Eco Friendly Property in Dubai

The construction boom in Dubai is not something you'd normally associate with the phrase Eco-Friendly, but there is one area of ​​Dubai that will be built with sustainability and the environment in mind – Dubai Waterfront. Dubai Waterfront is located on the west side of Dubai (towards Abu Dhabi) and when complete will be twice…

The construction boom in Dubai is not something you'd normally associate with the phrase Eco-Friendly, but there is one area of ​​Dubai that will be built with sustainability and the environment in mind – Dubai Waterfront.

Dubai Waterfront is located on the west side of Dubai (towards Abu Dhabi) and when complete will be twice the size of Hong Kong and home to over 1.5 million people.

Dubai Waterfront is aiming to be the world's first Ecopolis, and the development motto is – “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time”.

Intelligent city planning will include comprehensive pedestrian and public transport systems to minimize the length of car travel in order to reduce vehicle exhaust emissions.

Water management will rely on recycled water for ventilation and cooling systems. The infrastructure will have low ecological impact and the city will be serviced by a modern co-generative system for power supply. These are just a few of the many innovations that will make Dubai Waterfront the benchmark for green development.

All individual developments will have to adhere to LEED Gold Certification. Pixel Tower and Wave Residences are examples of the former. Pixel Tower is an 18 floor tower with futuristic cyber-architecture design, while Wave Residence is a low-rise development located directly on the beach.

Omniyat Properties' Beachfront Living is another example. This development will become one of the most iconic buildings in Dubai Waterfront which again adheres to the highest standards in sustainability.

Dubai has been criticized by some environmentalists for the minimum use of solar-panels (considering there is no shortage of sun), and huge energy wasting for the purification of water for lakes and fountains in the city.

Go Green With Your Dream House

More and more people are trying to be eco-friendly and are going “green” in their approach in almost whatever they do in life. Ashville architects have gone a mile ahead by introducing a new concept in architecture called as “green architecture”. What Is Green Architecture? The word may sound interesting, but do not be misled…

More and more people are trying to be eco-friendly and are going “green” in their approach in almost whatever they do in life. Ashville architects have gone a mile ahead by introducing a new concept in architecture called as “green architecture”.

What Is Green Architecture?

The word may sound interesting, but do not be misled by its literal meaning. Green architecture is a method of designing a house keeping the environment in mind. This is done by constructing an environmentally friendly and energy efficient house.

While constructing an eco-friendly home, aspects like passive solar design, active solar design, rain water collection, green roofs, daylight lighting and high performance envelopes are considered.

In the city of Ashville architects consider the most important factors that influence our future and the sustainability of our natural environment. They use simple green building techniques in order to reduce the negative impact of construction and in turn enhance the human and natural surroundings in which we live.

Principals Used In Green Architecture

Ashville architects follow certain principals while constructing a green building. They first orient the building appropriately as per the topography and day lighting. This is followed by efficient planning and design for economic usage of space and implementing renewable energy wherever it is practicable possible.

What Should A Green Architect Know

It is very easy to find an architect but definitely not a green architect. This type of architect should be in a position to advise you about how to make your building energy efficient. He should also be efficient enough to translate your ideas into reality by using both architectural and common sense. He needs to use the modern and up-to-date technology to prove his efficiency at work.

Lastly, since this is eco-friendly architecture, it must use materials like solar panels, earth friendly materials like stone, wood etc, thermal mass building construction and if possible even recycled goods like bottles, tires and so on.

Materials Used

Typically, local and regional sources are used while building an environment friendly structure. The builders tend to incorporate durable, low maintenance materials, low embodied energy materials like stone and wood while building this kind of house.

The best part about this kind of architecture is that it incorporates permeable surfaces and uses native plants and existing surfaces wherever possible thereby making it eco-friendly. The main aim of this type of architecture is to minimize construction waste; use certified or reclaimed wood, recycled and recyclable materials.

Ashville architects are famous for using water for efficient fixtures and appliances, incorporating rain water collection and reusing gray water for irrigation and landscaping. They have been doing these things for over 20 years now.

Know The Advantages

Besides being eco-friendly, this type of constructions holds more advantages. This helps protect trees and topsoil during site work, filters storm water on site, employ sediment and erosion control techniques.

