Green Sustainable Architecture

Just what is green architecture, and why are we listening so much about it? Green architecture projects represent an approach to building that's been growing in popularity for nearly three decades. It concentrates on minimizing the environmental impact of creating a building. While green architecture was once viewed as highly unconventional, it's getting a lot…

Just what is green architecture, and why are we listening so much about it? Green architecture projects represent an approach to building that's been growing in popularity for nearly three decades. It concentrates on minimizing the environmental impact of creating a building.

While green architecture was once viewed as highly unconventional, it's getting a lot more acceptable and popular. Many of the regulatory agencies are learning to recognize the advantages of the methods of green construction.

Today's green revolution can probably be tracked back to 1960s social awareness and the adoption of different methods of design. Green construction has made great strides since then. New techniques have been developed, new, innovative concepts and materials invented, and buildings have gotten greener.

A successful green project will reduce waste, use non-toxic materials, and pay close attention to the location and function of the building, as well as the climate that surrounds it. That's a long way from the old idea of ​​”one size fits all” construction methods of the past.

What makes a building green? There are a number of concepts that make up a green building. The main ones are energy efficiency, use of land, reduction of waste, materials used and the sustainability of the project. Green projects should use energy efficient electrical systems whenever possible, especially in the areas of heating and cooling. Gray water recycling, passive solar design, and the use of renewable power are all elements of this.

Building should be constructed to match the environment, rather than forcing changes to the site. Buildings should be located and directed to take maximum advantages of their surroundings. Improved energy efficiency is the desired income and it makes for a building more pleasant to use. Use of land planning in the form of parking and transportation concerns become viable, too.

In a perfect setting the materials used should allow the building to be reused for other construction possibilities in the future producing minimal waste. Green architecture should reduce the dependency on wasteful and toxic materials and products, which is becoming much easier as the industry grows. Some buildings even reuse parts of other buildings, or waste materials such as old shipping containers.

Of course, not all projects labeled green are really green. Some are “greenwashed” – ordinary projects given a green veneer for respectability purposes. Others are built with good intentions but poor planning. That's why it's highly important and effective to know that all green projects be inspected carefully to ensure that they are as safe for the environment as claimed. Helping the environment is complex, but it's worth it in the long run, with buildings being more usable and more sustainable years down the line.

What to Look For in a Green Home

When you think about a green home, what springs to your mind? A green painted house? Not exactly, as the term going green has become more and more important and followed in today's world where natural resources are depleting and humans are making an all out effort to save whatever little is left. If you…

When you think about a green home, what springs to your mind? A green painted house? Not exactly, as the term going green has become more and more important and followed in today's world where natural resources are depleting and humans are making an all out effort to save whatever little is left.

If you are buying a house, why not pitch in with efforts, however small that may be, in reducing unwanted energy waste? You may have reduced your electricity bill by only five percent, but even if ten percent of the population is able to do that, it is a reasonable amount of savings, something than can light up another million households in different parts of the world. This shows how much you care for the world and other human animals on this planet.

The question that arises now is, how do you determine if your house is indeed green? There are two types of green homes. One is the certified green homes, which are certified by authorized programs across the world, like LEED for Homes, earth advantage and similar types of programs. These can easily be bought as they have specific standards that these certificates adhere to and hence can be trusted.

The other type, which is the non-certified green homes are those which may have some features but not the tag of a green home. In such cases, you have to rely on your own jurisdiction to decide the green effectiveness of these houses. There are a few factors that you need to look out in such cases.

The first thing that always strikes you as you look at a house is the exterior of the house. Check if the house has some amount of greenery as part of its landscape and if the paint used is more eco-friendly. There are a few types of the same available in today's markets. These are the non-toxic variety which uses vegetable components for manufacture. These art bio-degradable and cause very minimal harm to nature when disposed of.

Another important factor that may be of interest is the windows and doors. See if these are insulated properly, as good insulation reduces your heating bills. Also check for cross- ventilation features that allow more air to flow through your home, which again reduces air-conditioning bills.

