Green is slowly marching Eastward over our state. Green building practices have been boasted about for years in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces. But in the East, where dairy cattle outnumber prairie dog lovers and talk of "Green" practices still brings to mind hippies, Californians, and tree huggers, consumers and builders are finally seeing the value in researching and implementing green building practices.
It isn't just about smearing mud on the walls and saving trees any longer - those may be great ideas but today's Green standards are based on energy conservation. The practical people of Eastern New Mexico realize this means money - more in their pockets and less spent on heating and a/c. It's smarter building which starts in the design phase and carries through the materials, standards and waste a project produces.
I was doing some research for a client and found that we have no "Green" builders based in Eastern New Mexico. No members of Build Green New Mexico and no builders knowledgeable about the steps to take to certify their homes for energy sustainability.
A quick way to put more money in builder's pockets would be for them to take advantage of the tax credits available to them. New Mexico offers sizeable tax credits to builders and consumers that should not be ignored. If a home achieves a Build Green New Mexico or LEEDS certification at the lowest level (There are three levels Gold/ Silver and Platinum- Emerald) The builder can get a $5.00 per sq ft tax credit from New Mexico. For example a 2000 sq ft house would get a $10,000.00 tax credit. That is in addition the federal government's offer of another $2000 tax credit for using sustainable energy practices. If the house achieved a platinum rating, that credit could go as high as $9.00 a sq ft. and that adds up to some nice pocket change.
I don't know enough about GREEN certifications, practices, or credits, I admit, so my first step will be to take more courses so that I know what I am talking about. A quick resource to turn to would be New Mexico's Energy Conservation and Management Division website. They have a nice little chart with links of where to go for more information. http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/ecmd/cleanenergytaxincentives/sustainablebuildingtaxcredit.htm
I do have a listing on Northglen http://fly3.505home.com that is probably the most energy efficient, large home on the market in Clovis. The builder is now pursuing a HERS rating to verify the air-tightness of the house. Adkin's Construction uses a special insulation, Heat Lok 217-4, that is a polyurethane foam which has one of the highest R Ratings available. It foams up and fills every crack and gap between the studs in the walls and adds extra rigidity to the structure as well. They blow in extra insulation over the heated areas of the house so that it looks like a snowstorm hit the attic. I peeked up there and it must have been two feet thick.
When I mentioned that I was going to go after my GREEN certification I got some funny looks from some of the older agents in our office. I think they are afraid that I'll start trapping prairie dogs humanely and telling dairymen that they should let their cows out on green pastures so they can enjoy the rest of their lives. But GREEN building practices simply make life a little better for my buyers and I'm all about that.