I have been designing and building homes, renovations and additions for the last 35 years, learning as we go about energy efficiency as well as efficient use of materials to reduce costs to keep homes competitive in an ever changing market.
With the onset of the New Economy and its impacts on the new home market, I started attending Built Green Council meetings while I was at Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) board meetings. Frankly my interest was maybe I should check out this Green thing and see if there is anything to it…..maybe I could get an extra home to build a year if I know something about it. I would listen to the board members and most of them were saying they were having their best year ever and this was a time everyone else’s volume was plummeting. I started talking to these guys from all over the country and the story was the same. What did they know that I did not? This was either 4 or 5 years ago.
To make a long story short I made a commitment to learn all I could about green building so if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it right. I watched contractors build some very expensive Green homes and felt that would not be my market, so here is what I have learned.
First, I hold the Certified Green Practitioner certifications, I am a licensed 3rd Party Verifier to the NAHB Built Green Program, I am one class away (later in the month) from achieving the Master Green Practitioner Certification, I also have the Real Estate GREEN certification and the Certified Graduate Builder and Green Advantage Environmental Certification and numerous other classes and certifications within my industry. I only bring these up to prove that I am serious about learning all I can about the Green and Zero Energy Design concepts of building a home.
Through my association with Brenda Nunes of the Sustainability Foundation and Green Works Realty gave me the results of a study done in King County from November of 2009 to February of 2010 that stated that Single Family Homes with a Green “Certification” (Verified, not just because they said so) sold at a higher value and in a shorter time on market that their non green counter parts. 33.6% more green homes sold over non-green, they were 9.8% smaller homes that sold for 23.1% more and the sale price per square foot was 36.5% more than the non-green homes. These numbers were compiled from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service data as compiled by Green Works Realty.
It appeared to me that there had to be a financial benefit to the client to either spend additional money on their home or even look at the so called Green items that go into a home. This was the first thing I have seen in writing that was a solid financial benefit to build green.
My next post I will go into some of the issues that make me want to think Green.