Reducing water usage through low-use plumbing fixtures and good natural floorings that reduce the use of carpets are a few important features that may add value as part of a green home. Systems like rain water harvesting and solar power electricity systems are great options, but are not normally seen because of the costs associated with these. In fact, some states have plans to bring in legislation that makes the use of such systems mandatory, for building plans to be approved, as most Governments feel that only legislation can ensure strict compliance in such matters.

A Green Home Means Preservation of the Future

Individuals that are concerned about the environment and like to save money and conserve then probably a green home would be the ideal solution for them. One of the unique features about a green building is that all the systems that are within the building itself work to optimize performance. The entire design process for…

Individuals that are concerned about the environment and like to save money and conserve then probably a green home would be the ideal solution for them. One of the unique features about a green building is that all the systems that are within the building itself work to optimize performance. The entire design process for building these homes consists of an entire team and it is all designed around picking the perfect home for you with all the right technologies and methods based on your requirements. It is fast becoming the quickest way for having efficient work done, and done properly and cost effective.

To give you a good example of how just some of the efficiency works when the architects are planning your home they will place the windows where they can take advantage of the sun and the wind. What is accomplished by this is you reduce your heating costs and your cooling costs in the warm weather as well. Now combine this with high quality performance and the newest technology of framing techniques means that the builders can put even more insulation around the windows there again you have another saving. It is all in the planning and using common sense.

Planning consists of going step-by-step with each opponent that is put into the building of the home and being cost effective and energy conscious and environmentally aware can make an astounding difference when it comes to building a green home.

When you have decided that, you are going to go green then you also have to decide on what level of green you are going and this should be in the early part of your decision-making. You will need to hold all of your meetings with the various participants in the very early stages.

Understanding some of the benefits of green building will help you with your decision-making. As you may have guessed so far, it is the design of the green home that minimizes impact on the environment. This is done through conservation energy by being efficient with the proper choice of materials.

Some astounding savings can take place with this type of structure. They can actually get to the point where use they use less than 25% of the energy than what most normal buildings would use.

A green home almost creates a snowball effect by lowering heating and cooling that means there is less carbon, reduces the acid rain and greatly decrees the smog So really, when one considers all of the factors there really is no downside to a green home.

Living Inside a Shipping Container Home

Remember, when you were younger and loved to build pretend homes and forts? As an adult the Container architecture is growing because there hundreds of thousands of shipping containers in places all over the world. Usually in docking ports and stacks of shipping containers are piled up wasting away to literally nothing. Some very ingenious…

Remember, when you were younger and loved to build pretend homes and forts? As an adult the Container architecture is growing because there hundreds of thousands of shipping containers in places all over the world. Usually in docking ports and stacks of shipping containers are piled up wasting away to literally nothing. Some very ingenious architects and builders are recycling these containers and designing homes and low income apartments out of them worldwide.

Shipping container homes are very affordable, transportable and stackable and able to survive the worst weather conditions mother nature has for us. They are structurally built to withstand almost anything and in abundant supply almost in every country today.

Containerization is best defined as the use of steel boxes that can be filled with literally any product and loaded onto a truck or train. If you are concerned about these running out, no need to worry because there are infinite containers to go around. Tens of thousands of these hit American shores each and every day of the year, as well as almost every other country.

Lets understand something here. The prices of homes today has sky rocketed to the heavens. As time goes on, more and more people can not afford a typical living environment. Struggling with mortgages and taxes to pay off their house, why not look into a shipping container as a home for yourself?

Not only are they cheaper but they are much longer than an average house today built with the same materials they have been building with.

How to Make Your Home More “Green”

Here are six simple steps for making your existing home “greener”: 1. These are the easiest things to do and it will not cost you anything to do it. Just turn off lights when you are not using them. Lower your thermostat in the winter. Try to use natural ventilation as much as possible during…

Here are six simple steps for making your existing home “greener”:

1. These are the easiest things to do and it will not cost you anything to do it. Just turn off lights when you are not using them. Lower your thermostat in the winter. Try to use natural ventilation as much as possible during the summer.

