We’ll all be Earthcraft soon

And that qualifies as a “good thing.”

At an open house this weekend, a builder and I were discussing homeowners’ evolving wants and demands in their homes. Friday, I met with some potential buyers who spoke to exactly what I foresee as being what is “next,” both from a want and a need perspective.

Buyers want quality. They want energy efficiency. They want smart design. They want good materials. They want their homes to be more than a house that has been vomited up on a clear-cut landscape and put up as quickly as possible by whomever could be found and contracted with to be built by whomever they builder could find who would show up.

A bit of research led me to this excellent interview with John Beldock, CEO of EcoBroker. Where there used to be only two EcoBrokers in the Charlottesville market, there are now three. Slowly, people are catching on.

My potential clients on Friday were talking about the “5,000 square foot barns with walls of glass and 12 foot ceilings …” that people are just realizing cost beaucoup dollars to heat. They would like their next home to have passive solar, radiant heating, smart living spaces and – get this – be well-constructed. See this article for an example of a good idea – radiant heating – taken to the extreme. (Free link)

The Housing Bubble blog has an interesting story titled “Shoddy Construction and The Housing Bubble.” I don’t necessarily agree with the severity of all the comments, but there are some valid points regarding the speed with which homes have been built of late and the accompanying level of quality. That is changing now and will change more dramatically in the next three years. Builders will have to adapt to buyers’ demands rather than buyers’ adapting to the builders’ offerings.

I said the other day in The HooK:

“In the last several years, people had gotten away from the ‘buying smart’ mentality and were just buying,”

Change that sentence around a bit –

In the last several years, people had gotten away from the ‘builders smart’ mentality and were just building whatever they could, as fast as they could.

Not surprisingly, none of the EarthCraft builders in Charlottesville market are “production” builders.

Waldo has collected a few useful links.

Can homes with these offerings be built in a dense environment?
What will Homeowners’ Associations’ response be to solar panels?

Solar power is becoming more affordable
A look at alternative energy and more
How to green your heating

A lot of the green “trends” are simple common sense. Common sense is part of what allowed mankind to sustain itself for so long. It’s time we returned to some of our senses.

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