A Green Building Conversation For Today's Changing Market

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Select Professionals

Lancaster PA Green Building, Lancaster PA Real Estate 

EDIT/UPDATE TO OUR GREEN BUILDING CONVERSATION...FOR THOSE JUST TUNING IN!  READ THIS SUMMARY FIRST...

SUMMARY
In this post we have discussed various financial impacts of "Green Building" - reduced insurance, up front costs,  greater longevity, eco-friendly mortgages, affordability... We have discussed the health benefits that come with a green building focus. We have discussed the technology and physics behind the latest products for healthy-built homes.

We concluded that we would like to examine a team-effort to create a consulting network of resources for clients and professionals interested in high-performance buildings and eco-friendly land use.

NOW we are working on organizing all the information we have gathered here so that folks who come here in the future can have a "Table of Contents"

This "Table of Contents" also could be the framework for a (to be announced) checklist that eco-certified real estate professionals could use when doing a "high-performance" review for their clients...

Here's what the Table of Contents looks like..so far:

   A. Site Planning & Land Development
   B. Lot Design, Preparation and Development,
   C. Environmental Impact, Ecology, Hydrology, Landscaping
   D. Construction, Building materials and methods
   E. Resource Efficiency
   F. Energy Efficiency
   G. Water Efficiency
   H. Indoor Environmental Quality
   I. Operation, Maintenance and Homeowner Education
   J. Real Estate Services
   K. Consulting Services
   L. Financial Services
   M. Global Impact

We are ready to think about establishing a referral network of professionals who can e a resource for those interested in high-perfromace living spaces and eco-friendly land use.

PLEASE COMMENT BELOW and let us know if you would be interested in being contacted as we develop our "consulting network" information.
______________________________________________________________________________________

...NOW ON WITH MY ORIGINAL ARTICLE ABOUT ONE TYPE OF ENERGY-EFFICIENT BUILDING -  INSULATED CONCRETE FORMS FOR USE IN RESIDENTIAL HOMES.  ENJOY!

In the course of doing my real estate business with a "green" focus I've grown to know some great innovators who are driving the sustainable housing agenda here in southeast PA.  One individual I've been to talking with Tom Reilly of New Holland Concrete's Construction Supply Centers division.  He's in the business of selling Reward Wall's ICFs in southeast PA.  What's an ICF, you ask?  It's a new way of doing homes using concrete walls rather than wood!  Truly a Lancaster County green building innovation.  ICF stands for "Insulated Concrete Form", and they are being used for commercial buildings and are starting to take hold in the residential market.  By using an environmentally-friendly system, significant energy savings can result.

ICF Lancaster PA Reward Walls

I asked Tom to send over some information once I heard that he was doing the foundations for the green homes being built at Lancaster Career & Technology center in Mount Joy.  Here is a little bit about Tom and his passion:

"I've been with Construction Supply Centers (regional distributors of Reward Walls)  since March 2005.  I was brought on board specifically to sell the Reward Wall System.  I was intrigued by the product/industry and as I got more and more into it, I really began to believe in the concept.  It took me a good year to 18 months to get comfortable with ICF's because I was/am dealing with the homeowners, the builders, the subcontractors, the architects AND the engineers.  I had to literally become the expert, and while I'm still learning on a daily basis, I can confidently speak with any of these groups intelligently."

"It's strange how there are pockets where ICF technology is readily accepted, and there are areas where conservative traditions in construction have a stranglehold.  The interest level from the public has grown exponentially over the 2 yrs I've been doing this, and homeowners are coming to the table more and more informed about their choices.

We helped the Lancaster Career & Technology Center build the first of 5 "Green" homes and they chose to use Reward for the foundation." 

He's very enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and I spoke with him about the challenges and rewards of selling ICFs in Lancaster County.  He talked about an "affordability analysis" sheet he's using where he breaks down the actual cost/benefit of switching to an ICF foundation/wall system.

"The Affordability Analysis does help clarify the cost/benefit to interested parties.  It takes the subjectivity out of the picture and helps them to determine a break-even point in terms of payback.  It's more or less a selling tool.  It's hard to describe the feel of an ICF home.  It has a luxurious feel to the interior; it's quiet, it's consistent in terms of temperature.  Your mechanicals are reduced because of the tight envelope, and they run less.  In fact, geothermal takes forever to pay back because it never runs.  They work well together in the "green" mode, but it truly does take longer to pay back on geo."



"We did a home up in Wilkes-Barre that was 81' across the back.  From one end to the other, there was a 0.5 degree variance in temperature.  That was impressive.  Another home we did in Bellefonte has 4000 sf of living space.  Total utility bills, after being audited recently, came out with an annual cost of about $400."