Being eco-friendly in nature, it helps in creating a healthy indoor air quality, providing ample ventilation and enhancements fresh air supply. It uses less toxic materials as far as the finishing materials are concerned. It also helps the building in getting natural light.

Last but not the least; remember it is the design and construction that makes a perfect building. A building is ideal only when it sustains and most importantly is eco-friendly.

Why Indoor Air Quality Control Can Be a Deal Maker Or Breaker For “Green” Home Buyers

What value do home buyers put on indoor air quality? I think I know the answer. But before I weigh in, let's pret you are searching for a home to buy. You find two houses in the same neighborhood and each looks good. Both are about the same price and both fit your family's needs.…

What value do home buyers put on indoor air quality? I think I know the answer. But before I weigh in, let's pret you are searching for a home to buy. You find two houses in the same neighborhood and each looks good. Both are about the same price and both fit your family's needs. But one home has an invisible advantage that may save you thousands of dollars in health care costs.

The hypothetical home I'm talking about has excellent indoor air quality. I can guarantee and prove as much, because we serviced and certified the home. The other home is a different matter. Perhaps it has passed a state-mandated radon test, but beyond that there are no guarantees that the indoor air quality is acceptable and will remain that way.

Now here's the big question: how much more would you pay for the home that comes with a guarantee of excellent indoor air quality?

In many cases, the answer today is probably zero. Here lies the problem, because despite increased health care costs and more awareness of contaminants in our dwellings, as a society we have yet to find a way to promote this potential increase in the market value of a clean air home. Knowing the connection between proper lower level moisture control and air quality, we as waterproofing contractors need to bring this link to the public.

My college Richard Walter, the CEO and owner of A + Engineering Construction in Gardnerville, Nevada, knows what I know: indoor air quality does not sell – yet. He also can tell you that following state-mandated tests does not necessarily guarantee you a long healthy life.

“My concern is the government has taken anadequate approach. In Nevada I can call the University of Reno and ask for a radon test today. But that does not mean my house will be safe two years from now.”

Walter believes our nation suffers from an epidemic of poor quality of air in residences. That's because too often home buyers do not test for mold, a serious enemy of indoor air quality caused by moisture, or they do not see moisture remediation as an essential, ongoing task.

“Our company takes the approach that all homes are contaminated because we now add more insulation and close up our homes tighter and tighter as we become more energy efficient. greater than 50% relative humidity) in the foundation and crawl spaces to exist. ” We are also not effectively preventing pollutants, such as radon gas and other soil gases, from entering the house via the porous basement floor and / or unsealed crawlspace.

Basement waterproofing contractors and crawl space sealing and insulation installers can help to educate homeowners. In addition, housing contractors may be willing to use indoor air control techniques in basics and crawl spaces when building new homes – but only if they believe home buyers will pay the extra money for a safer environment. Even if the necessary steps are not taken during initial construction, basement waterproofers should promote that the damage to air quality can be addressed with after-construction methods.

I salute the Green Movement. It has turned an important corner. Public awareness and common sense have merged. Now Green innovators can finally enjoy a win-win market advantage. Meanwhile, I'm hopeful that one day indoor air quality will be a deal maker or breaker. But how will I know?

Picture this: I'm finally ready to retire, sell my house and move to Aspen. I put my family home on the market and ask for a firm $ 285,000. Then a knowledgeable young husband and wife pull me away and whisper, “We'll give you $ 300,000 if you can guarantee the indoor air quality.” When that happens, we'll know our message has been received.

Park Model Mobile Home Living – Put it Anywhere You Want

A park model mobile home is usually mobile only once in its life … the trip from factory to slab. You usually envision the slab being at a park with several hundred other park models. That is OK for most folks, but how about putting the park model mobile home on some land you own.…

A park model mobile home is usually mobile only once in its life … the trip from factory to slab. You usually envision the slab being at a park with several hundred other park models. That is OK for most folks, but how about putting the park model mobile home on some land you own.

But there are not any utilities, what will I do?

When we lived on our sailboat, we came to realize how little you needed to live and live well. The sailboat was in the Caribbean, so you did not need heat. We also had no need for AC. Can you have AC on a boat … sure.