2. When your incandescent light bulbs blow, replace them with energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). Occasionally, all of your incandescent lights should be switched over to the CFL type.

3. Plant a deciduous tree on the south side of your home. This tree will provide shade for your home and lower your cooling bills during the summer. If you live up north, this tree will lose its leaves during the winter. This will allow more sunlight to pass through the tree and help heat your home during the winter.

4. Add additional insulation in your home. Cellulose insulation can be very cheap compared to other types of insulation. Cellulose insulation is very green and environmentally friendly too.

5. Replace your appliances with Energy Star appliances. This can be expensive, but always try to buy an Energy Star appliance whenever possible. When your appliance breaks down, this is the perfect time to buy an Energy Star appliance. Even though your upfront costs can be high, you will save money in the long run.

6. Replace your heating system with an energy efficient one. This is an expensive long term investment for your home, but it is well worth the money.

By doing these six simple steps, you will be helping the environment while lowering your energy bills. This will save you some real “green”.

Making Your Home Green

“Going Green” at Home Recent news about the impact of global warming has many of us wondering how we can do our part to live “greener” in our homes. One of the ways we've learned how to do this, of course, is to simply conserve and recycle when we can, but it's also very easy…

“Going Green” at Home

Recent news about the impact of global warming has many of us wondering how we can do our part to live “greener” in our homes. One of the ways we've learned how to do this, of course, is to simply conserve and recycle when we can, but it's also very easy to go green in other ways. If you have a green home, you're helping the environment, and it's also a way to save money. With just a few changes to your lifestyle, everyone can go green – yes, you too.

One of the major ways your home consumes energy is through heating and cooling costs. If you set your home's thermostat to 20 degrees Celsius or 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and to 25 degrees Celsius or 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, you'll both conserve energy and save money, too.

Another tip is that you can create shade for windows that are on the west and east ends of your home; If you do this, you can keep your indoor temperatures several degrees cooler as the sun passes in both the morning and afternoon. Another way you can save money in the summertime is to prepare your meals ahead of time, before the hottest time of the day comes upon you or after it has passed. This will help keep your home cooler because you're not going to be trapping heated air inside your home, thereby reducing your need for air conditioning. You can also use ceiling fans to circulate in the air indoors and help keep it from becoming too hot too quickly.

Another way you can go green is to watch your own consumption. Reduce or your use of or avoid using polyethylene plastic bags, such as those offered at grocery stores. These bags are made with petroleum, which is a fossil fuel. In addition, 100 billion of these plastic bags are thrown away every year, so that their disposal presents a hazard to the environment. Instead of using plastic bags, invest a few dollars in some reusable cloth grocery bags. This will greatly reduce the amount of plastic bags that are wasted every year, which will positively impact global warming.

Plastic water bottles, too, are produced using petroleum, and they negatively impact the environment because they stay in landfills for many, many years and do not biodegrade. Instead of using plastic bottles, buy every member of your family reusable water bottles that can be filled from your tap at home. (If you find your tap water “undrinkable,” it's very economical and environmentally sensible to filter your water at home if you must do so.) This will save you both time and money, because you will not have to go to the grocery store to keep buying water over and over again; it's simply available for you whenever you need it.

Travel, too, is another thing you can easily adjust to help reduce your fuel costs and reduce carbon emissions, which negatively affect the environment. Use public transportation or carpool to get to work, and walk or bike shorter distances whenever you can. Reducing the number of cars on the road makes the air cleaner and also saves you money, because it's much cheaper to take public transportation, to carpool and / or to ride a bike or walk where you need to go. In addition, walking or biking provides you a very effective form of exercise that's easy to do.

When you remodel your home, choose bamboo floors instead of traditional floors made of wood. Bamboo is environmentally friendly because it renews itself very quickly as compared to wood. Bamboo can mature in 6 to 8 years, as compared to the 50 or 100 years it takes to grow the trees needed for hardwood. When you install your bamboo flooring, use glues that are free of formaldehyde, which is toxic.

