Eco-Friendly Homes: Green Real-Estate
John Williams, NHK.COM
Real-estate developers and investors are now adopting more environmental-friendly practices. Buildings are redesigned; investors and developers would incorporate the goal of achieving greener buildings and properties when doing renovations. The market of clients looking for greener buildings and houses are also increasing. This is just a reflection that people are starting to become more aware of the earth's environmental concerns.
Aside from the increasing environmental consciousness of those who are house hunting, the government are also implementing regulations making the industry greener. Developers and investors are building and looking for houses that would be able to meet the government environmental standards. International organizations and institutions are also playing major roles in pushing both the private and public sectors in rethinking their environmental actions.
In fact, construction companies which are indispensable to real-estate developers, are working hard to be green certified.? According to the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), 5% of commercial construction companies were able to secure LEED certification in the previous year. Aside from that, major companies like IBM, JP Morgan Chase, etc. are moving into green buildings.
According to the McGraw-Hill report, there are developers that would buy houses and properties which they would convert into green buildings and homes. The McGraw-Hill survey reported that green buildings tend to bring 3% and 7.5% higher revenues.
The National Association of Home Builders stated that the market is experiencing increase in demands for eco-friendly homes. As a matter of fact, the American Institute of Architects in their 2006 survey stated that 90% of people are willing to pay $5,000 more just to have a house that uses less energy and earth-friendly.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, more homes are becoming environmental-friendly due to its numerous benefits. What are these benefits?
Greener homes use less energy which means less money on bills. The price of fuel is constantly increasing over the past years. Reducing your energy bills would allow you to allocate your budget for other important things needed in the household. According to Energy Star, a program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, about 15 to 20% of house energy is lost because of poor construction.
Better and healthier air quality. Indoor air is two to five times more polluted compared with outdoor air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Indoor air can aggravate allergies and asthma. Using home materials and machines that produce better air quality are those materials (paints, stains, glues) that have low content of toxic chemicals. They could cost more, it would be better for the homeowners' health, in the long run.
Opting for greener homes and buildings means that you are helping save the earth. Homeowners and real-estate developers are reducing waste-production because they are working with materials that would last longer and recycled items. Also, less consumption of energy means you are consuming less fossil fuel, and less carbon footprint.
When thinking about making your real-estate property eco-friendly, you could always coordinate with a local or regional green building organization. They have network of architects and builders who would be able to help you improve your home. There are also guideline when building green houses, so make sure that you are properly informed. Before proceeding with any green real-estate developer or builder, make sure to check their previous works or generate as much information from former clients.