If you paid for dock space you had access to “shore power” and could run AC. We anchored out, at no cost thank you, 90% of the time and let the sea breeze keep us cool … the only exception was the time we spent in Trinidad. We had to enjoy Carnival, so we hung at the Trinidad and Tobago Yacht Club docks.

When at anchor we found that our two 75 watt solar panels and wind generator supplied us with all the power we needed. You do not need that much power either.

We had an energy footprint of about 100 to 120 amp hours per day. That means we were using about 5 amps per hour. 4 amps of that was ours 12 volt refrigerator with a freezer of about 5 cu feet. Our ice box was huge; the drinks were always ice cold. We lived and ate like kings and queens. So can you, without using much power.

With a park model mobile home you can live off the grid and live well.

Dig a well, install a septic tank, arrange for propane and you are pretty well set. The propane can be used for a propane refrig / freezer, heating and cooking.

Solar panels, maybe a wind gen, some batteries, an inverter and you are set to watch TV, use the computer, and have lights.

Do not think you have geographical limitations on where to put your park model mobile home. If you really want to live in a certain spot, you will be surprised at how you can meet your energy / utility needs.

Toronto Condos Being Built More Energy Efficient

Toronto is going green. I'm sure you've noticed a large majority of Grocery stores in Toronto are now encouraging shoppers to bring their own recyclable grocery bags. As well, Torontonians took part in the earth hour which demonstrates that we are becoming more aware of our environment. Did you ever think about living your every…

Toronto is going green. I'm sure you've noticed a large majority of Grocery stores in Toronto are now encouraging shoppers to bring their own recyclable grocery bags. As well, Torontonians took part in the earth hour which demonstrates that we are becoming more aware of our environment. Did you ever think about living your every day life more green? Well now you can as Toronto has jumped on green band wagon with over over 2,000 green condos units.

You're probably wondering what exactly makes a condo building green. Well for example TAS DesignBuild, also Green Builder of the Year, is currently building a Green condo called the M5V, located on King at Blue Jays Way in Toronto. They have included motion sensor light switches in the common areas of the condo, energy efficient appliances, dual flush toilets and a roof top rainwater retroval system with on-site water recycling just to name a few. Living Green can also mean better indoor air quality as developers use low-emission products when installing hardwood, painting etc. Living green means residents can enjoy energy savings of up to 25% which results in lower utility bills, less strain on our energy supply and by reducing green house emissions. All these elements contribute to increasing resale property values.

To encourage Toronto developers to build green condos, the Better Buildings Partnership- New Construction (BBP-NC) provides incentives and technical support. The goal of the BBP-NC is to encourage and assist condo developers to design and build condos in a more energy efficient manner and not to just meet the minimum standards as set out by the Ontario Building Code.

So next time you are in the market for a condo, why not be good to yourself and the environment and think Green.

The Pro-Active Build Green Mentality

There are many reasons to build green. There remains only one outdated reason not to build green. Cost has always been the largest, most tangible objection to the shift towards sustainability. Cost resistance is losing its credibility. Cost at the expense of the environment and accompanied by high energy costs no longer makes sense, or…

There are many reasons to build green. There remains only one outdated reason not to build green. Cost has always been the largest, most tangible objection to the shift towards sustainability.

Cost resistance is losing its credibility. Cost at the expense of the environment and accompanied by high energy costs no longer makes sense, or is that cents.

The Obama Administration has invested in the green movement. Government has shown unprecedented support for the value and future of sustainable construction. The Obama stimulus package has set in motion plans to create about 3.5 million green energy jobs over the next two years. The private sector has been slower than the public sector to respond to the merits of green construction.

Not all private sector's cost resistance is unfounded. In the formative years of the green movement, sustainable technology costs were prohibitive. These costs required a true commitment to the future and to the green movement. The return on investment was lacking. However, as sustainable technology has evolved and as demand for equipment has increased, the cost of the technology has declined substantively.

Reports from the National Association of Realtors indicate the costs related to sustainable, green construction have decreed appreciably. Recent estimates put new green construction costs at 1-1.5% above traditional construction costs. Meanwhile, energy savings range can yield a 15-35% savings.

In the 1970's, the green movement began to gain momentum. In those early years, the principles of sustainable construction tended to be localized and lacking in definition. What was green to one developer was a waste of time and money to another.

