California is an example of green construction. In 2008, state energy regulators adopted a long-term plan that called for having all new residential buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2020 and having all commercial buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2030. The provisions also reduce water use by 20% and divert 50% of construction waste from landfills.
L.A. is on track to reduce the city’s carbon emissions 35% below 1990 levels by 2030. Our goal is the greatest reduction target of any large US city. It takes the state’s stringent CalGreen building codes a step further.
So going forward, we’re good, but we’re still dealing with an existing building stock, and some antiquated customs and equipment all the way around. Restructuring a structure’s infrastructure (say that 3x fast) is not an overnight process. We are sprinting toward net zero construction, yet large parts of the old-style building infrastructure will still dominate the landscape for the next century.
Any improvements and renovations made to your properties can impact the environment. Be conscious of your choices in paint and floor coverings. Anything you upgrade on your properties can be done with green in mind heating, plumbing, and electric all offer green fixes that can save the business money on the long term, and increase profitability on resale.
But some things are a slow fix…we may be building green buildings, but the machinery used to construct the property may not be. You’ve seen those backhoes and cranes bellowing black diesel carbon fumes. Around the shop, some old power tools use 3x the needed energy.
Construction equipment companies are catching on. JCB is aware of their duty to make their plant machinery more environmentally sound. For example, the Scot JCB Digger has numerous variations including the brand new 3CX-ECO with increased fuel efficiency in all aspects of its functionality.
Construction companies – particularly in Southern California – are up to speed on CalGreen construction, ICC codes, and other modern methods. Our fair county is an example of sound building, with cities like West Hollywood, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica offering some of the strictest green construction codes in the country, if not the world. And we’re setting an example for going forward. Today’s green apprentice may someday become the foremen of their own company, selling jobs and their bids.
Green building goes beyond the edifice, it includes the source of the raw materials, and the distance they travelled, the equipment that goes into the building and that goes into building the building. Society is progressing forward at warp speed, and we’re along for the ride. Let’s do our best to contribute to the greater good for now and for generations to come.
Imagine getting a credit from SoCal Edison instead of a bill. Net-zero homeowners rely on power from utilities at night but get credit for the energy they produce during the day that they don’t consume. If you live in a smart home with solar power and get involved with California’s net meter programs, your energy credits for the power you create and do not use. Shine sun shine.
Net metering allows homeowners to get credit for the power they produce at a retail rate rather than a wholesale rate…nice incentive, yes? There is currently a cap on net metering programs, but experts say the cap won’t be hit any time soon.
“The energy that I don’t use Edison buys from me,” notes green home owner Steve Rosen. “It looks like I may not have an electric bill next year, because the electricity, all of it is going to keep on adding to that credit. I still have to pay delivery and handling charges, but that is just a couple of bucks a month.”
Environmentalists began pushing for California to mandate that new homes come with renewable energy systems in the early 2000s, as the technology became more scalable and available. Now there’s no other way.
In 2008, California energy regulators adopted a long-term plan that called for having all new residential buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2020 and having all commercial buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2030. And…it looks like we just might get there.
Sunny day? Let it shine…and let it make you money.
by Jodi Summers
To our health. You gotta love that California has been pushing policies for green development all millennium. Now that we’re climbing out of the recession, expect new homes to be those space-age models of energy efficiency that we have previously only imagined. As the economy gains momentum, so is the green building revolution.
New green homes by major developers are light years ahead of where they were before the recession. Motivated by government initiatives like New Solar Homes Partnership.
KB Home has made solar systems standard on new houses in Southern California. Lennar, Pardee Homes and Pulte Homes offer solar home projects. ABC Green Home of Newport Beach is will be building a net-zero home to showcase green technology for consumers. Clarum Homes in Palo Alto is a custom builder that has gained praise for incorporating energy efficiency and passive solar features into homes with modernist flourishes.
The New Solar Homes Partnership adopts a long-term plan that called for having all new residential buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2020 and having all commercial buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2030.
Beyond solar, green new home efficiency benefits include tankless hot water heaters, adjustable thermostats, LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, as well as other economical perks. Live efficiently and your electricity bill from Southern California Edison Co. can be close to zero.
Designs like the ZeroHouse model by Los Angeles builder KB Home exemplify the housing industry’s attempt to move beyond the one-off LEED vanity project and make subdivision building a green practice. New net-zero homes are so green they produce at least as much juice as they consume.
Environmentalists began pushing for California to mandate that new homes come with renewable energy systems in the early 2000s, as the technology became more scalable and available. Our CalGreen construction codes have influenced the world…now perhaps our homes will as well.
by Jodi Summers
Environmentalists began pushing for our Golden State to mandate that new homes come with renewable energy systems in the early part of this millennium.
