By Iris June Vinegar
TIRED OF HEARING PROFANITY LIKE GLOBAL WARMING, OZONE LAYER, POLLUTION AND — DARE WE SAY IT — CHLOROFLUOROCARBONS? DON’T WORRY. WE WON’T GET INTO GREENHOUSE GASES, JUST GREEN HOUSES.
That’s green as in healthy-built houses that can not only improve the health of their occupants but our precious environment. These green homes feature energy and water-saving devices as well as materials to reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution — matters of increasing concern to home buyers.
“We have a large population of highly educated people living in the Triangle,” notes Triangle Realtor Linda Craft of Re/Max One Realty. “They understand the environment they choose will affect their health and quality of life.”
Homebuilders are well aware those concerns. The U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit coalition of building industry leaders, devised the LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) green building rating system to help builders achieve a sustainable resources program. Last year, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) published green building guidelines and in North Carolina, the HealthyBuilt Homes Program provides a certificate for homes meeting its own green guidelines”.
Locally, the Green Building Councils of the Home Builders Associatons of Raleigh-Wake County and Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties (DOC) are developing green standards and programs. The DOC association also sponsors an annual Green Home Tour focusing on the NAHB’s Green Building Initiative Program.
One of that program’s guiding principles is design. “A good design leads to efficient placement of mechanical equipment and careful selection of products,” explains M Squared Builders president Michele Meyers who chaired the 2006 and 2007 HBDOC Green Home Tours. But when it comes to affordability, Meyers notes, “the footprint always grows when one has to have separate offices, exercise rooms, etc.” So does the price. But green homes can be found in just about every range, depending on the size and level of green.