Over time, architects, real estate companies, property owners and construction companies compiled both tangible and theoretical research that have made sense of the principle of going green.

The green ideal preserves and restores habitat while ultimately producing and exporting resources, materials, energy and water instead of consuming these products. It is a lofty goal. As applied to green building, the principles strive to create a building which life of operation assures a healthy work and living environment while maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing the disruption of the land, water, energy and resources. Green site locations should be minimally invasive and as closely restored to their natural condition as possible upon completion of the project.

Experienced green developers and architects have discovered that the gerner the commitment, the greater the savings and the greater the property appreciation. Green is now in demand. Tenants want a healthy and responsible environment, and they are willing to pay for it.

To control construction costs, developers should make concept decisions early. Defining the environmental objectives allows for effective construction management but also avoids expensive changes as the construction proceeds. What developers learn is that each green component is supported by another green decision. Proper insulation and use of light and solar power reduce the cost of the heating and cooling system. Proper water retention can reduce operating costs and consumption. Developers should procure a thorough site analysis and work with their architects to maximize the green return.

The Five Elements of Green Design

Successful sustainable construction begins with a design that addresses each of the following five central elements of green building design. Sustainable Site Design Water Conservation and Quality Energy and Environment Indoor Environmental Quality Conservation of Materials and Resources To assure the integrity of the design and the future sustainable exit, integration of green technology within…

Successful sustainable construction begins with a design that addresses each of the following five central elements of green building design.

  • Sustainable Site Design
  • Water Conservation and Quality
  • Energy and Environment
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Conservation of Materials and Resources

To assure the integrity of the design and the future sustainable exit, integration of green technology within each of those core design elements is critical. For example, the interrelationship between the site orientation, the water conservation program, the use of natural energy sources, the quality of natural sunlight inside the building all affect the building's need for materials and energy sources. In fact, the ideal design brings all the elements together over and over again.

Integrating the design elements requires recognition of several principles of sustainability and the application of these principles to the site analysis:

  • Reduce urban sprawl and destruction of land
  • Promote higher density urban development
  • Pursue brownfield development to save exiting green space
  • Minimize site disturbance and restore natural habitat

Below are hints for consideration with each element.

Sustainable Site Design

  • Only select a new site when necessary
  • When a new site is necessary, do not choose a site that is critical to the local eco-system
  • Orient the building to on the site to utilize natural resources like solar energy
  • Select a site that allows access to mass transit
  • Minimize the building's footprint by using existing surfaces, lightening roof color and using natural shading

Water Conservation and Quality

  • Realize that orientation of the proposed building that allows for natural drainage is often the least expensive way to improve the location
  • Be certain that the site assessment captures the natural hydrological attributes
  • Allow for the use of low-impact storm water retention
  • Set a water budget and implement features that help achieve the budget
  • Improve water conservation and quality by utilizing indigenous trees, plants and turf that do not require irrigation, fertilizers or pesticides

Energy and Environment

  • Maximize passive solar orientation
  • Reduce the need for artificial lighting by planning to use natural sunlight whenever possible
  • Use exterior insulation to maximize the performance of the exterior envelope
  • Use natural ventilation
  • Use Energy Star energy efficient appliances
  • Use new-age lighting products and settings
  • Research all the new energy technologies

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Protect the building's interior during the construction process
  • Make the building smoke-free
  • Maximize the used of daylight sunlight
  • Make sure that all interior finishes are environmentally friendly and safe
  • Design a healthy heating, cooling and ventilating system

Materials and Resources

  • Use engineer designed high stress materials which strength reduces the quantity of used materials
  • Use recycled materials whenever possible
  • Use materials that can be recycled when their functional life has elapsed
  • Support the local economy and reduce the transportation of materials by using local providers of local products

The five major elements, from sustainable sites to materials and resources are also considered in the US Green Building Council's LEED building certification. Whether considering that certification or just interested in green building, the above points to consider can make a huge difference in returns, cost and the environment.

The Sustainable Site

In 2005, a consortium of concerned groups composed benchmark standards for Sustainable Site development. This initiative was designed to provide developers, designers, owners, builders and government agencies criteria by which existing and new sites could be modified to sustainable standards. Consortium participants included representatives from 11 private and public organizations. The steering committee was supervised…

In 2005, a consortium of concerned groups composed benchmark standards for Sustainable Site development. This initiative was designed to provide developers, designers, owners, builders and government agencies criteria by which existing and new sites could be modified to sustainable standards.