Finally, whenever possible, to see electronic bill payment system of paper bills. Companies sometimes offer discounts to customers who opt out of the paper bill choice and who choose to receive and pay bills electronically. This saves many trees every year because of the paper saved, and also helps keep paper waste products out of landfills. To further reduce paper usage and keep paper out of landfills, when you must buy paper products choose those that are recycled and choose products that are unbleached. Bleaching paper is toxic to the environment.

Some erroneously gather that going green takes a lot of thought and work, but in fact, it's pretty easy to do once you know how. If you go green, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your part to take care of the planet – and save some money ahead.

Unions Promoting Green Homes and LEED Buildings – A Look at Why

Labor unions obviously look out for their own best interests, and with that fact known we should carefully watch when those interests are diametrically opposed to the interests of free market capitalism or our overall society in general. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that whenever labor unions lean a certain way…

Labor unions obviously look out for their own best interests, and with that fact known we should carefully watch when those interests are diametrically opposed to the interests of free market capitalism or our overall society in general. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that whenever labor unions lean a certain way we bought to take a look at why they are doing it and what their motivations really are.

Recently, we've seen a lot of labor unions especially in the construction industry promoting Green homes and LEED “environmental friendly” building programs. Now, one could say this is both good for the environment and our general well-being as a population, as well as for the unions because they will be able to build the environmentally friendly construction projects. In the end everyone is better served; theoretically.

One thing, however that we need to look out for is if unions actually end up hijacking this sector and prevent non-unionized construction company from building environmentally friendly projects. In fact, I think this is already being done; where construction labor unions are assisting local and state Governments develop regulations concerning the construction of green buildings. They may offer classes for construction companies to teach them how to stay within the regulations and build these buildings a certain way.

The problem with this is that non-unionized companies can not go to these meetings or these seminars that are put on by labor unions to teach them how to build green buildings. Therefore, the union has developed a monopoly through government intervention and regulation and therefore they will charge a higher price, meaning that all the consumers and businesses that buy these buildings will have to pay more. This increases the price of environmentally friendly buildings and will reduce the number of them.

This means everyone has to pay more or so the unions can make more money on these projects, and with the higher prices means there will actually be fewer green buildings being built. In this case everyone loses except the unions. Please consider all this.

Breathing Clean at Home

Kermit said it best: “It's not easy being green.” And he was correct. For a product to be truly “green,” or sensitive to our environment, it should meet rigorous and exacting standards. Going “green” when buying or building a new home requires meeting criteria that can help consumers save money on utility costs, increase the…

Kermit said it best: “It's not easy being green.” And he was correct. For a product to be truly “green,” or sensitive to our environment, it should meet rigorous and exacting standards.

Going “green” when buying or building a new home requires meeting criteria that can help consumers save money on utility costs, increase the resale value of a home and help the environment. But many families who are shopping for a new home now request specific green building protocol that can result in improved indoor air quality.

According to the EPA, air within our homes can be more polluted than outdoor air, even in the largest and most industrialized cities. Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. There are many sources of indoor air pollution: oil, gas, tobacco products; household cleaning and maintenance products; malfunctioning appliances; plant pollen; pet dander; and pesticides to name just a few. Additionally, chemical sensitivity from building materials is becoming more common. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels, as can high temperatures and humidity. Increasingly, consumers, especially those who suffer from allergy or asthma, or those who live in areas where pollens or allergens are high, are concerned with the quality of air within their homes.

There are, however, questions consumers can ask, and steps they can take, to improve the indoor air quality of a new home.

First, consumers should inquire about the “green” certification of a specific home. As president of Dallas, Texas-based American Legend Homes (ALH), I oversee the construction and “green” certification of new homes. Certification varies by region but should require that a home meet meticulous construction standards in specific areas. North Texas Green Built certification requires that each home is inspected and certified by independent third-party engineers only after it meets standards in the areas of job site management, water efficiency, energy efficiency, material usage, homeowner education and indoor air quality. The homes are then entered into a registry of certified “green” homes. Only about six percent of new homes meet the green built criteria.

