Portland, our like-minded city to the south will be having their Green Home Tour on September 9, 2014. Put on by Earth Advantage it offers continuing education and clock hours for Real Estate Professionals. One can take the tour, and for an increased price attend the mixer after.
Unlike Seattle’s own NW Green Home Tour which is self guided and free to the public, the commonality at the heart of each tour is education and “normalizing” green building. There has been so much “greenwashing” the greater public and real estate professionals may have a distorted sense of what green building truly is, not to mention the benefits to residents and owners.
If you like comfort, low maintenance demands, low utility bills, more free time, economy of scale, universal and smart design, healthy indoor air quality, and sometimes just really beautiful finishes, you might be a candidate to be the owner of a green home.
These NWGHT 2014 attendees came in style. On their bikes complete with a growler cage on board.
One of the best ways to learn about green homes and green living is to attend a local green home tour. You can stand inside of the homes, talk with the homeowners and contractors, see, touch, smell, and imagine what it would be like to live in a more efficient home
It’s getting toward the end of April, for many that means taxes are done, but for the NW Green Home Tour committee that means we are busier than ever. We have been working hard since November scoping out the local neighborhoods for interesting sites for our third annual NW Green Home Tour.
If you have been on the tour in one of the previous years, then you know what a fantastic opportunity this FREE tour is to garner information and see what real life solutions look like. Generous homeowners open their doors and allow the public to see what kind of improvement they have made to their homes. This not only usually benefits their utility bills, but also quite often their indoor comfort and indoor air quality. There is something for everybody here. This year will also feature the rain gardens in Ballard, the subject of some controversy lately. There are experts at each site there to answer whatever questions you may have about what makes these homes and sites so special.
There will also be several Sustainability Stops this year. Some will be offering drinks and snacks. Others will be offering product information and other services.
So mark April 27th on your calendar and reserve the whole day. Sometimes you get more than you paid for!
The could be the Ballard beauty you have been looking for! This town house has everything you need and a few perks you didn’t know you would want. High walkscore, transitscore, bikescore, and a NW Energy Star, 5 star Built Green rating (pending) that not only will save you money in the long run, but it has thoughtful and healthy design and construction. You don’t have to be “green” to appreciate the bells and whistles on this one!
There are many features and building systems that go into a home such as this, I am certainly happy to explain them if you are curious, however anyone, one can see attention to detail and thoughtful design the architects and builder have put into this townhouse.
Just a few of the features not often seen in other Ballard or Seattle town tomes:
LED Lights through out – beautiful & you may never need to change a bulb
Mini Split Heat Pumps- remote controlled, highly efficient heating & air conditioning
Water Saving Fixtures- dual flush toilets, water saving faucets & shower heads
Windows Above Code -allows for an abundance of light & no cold spots
NW Energy Star Appliances -again another opportunity to save on utility bills
Induction stove top range – for added savings & safety & indoor air quality
Low VOCs – means better indoor air quality for decades to come
ERV – for healthy indoor air & energy savings
Green Roof- this almost no maintenance gardening is good for the environment & beautiful
Ready to go for PV Solar panels (incentives & co-ops are available)
Wired for whole home sound & alarm, even on the roof deck with sweeping views!
People have misconceptions about what “green” means. If one didn’t know how green this home is, they might just think it was smart, hip and had thoughtful design.
This is the home where your friends will want to meet you for dinner parties and sunny day BBQs on the roof deck high above Market Street in the tree canopy watching the sunset over the Olympic Mountains.
What was once considered to be a fringe “Hippy” event on the 60’s that involved a lot of tie-dye has now gone “mainstream”. Now some 40 years later in most all Seattle neighborhoods this once woo-woo cause is fully embraced as a way to improve parks, public right of ways or to just do good.
Check out the multitude of events in the different region of the city. You can recycle your e-waste, clean up a park, help to clean up water ways or greenbelts, or just listen to some great music. There’s something for everybody. The Seattle Channel on cable TV has a great line up of some interesting shows involving our county, city and region. Whether you believe in the cause or not, no one can dispute it’s a great chance to build community and foster relationships between neighbors.
So for Earth Day 2011 get out there choose something to do, clean up trash, or just responsibly recycle that old monster of a monitor that’s been sitting there in the corner collecting dust. After all it’s the only planet we all call home.
Tired of the doom and gloom in the news, but care and
want to learn more about issues of local sustainability and greater issues on other continents? Seattle Greendrinks meets on the second Tuesday of each month.
About once a year the Greendrinks event is simultaneously located in many Seattle neighborhoods which is a great way to check out this gathering. Other times they might meet in the Sodo area, The Woodland Park Zoo, at an architecture firm in a LEED built building in South Lake Union, or a car dealership in Ballard etc.
The great thing about Seattle Greendrinks is you are educated on a great cause in a setting you may not usually find yourself in. People are friendly, like-minded and casual. You donate a ridiculously small amount of money at the door and not only do you have a beverage (bring your own container to reduce waste), but you have a small bite, get some information, but most of all you gain the kind of optimism that a small gathering of people can bring about change.
You can learn about commercial green real estate, residential real estate and all facets of the world of sustainablility. If this piques your interest Seattle Greendrinks is really worth checking out.
They are also advertising the Northwest Eco Building Guild 2011 Green Home Tour. For more information go to PhinneyRidgeView.com.
It’s a common misperception that it’s a house with “Energy Star” rated appliances. In fact many Real Estate professionals mistakenly label their listings on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service as NW Energy Star if the kitchen has an efficient dishwasher and refrigerator. The “Energy Star” label is widely recognized and respected by the vast majority of home buyers. Few people know that the Northwest Energy Star home goes much further in saving the occupants money on their heating bills as well as make their homes much healthier and more comfortable to live in.
So what the difference? Short answer—quite a bit! The NW Energy Star house is third party certified. This means an accredited party inspects and signs off on the home from the beginning all the way through the end of construction. As a home buyer, you may not see what’s inside the walls but the certifier does. Whenever a home is advertised as NWES, it should also have the accompanying paper work to prove its designation. Although it is slightly more expensive to build a home or a remodel, it pays for itself in a short amount of time in decreased heating and cooling bills, not to mention increased indoor air quality and comfort.
The Northwest Energy Star program includes Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington States. The Northwest has higher standards than other regions, and the NWES program stays approximately 15% more efficient than current local building codes.
The Northwest Builder Option Package (NW BOP) is the standard builders and remodelers are held to. With the concept of “Peak Oil” and the ever increasing costs both monetarily and environmentally, these homes are expected to hold their value better in a resell market as well as increase the comfort of the residents. Northwest Energy Star makes sense for Seattle area homes.