Consortium participants included representatives from 11 private and public organizations. The steering committee was supervised of 30 experts from construction, development and architectural fields as well as government officials. The result was the creation of the Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks and a Reference Guide for the landscape industry.

Between 2007 and 2009, these standards have been utilized for practical applications. Feedback from these applications has been delivered in expansion and refinements to the sustainable sustainable site guidelines.

Prominent organizations represented in the development of the original standards are the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the United States Botanic Garden, the US Green Building Council, the Environmental Protection Agency's GreenScapes Program, the National Recreation and Park Association and the American Society of Civil Engineers' Environment and Water Resources Institute.

The consortium's goal was to establish viable standards by which developers could reduce the impact of buildings on the environment through the implementation of sustainable landscape and site planning. The sustainable site benchmark system incorporated green site design concepts, green maintenance concepts and environmental research in establishing tangible values ​​for responsible development.

The Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks are founded upon the principle that a sustainable site is the result of a merger between economic, environmental and social considerations. This merge serves to benefit all three components.

Since the 2005 initiative, local planning boards and government agencies have embroidered sustainable site and overall development concepts. While the Obama Administration has charged the Office of General Services with oversight capabilities, state and local Governments have begun implementing ways to reduce energy consumption and increase the use of green concepts in local communities.

The clustering of homes to prevent urban sprawl and reserve open spaces, the selection of commercial sites with easy public transport access and overall low-density land use for both residential and commercial projects have been included in local policy modalities. Many planning boards now offer incentives and rewards to developers who aggressively reserve open areas by including ever-green park areas in their site plans.

Brownfields are defined as abandoned or underutilized properties which redevelopment may be complicated by the presence of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. The evolution of the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act reflects the furtherance of the sustainable site initiative. The EPAS estimates there are minimally 500,000 Brownfields in the US

By carefully recycling our site locations, the country can begin to correct the wasteful practices of the past and move toward a sustainable future.

Sustainable Architecture

A new report from sustainable advocate Environment America details a plan to make the country's commercial buildings more energy aware and efficient. The environmental group states that compliance with its plan by the year 2030 will save enough energy to power all the country's existing homes, vehicles and businesses for 1.5 years. The plan sounds…

A new report from sustainable advocate Environment America details a plan to make the country's commercial buildings more energy aware and efficient. The environmental group states that compliance with its plan by the year 2030 will save enough energy to power all the country's existing homes, vehicles and businesses for 1.5 years.

The plan sounds simple enough. Architectural changes incorporating new-age energy technologies into the design of renovated and new commercial buildings and especially in the implementation of new-age high-efficiency technology building systems would result in new buildings using 50% less energy over the next 10 years. By 2030, these systems would begin to generate as much energy as they consume.

The report goes further. Acceptance of these architectural changes would reduce US carbon emissions by at least 34% by the year 2050.

Continuing with traditional design strategies is a dangerous alternative. Currently, commercial design has created an energy nightmare while 70% of all US energy is used in the country's workplaces. The Obama Administration's stimulus package includes $ 65 billion in funding and tax credits as incentives to include energy efficiency in new designs.

The emergence of a new design term, building-integrated renewable energy (BIRE), has stimulated-reward repercussions. Architects report that BIRE technology is now available to create “smart buildings” that will reduce energy consumption by as much as 50%.

Typically, the construction costs related to these technologies are higher than installation costs for traditional, less energy efficient systems. Recent analysis by real estate developers shows that the increased start up costs are recovered in the very short term through the reduced energy operating costs.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the popularity of sustainable design is ringing true for tenants and building owners. Even in the current recession, healthy, efficient works accommodated by usable green areas is in demand. Businesses and their employees view sustainable design as happy work areas.

Additionally, the NAR reports that the values ​​of commercial properties featuring sustainable design are appreciating at a faster rate than the value of traditionally designed properties. This puts a win-win scenario in front of today's sustainable architects. In today's real estate market, location remains a big factor in establishing value, but energy efficiency and a healthy work environment have come to be appreciable commodities.