Second, consumers can educate them about what products and construction steps can improve indoor air quality, and ask their builder about their company's criteria for improved indoor air.

All ALH homes use ventilation and filtering features, as well as design guidelines, to improve indoor air quality. For example, the homes have an electronically controlled fresh air intake system tied to the home's air conditioning unit. This periodically introduces fresh air from the outside to the inside of the home, improving the quality of air and creating a healthy home.

Additional features consumers can ask their builders about, all of which are used in ALH homes, are:

o air supply vents on fireplaces to supply oxygen for fire combustion and avoid smoke emissions into the house
o a continuous perforated soffit (eave underside) around the perimeter of a home to reduce attic temperatures and increase attic circulation
o high quality air filtration systems to protect from dust, debris, allergens and pollen
o vapor barrier under foundation to control moisture
o third party thermal bypass inspections, required for ENERGY STAR® home certification, that checks the entire home for missing or incorrectly installed insulation, sealing and air gaps

With indoor air often being more polluted than outdoor air, and researchating that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, for many people, indoor air quality poses a greater risk to our health than exposure to air pollution.

Green Building With Natural Stone

Green building is about the standards for building materials and methods where the environment is given consideration and protection. This includes how particular building materials have little negative impact on the environment, and how these materials can help preserve and conserve natural resources. And for that, natural stone can be considered as a green building…

Green building is about the standards for building materials and methods where the environment is given consideration and protection. This includes how particular building materials have little negative impact on the environment, and how these materials can help preserve and conserve natural resources.

And for that, natural stone can be considered as a green building material. So if you're looking to install kitchen counters, the best options for you would be to get marble kitchen countertops and granite kitchen countertops if you have an eye towards being environment-friendly.

One of the main advantages of natural stone is its tough and durable nature. The immediate result of this property is that you can have natural stone constructions last the test of time. That means you do not continuously spend money and resources to maintain or replace these constructions, which means you are saving on resources, both financial and natural. It is always said that the first kitchen granite countertop that you get would also be your last.

Another advantage that the toughness and strength of natural stone give is that it is completely recyclable. That means unlike other materials which you just throw away, you can reuse natural stone for other construction needs. For example, if you have natural stone kitchen countertops and you want to get a new one, you can use the stone from that old countertop for other projects without suffering a reduction of quality and appearance. This easily helps natural resource conservation.

Aside from those, there have also been great strides in making stone mining and quarrying more environmentally-friendly. This is because there are now strict state regulations for stone mining and modern quarries also follow these regulations, so no significant harm is caused to the environment. This means, natural stone is a sustainable building resource that does not have much negative impact to the environment.

So if you're someone who's concerned about the state of the environment, you can choose stone counters for your home and kitchen. If you're in California and you want a stone kitchen California has lots of them available for homeowners. Aside from that, you also have a great selection of stylish and affordable granite and marble kitchen counter tops to choose from in that location. If you want to try out green building, then one of the simplest and easiest way to do that in your home would be to go with stone.

Container Homes Are Ecological & Sustainable

Have you ever considered looking into shipping container homes? If the answer is yes, then you are in for a real surprise. For starters, shipping container homes are the most environmentally stable and sound form of home development on the market today. Using only a tiny percentage of the typical materials to build most standard…

Have you ever considered looking into shipping container homes? If the answer is yes, then you are in for a real surprise. For starters, shipping container homes are the most environmentally stable and sound form of home development on the market today.

Using only a tiny percentage of the typical materials to build most standard homes, costs and labor to actually create one of these is astounding compared to constant price increases of your average house today.

The overall structural strength of a shipping container allows the builder to develop multi-story dwellings, offering a larger living space without expanding its footprint. The heavy corrugated steel framing allows the unit to withstand 65,000 lbs of stacked weight.

