakers at monthly meetings were kind to ‘dumb down’ their presentations to those in the audience like me. Thank goodness!

There were only a handful of LEED AP professionals in the local Chapter. I decided it would be a differentiating item if I were LEED AP certified. I kept on the slow study program, and am still on it to this day. Since the concept of a ‘green building’ is becoming more popular, it is also more complex. But, the idea to understand and be part of a growing megatrend is still of great interest. I am continuing my studies on the side. The USGBC has introduced a lower level ‘Green Associate’ for those more interested in the basic concepts. That is where I am now going.

Come join in the fun. Let’s do it together!

Benefits Of Going Green In Real Estate

There are a number of reasons why you should go green. A green lifestyle is not only good for you but also for the environment. Moreover, making eco-friendly changes in one’s life is not as costly as many people believe. For instance, walking instead of driving whenever possible is an easy green lifestyle alteration that does not cost anything, but still helps in saving the environment. Some of the most important benefits of going green are listed below –

* Home value – The value of your home would increase, if you consider using sustainable and eco-friendly materials in your house. For example, water saving toilets and solar panels can save you a lot of money on the utility bills.

* Water bills – Using appliances with energy star ratings can help you save a lot of water and cut back on your monthly water bills. The newer low flush toilets are also highly efficient and use lesser amount of water.

* Energy bills – If more and more buildings are updated with energy saving green units for water and electricity, then people would apparently consume lesser energy annually. By making such upgrades, you can also enjoy deductions and refunds on the taxes by the government.

* Durability – Eco friendly homes tend to last longer, as compared to traditional homes. Moreover, green homes do not really need painting or treating for the outdoor projects, such as decks.

* Less toxicity – Materials that are toxic in nature come out of cleaners and paints that have volatile organic compounds in them. Green or eco-friendly houses do not support the use of such materials and thus, have a good indoor air quality.

* Less waste – By building or renovating a home, using green products, the waste can be significantly reduced, as eco-friendly products are recyclable.

* Adaptability – Green homes last for more number of years, in comparison to traditional homes. Many eco-friendly houses incorporate big open areas, which are easy and simple to rearrange and remodel.

* Preserve the surroundings – Green homes have the least footprint on the surroundings and thus, work towards safeguarding the nature.

* Conserve the natural resources – The green building practices focus on conserving the natural resources by supporting the use of recycled materials, rather than new trees.

* Affordability – Majority of the green building materials and products available in the market are available at more affordable rates, than the traditional materials. Moreover, the green alterations that you make in your life also help you save a great deal of money.

To summarize, going green offers a lot of benefits and thus, it is important for each one of us to support the “green movement” and lead an environment friendly life. By going green, you would not only be able to have a better health and improved lifestyle, but also save a great deal of money. Above all, you would be able to play a significant role in protecting Mother Nature.

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.

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.

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.

St Lucia Real Estate Tips: 5 Ways for Green Living on the Caribbean Island

St Lucia’s rich biodiversity and natural beauty play a significant role in the island’s culture and economy. The island’s 2 major industries, tourism and agriculture, both depend on sustainable environmental practices. In 2004 the Pitons were inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to their outstanding beauty and unique ecology. Environmental awareness is therefore a crucial part of life in St Lucia. Every human interaction with nature leaves behind an indelible fingerprint. When building a home in St Lucia you should be vigilant to minimize the impact on the environment. Here are 5 easy ways in which you can do so.

Do not clear land indiscriminately. Before starting construction, consider how your home will impact the tree cover in the area. St Lucia is a heavily vegetated country. The prevalence and variety of trees is one of the things which makes the island unique. Save as many mature trees as possible. Incorporate existing foliage into the design and layout of your house. This ensures that the island remains green. Mature trees also add majesty and beauty, while keeping a property cool.

Use renewable energy. Sunlight and wind are two of St Lucia’s most abundant natural resources. It is now possible to have one’s home completely powered by solar panels and wind turbines. Whether you use wind, solar or a combination of the two depends on the location of your home. For instance, home sites on the island’s east coast have a constant Atlantic breeze, and are well placed to utilize wind power. While solar or wind power will increase your construction costs, it will eliminate utility bills in the future. In St Lucia, electricity is the most costly utility and the savings will add up in the long run. Renewable energy also reduces the burning of fossil fuel and helps to keep the air clean while reducing the island’s carbon footprint.

Harvest rain water. St Lucia has approximately 2000 mm of annual rainfall. Using drainage systems, it is easy to collect rainwater, which is stored in tanks or underground cisterns. This helps conserve the island’s public water supply. It also ensures that you have a backup if there are shortages after a hurricane.

Maximize natural ventilation to minimize cooling costs. In St Lucia, air conditioning units are major culprits when it comes to high energy usage. Keeping your house naturally cool will significantly reduce your consumption of electricity. High ceilings, large windows, insulated roofs and cross ventilation are just a few ways in which your house can be designed to remain cool. Many homes in St Lucia are located on elevated hillsides where there is a constant breeze. A well ventilated house can eliminate (or at least greatly reduce) the need for air conditioning. (Besides the practical benefits, high ceilings and large windows are great for admiring those amazing St Lucian vistas!)

Grow a kitchen garden. Gardens flourish in St Lucia’s rich, volcanic soil and tropical weather. It is common for backyards to be laden with tropical foods such as mangoes, guavas, dasheen or breadfruit. Eat your own organic, delicious fruit, vegetables and herbs grown right in your back yard! Once you’ve gotten your garden started it’s easy to maintain. The prevalence of backyard gardening helps ensure the island’s food security and preserves the indigenous foliage. The rewards are delicious and good for both you and the environment!

These are just a handful of ways to live a nature friendly lifestyle if you have decided to buy St Lucia real estate. The island is loved for its lush, green beauty. Everyone in the country must play their part to maintain this. Cautious real estate development can enhance rather than diminish the island’s natural environment. Energy efficiency is also a great investment as it will make your home more appealing to buyers should you ever decide to sell.

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.