In a recent report from the US Green Building Council, there are currently more than 14,000 projects featuring new-age sustainable components in progress around the globe. These projects compose more than one billion square feet. The sustainable project sites are located in all 50 states and in more than 30 countries.

A major supporter of sustainable development is the McGraw-Hill Corporation, who released the following statement: “The overall green building market (both non-residential and residential) is likely to more than double from today's $ 36-49 billion to $ 96-140 billion in 2013. ” 82% of corporate America is expected to be greening at least 16% of their real estate capitals. “New designs in sustainable architecture will lead the way.

The Green Economy Begins With Sustainable Design

Green initiatives are a driving force in the Obama Administration's economic plans. The $ 787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is expected to create 3.5 million green economy jobs over the next two years. While federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the General Services Administration (GSA) have increased budgets and revitalized…

Green initiatives are a driving force in the Obama Administration's economic plans. The $ 787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is expected to create 3.5 million green economy jobs over the next two years. While federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the General Services Administration (GSA) have increased budgets and revitalized green mandates to power the Administration's sustainable agenda, there are signs that the private side is getting on board.

With increased public and private commitments to green initiatives, awareness of sustainable design polices and practices have become paramount to the success of the green movement. Since the emergence of the green movement, sustainable design has remained a random compilation of national policy interspersed with local applications.

The Obama Administration is applying standardized third-party sustainable foundations to federal projects and carrying those fundamentals to state and local levels. Effective sustainable design addresses three basic concepts:

· The reduction of negative factors on the environment

· The reduction of negative health and comfort factors upon building occupants

· The increase of building efficiency and performance

Like all federal agencies, the GSA is determined to minimize the bottom-line impact during the implementation of sustainable design for all the agency's projects. In the past, the private sector has been wary of the cost of green design and construction. GSA maintains that increased construction costs related to effective sustainable design are more than offset by the reduction in operating costs and specifically in reduced energy and waste costs.

To achieve cost-effective sustainable design, the federal government has set forth a six-step process that the Obama Administration hopes the private sector will utilize.

· Site selection and preparation

· Utilization of building operating systems that minimize the use of non-renewable products

· Insistence on the use of sustainable building products

· Address the preservation and conservation of water

· Improve the building interior environment to the benefit of the occupants

· Implement environmentally responsible operational and maintenance practices

Accordingly, the GSA has received a $ 5.5 billion budget allocation for green projects. The EPA has finally received supplements to its dwindling budget. The Agency's budget was trimmed each of the past 8 years, resulting in a 27% cumulative decrease.

The new $ 10.5 billion budget includes a $ 3.9 billion allocation for improvements to the country's water infrastructure. Specifically, the agency will address 1000 clean water projects and 700 drinking water initiatives ranging from, San Francisco to Chesapeake Bay and including major projects in The Great Lakes and Lake Champlain.

The acknowledged universal and primary consideration in sustainable design has become the carbon footprint. The recognition of the carbon impact offers sustainable designers tangible criteria upon which every product, every building and every green initiative can be evaluated and promoted. In fact, the future of sustainable design and development of carbon regulation will not only drive sustainable design but will unify the private and public sector's sustainable focus.

Green Homes and Alternative Energy Issues

Modern technology has certainly served us well in our homes. Today we have natural gas lines, electricity, air conditioning, microwaves, hot water, hot running water, refrigeration, and all the modern amenities. But we also use a lot of energy. Now engineers are working on high tech appliances that are ultra-super efficient. It is really amazing…

Modern technology has certainly served us well in our homes. Today we have natural gas lines, electricity, air conditioning, microwaves, hot water, hot running water, refrigeration, and all the modern amenities. But we also use a lot of energy. Now engineers are working on high tech appliances that are ultra-super efficient. It is really amazing the quality of life we ​​can live for such low costs.

Still, I've always thought that the ancient cultures who dug tunnels underground and allowed wind blowing into one end of the tunnel with outlets into the living area for air-cooling were wise, and that was a form of air-conditioning and it didn 't take any energy once the tunnels for ventilation were created. No it was not perfect, but it worked. Even the American Indians built Kivas to stay cool in the hot summers and many of them had devised various rudimentary forms of air cooling vent systems.