It has been estimated that 86% of the materials used to build a shipping container house have been recycled. Also, the main foundation design is not as expensive and uses a fraction of material which is much quicker to assemble.

If you are concerned about the transportation infrastructure of these containers, no need to worry because it already exists, so the container homes can be easily transported by train, ship or truck, thus reducing major transport time.

Everything needed to complete the final product is delivered in one trip. An investment is already made by not having to pay extra money for several deliveries and separate construction materials.

Many people today have explored the possibility of getting a shipping container house. With a little research on the internet, you will be amazed at what is available today. The cost of regular constructed homes are sky rocketing as we speak. Even the materials being used are getting cheaper and seem to not last as long as they once did in the past. With the money you can save by investing into a container home, a bright future is in store for you.

Practical Steps For a Greener Home

Most of us are concerned about how the way we live affects on the environment. We all want to find ways to maintain our current standard of living but being a little bit greener. By making even small, simple changes to our shopping habits and in our homes, we can all do our little bit…

Most of us are concerned about how the way we live affects on the environment. We all want to find ways to maintain our current standard of living but being a little bit greener.

By making even small, simple changes to our shopping habits and in our homes, we can all do our little bit to protect the environment. Here are a few practical tips on how you can live a greener lifestyle.

By just changing our eating habits we can have a positive effect on the environment. Buy your food from local suppliers to cut down on food miles and to support your local economy. Choose local organic food where available, because organic food uses less energy to produce than non-organic alternatives.

Adopt a less throw-away attitude to clothing. Clothes can be bought for next to nothing these days, but the quality often servers. Instead of buying lots of cheap, poor quality items, try a few better quality pieces, and you will find them look great and last longer. Try vintage or recycled clothing for unique clothes that do not cost the earth.

If you have any available outdoor spaces make the most of them. Drying your laundry outside costs you nothing and helps save energy. Get a rain barrel to water your garden plants instead of using your hosepipe.

Make an effort to ensure your home is properly insulated, and that unused appliances are turned off when not in use. Switching to energy saving light bulbs is also an excellent way to conserve energy around the home.

Reduce your carbon footprint by getting your energy from a company that offers a carbon neutral energy supply. By doing this you will ensure that your gas and electricity supplier supports research into renewable energy. British Gas offers a dual fuel, zero carbon package which does just that.

“Green” Mortgage and Realtor Certifications Are Important to Spur Green Growth

As most professionals in the mortgage and realty industries have been affected by the mortgage meltdown, this can offer opportunity as well. Learning about green, tax incentives and achieving superior indoor air quality would help to spark markets. The refinancing of current mortgages is showing promise and this information can help those who are inquiring…

As most professionals in the mortgage and realty industries have been affected by the mortgage meltdown, this can offer opportunity as well. Learning about green, tax incentives and achieving superior indoor air quality would help to spark markets. The refinancing of current mortgages is showing promise and this information can help those who are inquiring about energy efficient upgrades for their home. There is not a consumer out there who would not benefit from a real estate or mortgage professional who understands how their client can save a money and include these upgrades to sell or refinance. This education is critical if consumers are to see change in the quality of life green representations. If we could take the entire work of all professions and send them back to school, we could turn out a new breed of intelligent adults who would then take it from there to know how to lower their utility bills. They would understand the need for a healthier environment, what their own return on investment (ROI) means and how to achieve a better sense of being. Since this is not a reality, we need to effect an attitude of change in different ways. Green Education outreach from professionals in the real estate arena is so critical and consumers in the work need the education to come to them.

Commercial property and home owners are beginning to look at the long-term value of the renovations that they invest in. In the long run, those in the green building industry confirm the investment will see a difference in the quality of your life and their bottom line. Who wants an escalating utility bill with no end in sight? Is not it only fair consumers understand that use a quarter of their TV's energy when they are turned off? It is all about education.

For energy mortgage products, Fannie Mae, VA, FHA and Freddie Mac do have requirements and it is time the industry learned more. Consumers reserve mortgage professionals be trained in sharing this information. There are forms and procedures that need to be addressed and we teach this in our courses.