The effort to get builders to build green grew into state law SB-1. SB-1 created the Million Solar Roofs Initiative, calling for the creation of 3,000 megawatts of new, solar-generated electricity by 2016. Always one for a good challenge, Gov. Jerry Brown upped the ante, and quadrupled the solar energy goal to 12,000 megawatts, or roughly the equivalent of 12 nuclear power plants. As an FYI, A thousand megawatts of solar energy could power about 250,000 homes. 12,000 megawatts = 3,000,000 homes.
All that power gets rolled into the California Solar Initiative, which uses rebates to promote renewable energy use in previously owned homes, as well as commercial, agricultural, government and nonprofit buildings. You can read all 193 pages here:
Okay, now that you’re up to speed, are you able to power your property at a profit?
by Jodi Summers
Didja know? The residential sector accounts for 33% of electricity consumption in the U.S. – we spent $166 billion on electricity in 2010. Saving money on electricity is what this story is all about. A new study has revealed that not only do green homes lower electric bills, having a green certified home adds 9% to its appraised sales value.
The study, conducted by California state university professors, concluded that homes labeled with Energy Star, LEED or Greenpoint Rated (California’s label) sell for a premium of 9% compared to average similar homes. In Los Angeles County, the sales price of homes and after they got green certification showed a price rise of 5.5-9%.
“Green upgrades aren’t usually tracked as home features on real estate listing services, which makes it challenging for appraisers to determine the monetary value of the upgrades,” shares appraiser Debra Little. “We ultimately determined that the many benefits of green homes do lead to higher home values in the local market.”
The study conducted a pricing analysis of all 1.6 million single-family home sales in California from 2007-2012, controlling for all other variables that typically influence selling price, such as location, size, age and amenities. Research revealed that the average sales price of a non-certified California home is $400,000. Green certification raises the price by more than $34,800.
Green is most coveted in areas of California that have the highest sales of hybrid cars. People will pay more to buy a house that’s green-certified because it fits their values.
They also found premiums to be higher in the hottest parts of the state; people believed that homes with green certifications would stay cooler without more energy costs.
The study is the first rigorous, large-scale economic analysis of the value of green home labels in California.
An interesting conclusion is that the sales premium is greater than the cost of the green features. The study found the most common green features are insulation and air sealing of attic and walls, weather stripping and efficient HVAC – none of which are particularly expensive.
edited by Jodi Summers
Recently, we were looking at a new development @ 310 Washington Blvd. on the Venice / Marina del Rey border, and the new, custom-built loft spaces were powered by a wall-mounted I-pad. Today’s new homes are chock full of innovation. Here are the Top 10 reasons why so many home buyers prefer new homes to used houses:
Design Your Dream Home Your Way: Why settle for someone else’s choices when you can select your favorite cabinets, countertops, appliances, and flooring? Buy into the project early enough and you get your say in bath and kitchen fixtures, lighting and room dividers that allow new home will reflect you, not someone else’s taste. Go as green as you dare.
* Choose a Floorplan and Room Layout that Meets Your Needs: Desire a master bedroom on the first floor with massive his and her’s walk-in closets? Done! Want high ceilings and a Jacuzzi tub master bath? It’s yours. Perhaps you’d like a sitting room with a fireplace in your owner’s suite or French doors that open to your private patio and let in a refreshing breeze? It’s easy, when you can have your master suite your way.
* All New, Under Warranty: Your new home — and the products that comprise it — are brand-new and under warranty. What’s the cost to replace a roof, appliances, countertops or a water heater on a used home? A used home likely has tired products that may soon need replacing, while those components of your new home feature the latest designs and greenest building materials. New is sexy and should offer years of comfort and enjoyment before needing replacement.
* Energy and Cost Savings: Today’s new homes are far more energy efficient than homes built just five years ago, let alone 20 or 80 years ago. Why settle for drafty, energy-wasting single-pane windows in a used home? Many new homes offer double-pane windows. Special window coatings and inert gases between the layers of glass are often available, saving you even more energy and money in both heating and cooling season.
* Comfort and Indoor Air Quality: Today’s new homes meet stringent energy standards and codes not in place in the past. They combine high-performance energy efficiency with state-of-the-art ventilation and air filtration. The result is year-round, draft-free comfort and higher indoor air quality…and no mold.
* Low Maintenance: Today’s new homes have open floorplans and high ceilings that reflect the way we live today. They’re also made of cutting-edge building products that require less care and maintenance. Another plus? The latest building systems and components are designed and engineered to work together.
- * Community Amenities: Many new homes are built in lavish master-planned communities with resort-style community centers, pools and clubhouses. Many new home communities also feature hiking trails, protected open lands and some of the best new schools and shopping near (or even within) your new home community.
Why do all of the loft buildings along Glencoe Ave. in Marina del Rey sell quickly? New homes offer the latest designs, style, technology comfort and quality..and that sexy new home feel. They provide a care-free lifestyle so that you can enjoy your home. And with so much new construction in Los Angeles, the opportunities to live in a new home abound.
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