"It's kind of like the Cadillac/Yugo selling comparison; there's a market for both, but if you're trying to compete cost-wise and the dollar is the determining factor, 9 times out of 10 ICF's will lose.  It's the client who can look past the initial, up-front costs, who sees the long-term benefit in energy savings and to the environment where we do well."

For more information on the Reward Wall System click here.  To contact Tom email him here.  I appreciated the chance to learn more about this great new technology in green building.  You'll be hearing more about this and other green building opportunities in Lancaster County, PA.

green building lancaster pa jeff geoghan

Update -- click here for an update on this profile and an article on Tom's work with Garman Homes of Lancaster.  Mike Garman and Norm Faus have constructed an all-ICF home for display in this year's Lancaster Parade of Homes!  We look forward to more news as the "green' building movement spreads throughout PA and the US.

Posted by

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Visit Jeff's marketing blog for real estate - lots of great tips for all agents!  www.JeffG.me  Jeff is also working with real estate agents and brokers to enhance their marketing efforts - let him help you today!

 

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
129,219
Steve Mattison
Keller Williams Tri-Lakes Realty of Branson - Branson, MO
Ozarksagent Steve Mattison - ABR, e-Pro - Branson
Tamara, that is what I'm talking about, the info you found that may even be more interesting than the one you built with, please hook me up with that kind of info, thanks.
Nov 30, 2007 02:30 PM #316
Rainer
166,561
Tamara Perlman
Referral Network Inc. - Truckee, CA

Hi Steve--

In my construction, I used Polysteel and had to use Nudura for a couple of the walls as Polysteel didn't have the size available at that time--called for by the engineer for our snowloads, earthquake and wind factors...  I think this house could float down the creek that it is built along or tumble into the center of the earth and come thru un-scathed with it's engineering... Hopefully, you don't have similar issues in Missouri!

The Polysteel is a great product, but was definitely more difficult to work with than the Nudura. We challenged the product by building 2 story with a 17' rake wall.  The foam blocks were really susceptible to winds, we needed to do  a lot of bracing before the pours. 

 Another member of our green building group used a product called Durisol that has been around for many years.  It is a concrete and wood fiber blend.  The blocks are pretty heavy to move around, but much less susceptible to the wind.  I don't really like the way the insulation is incorporated, but he really stands behind the efficiency of the product.

 At West Coast Green, I met another manufacturer with concrete and recycled foam product.  Probably as heavy as the Durisol, but having the insulation incorporated into the whole block...  Called Perform Wall.  My contact there is Wade Vernon.  Company # is 915-587-8885.  Based in Texas

There was also a product that had a metal stud (said that could be engineered to accomodate whatever building code) with an expanded polystyrene for insulation.  www.kama-eebs.com  My contact Kenneth Miller, based in Las Vegas.

There are also cool products for making windows frames, tools for melting the styrofoam, metal "patches" so you have something to mount curtain rods on, etc. 

Hope that helps!

Nov 30, 2007 04:02 PM #317
Rainmaker
129,219
Steve Mattison
Keller Williams Tri-Lakes Realty of Branson - Branson, MO
Ozarksagent Steve Mattison - ABR, e-Pro - Branson
Thanks Tamara, you are a giver, and I will make sure I send my cousin to you when he is ready to sell, a lawyer in Tahoe.
Nov 30, 2007 04:07 PM #318
Rainer
166,561
Tamara Perlman
Referral Network Inc. - Truckee, CA
Thanks Steve--is he green?  ;-)
Nov 30, 2007 04:53 PM #319
Rainmaker
201,028
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Hi All,

Andrew has a great question posted to one of his blogs by a consumer...anyone have an answer?  I'm sure that anyone living along the Gulf Coast may run across this question in the future....

I want to use a shipping container for a storage building in my back yard. The city wants to know how I can make it hurricane proof (tied down, bolted down, etc.) ... I've heard that shipping containers can withstand high winds without any tie down of any sort but I can't find any engineering data that provides proof.

Does anyone have any experience with this aspect of shipping containers?

 

01/07/2008 06:25 AM by Brian

Jan 07, 2008 08:06 AM #320
Rainer
28,600
Brian LeBars
Vintage Mortgage Group - Pleasanton, CA

I would love to be of help.

Feel free to contact me anytime.

