To Clear Up Some GREEN Confusion

By
Real Estate Agent with thredUP.com

Watching Green GrowThe other day I wrote The Difference Between a High Performance Home and a Green Built Home.  Honestly, I did not expect the response I got from it.  Before I go any further here, I just want to say one thing.  The point of that post was to be able to understand the difference between a home that is advertised as either a High Performance Home or Green.

You will find a wide variety of homes..with a variety of different features.. for a variety of different reasons.  The features you will find on these types of homes lies solely with the person building it.  Whether that be the buyer or builder.  People have different reasons for taking a step toward being GREEN.  I just wanted to touch on this subject.

If you notice the Poll that I have going on this page, It asks "What would your main reason be for Building a Green or Sustainable home?"  These are typically the underlying reasons.  This is where you are going to see different features in homes.  It's not because it is a different style of home or one is better than the other, it's simply the passion is behind the motivation.  (Sort of like asking a seller what their motivation is to sell. Ultimately they want to move, but it might be for different reasons.)

So, to help clear up a little confusion, I am going to go through these main points.  Again, you will find people that want more than one of these but you will probably find that they lean more to one than another.

Because it's Healthier- People that have Allergy and Asthma symptoms, or just want a healthier Indoor Air Quality. Not necessarily building because of Green aspects. Here are a few features:

  • Whole House HEPA Filter
  • Low VOC Paints (less toxic fumes and allergens)
  • Special Carpets or Flooring (same thing.  There is some nasty stuff in carpet like Formaldehyde)
  • Building Materials that do not gain moisture as much as wood, fiberglass insulation, and sheetrock.  (Less of a chance for mold and mildew)

Because it will help the Environment- People that want to do their part in reducing GreenHouse Gases..a true Green Building.  Here are a few features:

  • Rain Water Harvesting
  • Manufactured Woods
  • Recycled Flooring
  • Solar Panels
  • Recycled Insulation
  • GeoThermal Units
  • Dual Flush Toilets  (You have the option for a "small flush" or a "big flush")

Because of the Energy Efficiency- People that are Dollar Driven and are willing to invest in a future with lower utility bills.  Here are a few features:

  • Higher R-Value Insulation
  • Thicker/Concrete Exterior walls
  • Higher SEER A/C and Heat Units
  • Solar Panels
  • Tankless Water Heaters
  • Gas Appliances
  • Dual Flush Toilets (Ultimately reduce the water bill)
  • Metal roof

Because I need a quieter home- People that live near a Freeway, Airport, Shopping Centers.  Here are a few points that you also saw in Energy Efficiency:

  • Higher R-Value in attic and walls
  • Thicker/Concrete exterior walls

So, here we have it.  To prevent Greenwashing a TRUE Green Built home should have a minimum number of features from the "To Help The Environment" section.  If you mix enough of these together, you may not have that many Recycled or GREEN Products, but you would ultimately put off less GreenHouse Gases.  This would be considered a system..but I'll leave that for another post.  I hope this was able to clear up any confusion.

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Rainmaker
201,028
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Hi Katerina, I agree.  Even if Homes don't go completely green, Raising the bar for builders is always a good thing.  :)

Thanks Chris,  Really?  I was thinking about finding a recent used one where the cost was less. I don't buy brand new anyhow.  I made that mistake once.  :)  I'll keep looking.

Thanks Stacey.

Jul 21, 2007 12:15 PM #10
Rainmaker
605,954
Teri Eckholm
REMAX Results - White Bear Lake, MN
Acreage & Lakeshore REALTOR Minneapolis St Paul
Stephanie--Thanks for sharing your knowledge on the subject...Really helpful for those new to the subject. Here is an interesting note...On rain water collection; I was at an exhibit on Pompeii and homes built nearly 2000 years ago were built with pools to collect rainwater off of the roofs of the homes for the family's water supply...I find it interesting that we are just "learning" to do this today.
Jul 21, 2007 12:46 PM #11
Rainer
99,224
Ashley Drake Gephart
Drake Intel Group - Albuquerque, NM
Stephanie great overview of green ideas for the home. I have been reading about them for years and when we get a home I plan to use as many as I can. The healthier home is the biggest pull for my family with the impact on the environment coming in a close 2nd. The cost savings doesn't even come into play; I just want my family healthy.
Jul 21, 2007 01:40 PM #12
Rainmaker
86,091
Paula Henry
Home to Indy Team @ Sycamore Group Realtors - Avon, IN
Realtor - Indianapolis Real Estate - 317-605-4174
Stephanie - Another winning post about green homes. I am just beginning to learn about it. I like the health and enviromental aspect of green homes. The savings is a bonus!
Jul 21, 2007 05:50 PM #13
Rainmaker
201,028
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Hi Teri, Isn't that amazing how even back then they did this.  It is not really something new here but, from my understanding  (I could be wrong), there were issues on how sanitary the water would be.  Now, with the Greywater System it is filtered and sounds pretty good actually.  I found out last week, all in one day, about 2 separate instances where people are going to do this...just around The Woodlands.  I am going to have to find out if any one in Houston is actively doing this and write a post on it.  Thanks for stopping by Teri.