Now we are looking at ways to create green homes using alternative energy technologies and it looks that distributive energy makes sense does not it. We need to be both efficient and wise when it comes to our power needs, at least this is what the expert believe, and I suppose both you and I concur completely.

Solar water obviously makes sense, as even if you can get the water to outside ambient temperature or close, you've saved a huge amount of energy heating it from the underground temps where the pipes are 55-degrees, and heating water one degree takes a good amount of energy if you use any volume at all. Anytime we can devise simple systems and tricks of physics to help us with our technology we are miles ahead. So, we need both ancient and modern technology to live well and maintain our quality of life, please consider that.

Thinking of Green Real Estate Concepts – Get Your Solar ROI Promises in Writing

There is a lot of alternative energy hype these days, but you have to be careful with solar installation sales people. Often, they make claims that you will have the unit, installation and equipment all paid off within 5-10-years with all the money you save on energy, the ROI or return on your investment. If…

There is a lot of alternative energy hype these days, but you have to be careful with solar installation sales people. Often, they make claims that you will have the unit, installation and equipment all paid off within 5-10-years with all the money you save on energy, the ROI or return on your investment. If the company's salesman takes an overly optimistic approach to such promises to get you to buy, you may find yourself underwhelmed with the results and later determine that you did not save any money after all.

Not long ago this exact issue occurred and the homeowner being a lawyer asked for the ROI in writing. He lived in a very sunny city with only 6-9 rain days a year on average, so he accepted the salesman on his word, but got it in writing just in case, because he had heard of problems that other consumers had encountered. Turns out that in 2.5 years of the 10 year so-called ROI, he had not saved more than 10% on his energy bill. Worried that the company would not be around in 7 and a half years, he took them to court for the entire cost of the unit.

He offered to allow them to remove it or leave it there, but wanted his money back, as he had been lied too. The solar company had all sorts of excuses such as cloudy weather, house facing the wrong direction, and even energy cost increases of 3%. The judge was hearing none of this nonsense and awarded the gentleman full re-imbursement. The solar company could take the unit away or sell the unit for 15% of the original cost and walk away.

The homeowner had agreed that 15% was fair because a home buyer might like a solar system on the house and figured that he could raise the price of the house that small amount and recover that cost at a later date, which is more than fair considering he was lied to, and whether they meant to or not is irrelevant, the point is beware of these ROI claims during the initial purchase of your solar alternative energy system.

Brownfield Development Opportunity in Uncertainty

By now it's no secret that uncertainty is the only certain thing left in the real estate market. And with virtually all traditional forms of development remaining stagnant, finding opportunity in a more specialized discipline, such as brownfield development, is no easy task. But even amid the direst of circumstances, there are opportunities surrounding the…

By now it's no secret that uncertainty is the only certain thing left in the real estate market. And with virtually all traditional forms of development remaining stagnant, finding opportunity in a more specialized discipline, such as brownfield development, is no easy task.

But even amid the direst of circumstances, there are opportunities surrounding the redevelopment of contaminated land. However, opportunity for development needs to be highly strategic and is location sensitive.

The trend today and likely into the foreseeable future is “smart growth” and transportation-orientated development. The majority of these proposed developments are located near employment centers and transportation hubs. Municipalities encourage such developments because they do not put a strain on capital resources and use existing infrastructure at no additional cost with the benefit of an increased tax base. The need for infill properties to fulfill this objective provides a unique opportunity for brownfield development, particularly in major cities.

Another key strategic opportunity concerns a potential increase in available properties. Legacy companies with discontinued or abandoned facilities have been significantly able to fly under the radar and have not faced a great deal of enforcement for environmental concerns. Over time the enforcement of these facility cleanups will increase because of the changing attitude of government along with the ability of the regulator to focus on these issues. This phenomenon could put a larger number of contaminated properties on the market and create additional remediation and redevelopment opportunities as enforcement continues.

The difficulty today is assessing the market and determining where and how the recovery will take place. There is still a significant difference between the bid and the ask on the sale of a property. Sellers who do not have to sell are sitting on the sidelines waiting for the market to reappear and the buyers in the marketplace are generally opportunistic purchasers looking for distracted buys. This makes it very difficult to establish value and bring back normalcy in the marketplace.