I author www.GreenMortgageGroup.com

Jan 07, 2008 05:24 PM #321
Rainmaker
326,047
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing VP & Real Estate Agent Coach
I'm surprised no one has weighed in on this question yet...
Jan 08, 2008 05:05 PM #322
Rainmaker
201,028
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP
Does anyone know if you can recycle old vinyl flooring?  I hate to send all of this to the dump.
Jan 09, 2008 07:04 AM #323
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Tamara, not yet:)

Jeff, Count me in for we are just finishing the first of several ICF "Green Homes" by Table Rock Lake in Missouri and can provide the entire list you have compiled so far of services needed.  Keep up the good work, this is the future!

Jan 09, 2008 01:18 PM #324
Rainer
166,561
Tamara Perlman
Referral Network Inc. - Truckee, CA

Hi Steve--Let me know when he is!  Or maybe introduce us and I can begin the conversion process!

Stephanie--Here is a web resource that has access to multiple vinyl recyclers across the country http://www.vinylinfo.org/Recycling/VinylRecyclingDirectory.aspx

Good luck finding someone in your area! 

Jan 09, 2008 02:48 PM #325
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Great blog.  I keep looking at different options to build a small 600sqft cabin efficiently. I have considered ICF, but there aren't many reliable contractors who are skilled in it.

How difficult is it for a carpenter who hasn't used ICF to use it?

Thanks much!

Cree 

Mar 21, 2008 11:22 AM #326
Rainer
14,826
Cree Quaker
The Machree Group, LLC - Woodstock, NY
Ulster County Real Estate

Great blog.  I keep looking at different options to build a small 600sqft cabin efficiently. I have considered ICF, but there aren't many reliable contractors who are skilled in it.

How difficult is it for a carpenter who hasn't used ICF to use it?

Thanks much!

Cree 

Mar 21, 2008 11:24 AM #327
Rainmaker
201,028
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Hi Cree, 

Have you spoken with ICF Manufacturers in your area?  They would probably know someone near you that is qualified.  If you let us know what area you are in I would bet that one of us could get you in the right direction.

Steph

Mar 21, 2008 11:28 AM #328
Anonymous
Anonymous
Greg Fasano ICON Structures LLC
TO all on this blog, we are the largest installer of ICF in the US.  We are based out of Ft Myers Florida, and work the entire United States, as well as some foreign countries.  We can be contacted at greg@iconstructure.com or at 866-639-1672, for any questions or projects.
Mar 22, 2008 02:51 PM #329
Rainmaker
326,047
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing VP & Real Estate Agent Coach

Greg, thanks for your input here.  I'll be sure to check out your site to see if you do work in PA. 

Mar 25, 2008 10:27 PM #330
Rainer
30,303
matt mathews
mathews Realty Group - Yucaipa, CA

It's been a while I see since someone left a comment-hopefully, your still out there!  Any, I'm a RE Investment Advisor here in SoCa.  I'm currently working on a highest and best use property zoned for three units.  We will be installing/building 3 new panalized modular homes-All Green plus we will be installing a photovoltic solar array so all three units will be totally energy efficient. It's a first for the city.  I hope to get them on board with $$-in return for a dedication and publicity.  Another city close by built 4 energy efficient stick built homes. No solar however.   Adding solar will of course increase the cost but some of that can be offset with Tax Credits.  The manufacturer, contractors and lenders are all certified green builders.  Hopefully, the city will allow me and my team to do a few more once they see this finished.  Wish me luck!

Mathews Associates LLC/ Investment Realty Services

Oct 31, 2008 06:17 PM #331
Rainer
30,187
Wynne Achatz
Real Estate One Westrick - Marine City, MI
Michigan Realtor and Notary Trust,Care, Experience

Yes I would be interested if there are sone Michigan contacts. I will check my resources and see if I can offer sone Michigan Links...

Dec 31, 2008 09:47 AM #332
Ambassador
737,196
ASHEVILLE 1031 PROPERTIES RESOURCES & REFERRALS
Asheville 1031 REFERRING BROKERAGE - Asheville, NC
Tell Us What Is Most Important to YOU

Jeff~

 

I am wondering if it is time to UPDATE this with even More valuable information for 2009? I look forward to that...

Dec 31, 2008 09:49 AM #333
Rainmaker
326,047
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing VP & Real Estate Agent Coach

I think you're right, JaneAnne.  Time for a new release in January?

Dec 31, 2008 02:42 PM #334
Rainmaker
326,047
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing VP & Real Estate Agent Coach

I was just looking at some of my older posts - can you believe the number of comments on this post?  I wonder what the record is for AR anyways?

I think I did a good job updating the conversation with:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/898198/The-New-American-Home-Made-Right

What do you think?  I DARE you to read through all 340 comments.

Feb 10, 2009 11:08 PM #335
Anonymous
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Rainmaker
326,047

Jeff R. Geoghan

REALTOR, Marketing VP & Real Estate Agent Coach
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