Thanks Ashley, The health aspect of Green Homes is amazing.  I'm glad this was helpful.

Thanks Paula,  Those two items are winning in my poll right now.  Believe it or not.

Jul 21, 2007 07:03 PM #14
Rainer
234,249
Susie Roscoe
Signature Realty Associates - Brandon, FL
Real Estate Specialist | Brandon, FL

NICE-NICE-NICE Stephanie!!  You're my "source" for GREEN-ER LIVING!!  Thanks!

Jul 21, 2007 08:53 PM #15
Rainmaker
201,028
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP
Thanks Susie!
Jul 21, 2007 08:58 PM #16
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Stephanie!! Great blog. I live "green" and am just now making contacts for "green" building so this blog and others you have written are a great resource! I know some people want carpet in their homes which is why I wrote that blog about carpet made from plastic bottles....some older relatives insist because of arthritis that carpet is what they must have. Do you know of any other companies making carpet from recycled materials?
Jul 21, 2007 10:52 PM #17
Rainmaker
201,028
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP
Thanks Pamela,  I really don't know of companies that do that.  I should do some research.  Carpet is BAD stuff.  I had mine replaced 2 years ago and they filled a trash bag (not a huge one) with sand that was under the old carpet.  It was NASTY!  Imagine what was IN the carpet.  Yuck.  I am going to have to find that post of yours.  Thanks for stopping by!
Jul 21, 2007 11:14 PM #18
Rainmaker
90,775
Daniel Seider
BTRE Big Trees Real Estate - Arnold, CA
I beleive we all should think of what we do and how it effect our selves and others. How we build our homes should be thought out very carefully. 
Jul 22, 2007 12:30 AM #19
Ambassador
1,448,833
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Stephanie,

 

I look forward to your future post on this subject.  As I mentioned in my comment on your previous post I am trying to learn as much as I can about this subject, since I might be getting the opportunity to work on a true green project.  I especially like the health aspect of green building.

Jul 22, 2007 12:48 AM #20
Rainer
83,712
Mary Bigelow
GLREA - Coopersville, MI
2010 Letnulls Do It AGAIN!!!!

Pamela - check out the carpet MOHAWK is making from recycled pop bottles -- interesting. Shaw  is also going green. I don't know much about the products but can get more information from Standale Interiors if you're interested.

 

Jul 22, 2007 02:11 AM #21
Rainer
83,712
Mary Bigelow
GLREA - Coopersville, MI
2010 Letnulls Do It AGAIN!!!!

Stephanie! Keep up the great work! I'll miss you while I'm gone!
Jul 22, 2007 02:11 AM #22
Rainmaker
201,028
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Hi Daniel, I agree.  There are so many factors that come in to play when building that often go unmentioned.  Like Indoor Air Quality.  It's a biggie.

Hi Jennifer, I hope it works out for you..the green project.  I will keep posting away!  :)

Thanks Mary for the links and the compliment.  I need to learn more about the recycled carpets.

Jul 22, 2007 11:04 AM #23
Rainmaker
285,752
Arina Hanciulescu
KELLER WILLIAMS LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas, NV
KELLER WILLIAMS LAS VEGAS

You post the question;"What would your main reason be for Building a Green or Sustainable home?"
For me first is because is health friendly... more and more people suffer (knowingly or unknowingly) from all kind allergy, or another, mainly because our environment is poluted and unhealty.

 

 

 

Jul 22, 2007 02:15 PM #24
Rainmaker
201,028
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP
Hi Arina, you are so right.  there are so many pollutants that it is unreal.
Jul 22, 2007 07:04 PM #25
Rainmaker
1,075,394
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
This list is very helpful.  I can see posing questions to clients about what is important to them -- and then making suggestions to accomplish those goals.  Having this checklist is very useful -- This kind of approach will work for almost every type of buyer.  Thanks for the clarification.
Jul 22, 2007 09:34 PM #26
Rainmaker
201,028
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP
Thanks Joan, I will eventually write more details about each topic.  For now, just hitting a few points to help people understand. 
Jul 22, 2007 09:38 PM #27
Rainmaker
336,351
Dena Stevens
Century 21 Canon Land & Investment - Canon City, CO
Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004
It's not because it is a different style of home or one is better than the other, it's simply the passion is behind the motivation. It's all about educating the consumer and some times the professional.
Jul 23, 2007 09:30 PM #28
Rainmaker
201,028
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP
Thanks Dena, you are right.
Jul 24, 2007 10:47 AM #29
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Rainmaker
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Stephanie Edwards-Musa

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