But while the opportunity for well-located, reasonably priced properties is selectively available, the point of contention remains pinpointing a timely for development and securing capital for what will certainly be a long-term play. While a difficult task by any measure, the extended period of time needed to undertake tasks such as environmental due diligence and remediation actually provides developers with the needed window of time to wait out the turmoil in the markets before breaking ground.

While the market has drastically changed, many of the opportunities have not. And for well-capitalized developers operating with a long-term plan, brownfields offer a glimmer of light amidst the all of the darkness.

Bellevue Builds it Green

Resting in the shadow of Seattle, Bellevue redefines what it means to be environmentally friendly. From establishing green policies and regulations surpassing that of most American cities to adopting a green approach towards community expansion, Bellevue is an ideal location for environmentally-sound development projects. Bellevue is home to more than 145 Fortune 500 companies, with…

Resting in the shadow of Seattle, Bellevue redefines what it means to be environmentally friendly. From establishing green policies and regulations surpassing that of most American cities to adopting a green approach towards community expansion, Bellevue is an ideal location for environmentally-sound development projects.

Bellevue is home to more than 145 Fortune 500 companies, with Microsoft and Expedia headquartered in the city. Many of the region's high powered executives live in the community and have invested in the civic, cultural, and political infrastructure to enhance Bellevue's quality of life.

Recently named by Fortune Small Business magazine as the “best place in the nation to live and launch a business”, there is a passion for the growth and a deep community dedication to environmental action and upkeep.

There are a number of both infill and brownfield development opportunities in Bellevue, many of which are in the downtown area. These parcels are generally comprised of former gas stations and retail space that has reached the end of its economic life. In addition, their location along and near Main Street, make them prime candidates for mixed-use retail-residential developments, in which the ground floor would consist of a commercial retailer and the top floors are occupied by residential housing.

While these are not high-end development plays that would likely attract retailers such as drug stores and grocers, they are ideal for the growing population of young professionals looking for just the right location in the center of Bellevue.

The City of Bellevue is also committed to “green” construction as evidenced by its outreach programs to local builders. The uniqueness of Bellevue is its ability to cater to smaller builders, working with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and its LEED design to design programs to encourage brownfield development . As a result, establishing green building standards is often looked upon as a prerequisite to breaking ground in Bellevue and the State and City have placed a high priority on empowering smaller, environmentally aware builders, to take on green projects in Bellevue.

While higher development costs and promotions to meet Bellevue's stringent environmental standards have created a barrier to entry for some developers, the advantages to building in the city are vast. The financial stability, community commitment and long-term viability of the city make the delivery of green sound projects in Bellevue an ideal opportunity in any market climate.

Green Real Estate – Did We Miss the Opportunity For Energy Efficient Homes in the Last Boom?

Did you know that during the last real estate bubble that nearly 20% of all the homes that exist today were built. There was probably no better time in American History and probably will not be for at least a decade or two, to take advantage of energy efficiency using high-tech building materials. Unfortunately, that…

Did you know that during the last real estate bubble that nearly 20% of all the homes that exist today were built. There was probably no better time in American History and probably will not be for at least a decade or two, to take advantage of energy efficiency using high-tech building materials. Unfortunately, that residential real estate boom is over. But can we learn anything from our mistakes with regards to building more energy efficient homes?

The answer is yes, but first we need to understand what happened. You see, not all homes were built without energy efficient materials or designs, but most were, as they were catering to first time home buyers who could barely afford them. What is a shame is that these inexpensive homes that saved on materials will end up costing them 5-10 times the savings during construction in higher energy costs.

We had a great opportunity during the last housing boom to build more energy efficient homes and we failed, purely because it might raise the cost $ 500 for better doors that seal, $ 1200 for increased insulation costs, $ 1500 for super sealing windows and $ 3,000 for better windows . That is a smart thing to do and the ROI (return on investment) for the energy savings is less than 5-years easy.

Much faster than solar and such, but we failed as builders wanted to get new home buyers in who could barely afford to buy and even those little increments might cause them not to qualify. It's so short sided, but that is how things worked. Now the homes are already built so some things can not be done so cheap and easy, while others like door and window weather stripping etc. can.

President Obama has put forth some monies in the stimulus package to help retrofit millions of homes with better weather stripping, but it is too bad we did not consider all this ahead of time. Maybe next time we will be wiser? Think on this.