Green building

Making “green” choices –

Thankfully, there is an upward trend in the number of environmentally sound and sustainable products on the market. Green building’s move to the mainstream is picking up speed. These products tend to cost a bit more right now, mainly because going green is a long-term decision, rather than a short-term one. Unfortunately, our society tends to place more value on immediate, instant gratification than on long-term goals. This is due in part to the recent real estate boom. The transience of our society and market has made analyzing long-term goals not only more difficult, but seemingly a waste of time. “Sure, that high-efficiency SEER-rated heat pump will pay for itself in five years, but I’ll be moving in three; why should I care?” It’s the American Way.

The number of “new partners” in Charlottesville compared to the number of established green builders is telling: six “new partners” versus two established. “And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.”

I was talking to somebody last week who asked me why I had gotten my EcoBroker certification, was I doing it simply to be altruistic and good for the environment? Sort of. 1) it’s the right thing to do and 2) there is profit in this segment of the market, and it’s only going to grow. I’d rather be on the front end of the curve and be a market leader rather than a follower.

“It’s that initial cost, which is the problem of all green and efficient stuff,” Eckman said. “It costs more the first time and less over time.”

“Going green” is a good decision, one that requires just a bit of social consciousness as well.

Home Depot is testing a green theme in all of its Canadian stores. EcoOptions, as it is called, is part of a marketing effort that promotes environmentally friendly products, including natural fertilizer and mold-resistant drywall.

If Canadians respond, “we could imagine rolling it out in the U.S.,” said Ron Jarvis, a merchandising vice president at the Home Depot in Atlanta.

Home Depot would not be getting into the business if they did not see money to be made. This is an opportunity for business and consumers to lead, and feel good about doing it as well. People recycle because it “feels good,” not because that is a profitable industry. The return on green building will be far greater.

Note: The HooK has a story about one of the green developments in C’Ville.

Did you know that you can finance some of the energy-efficient options?
Consumer Reports is a good place to start learning.
We have our own “green” development in Central Virginia – the Quarries ecoVilllage
Another good place to start.
The Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy site

Virginia incentives for going green

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