We just signed an agreement with our first school and they are very excited to know this exists. The Real Estate Educators Association (REEA) just held their annual conference in Portland, Oregon with a “green” learning theme. Educators will begin to expose courses to their current students and work with community colleges through the United States and then education can really get to those in the work. This is just the beginning of efforts for outreach to the community. We know consumers have industry statements that work with and these candidates new opportunities for outreach by these professionals. Boards are excited as well. They are losing members and education for under $ 100 is welcomed. “This is the perfect place to start learning about green real estate and adding some important alphabet soup behind your name. this course. ” says Jan Pringle, Education Director for the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors. Green Real Estate Education certified 127 Realtors there on Earth Day, 2009. The consumer today depends on the real estate statements to help them make proper decisions with regard to the future value of their home or property. Our company trains the chain of professionals involved in a real estate transaction to understand energy efficiency, energy rating process is common sense. When your Realtor comes to talk of preparing you home for resale, should not this include suggestions on energy efficient upgrade? Most feel this could spark real estate markets nationwide into a new awareness of energy issues.

Many do wonder what the environment has to do with real estate investment and who better to explain these concepts in easy to understand terms than Realtors, Home Inspectors and Mortgage Professionals. Energy Raters need exposure to homeowners, they need educational classes too. Education needs to offer visits to informational sites to get exposure to all that is offered to the consumer so that they begin to understand how to apply renewable energy basics when they want to renewate.

Would not you want to know about the many tax incentives that are available to you as a homeowner and how to take advantage of these?

Luxury Green Living in the Mountains of North Carolina

During the summer months, when most of the East Coast swelters almost every day above the 90 ° mark, the mountains of Western North Carolina average in the low 80 ° 's. Besides the unbeatable weather, the mountains are home to more species of forests than the continent of Europe. The countless lakes and waterfalls…

During the summer months, when most of the East Coast swelters almost every day above the 90 ° mark, the mountains of Western North Carolina average in the low 80 ° 's. Besides the unbeatable weather, the mountains are home to more species of forests than the continent of Europe. The countless lakes and waterfalls grace much of the mountains.

The mountain views in WNC are incredible. Each spring, the mountains turn a 100 shades of green, and in autumn, they turn into brilliant colors reaching high into the sky. The Blue Ridge Parkway is an incredible feat of engineering and offers a great opportunities to travel into the mountains. The arts and culture have lots to offer, from small Bluegrass music festivals to enjoying the 8000 acre Biltmore Estate and Winery. The many rivers and lakes are open to whitewater rafting, canoeing, boating and fishing. A high percentage of the land in the mountains of North Carolina is protected within the boundaries of Pisgah and Nantahala national forests. The mountains of North Carolina are the home to several nationally reowned golf courses.

Located in the heart of mountains is a property that offers the best in luxury mountain living. The Preserve at Rock Creek has permanently protected 200 acres of their property with easements. The estate lots at the Preserve at Rock Creek offer some of the most dramatic views in the mountains.

The mountain property is home to several waterfalls. The property also features an equestrian estate. Of the 22 estate lots available at the Preserve at Rock Creek, 7 have been sold. The upper division estate lots have just become available in spring of 2009. The mountain property has some of the highest elevations available in Western North Carolina – 4400 '.

Advantages of Settling in Ashburn, Virginia Homes

Perhaps the main thing that compels people to settle down in homes located in Ashburn, Virginia, is its attractive location. Ashburn VA homes for sale cater to both suburban and commercial tastes, providing plenty of options for families of all income levels. The Ashburn neighborhood is located in Loudoun County, Virginia. It is also found…

Perhaps the main thing that compels people to settle down in homes located in Ashburn, Virginia, is its attractive location. Ashburn VA homes for sale cater to both suburban and commercial tastes, providing plenty of options for families of all income levels.

The Ashburn neighborhood is located in Loudoun County, Virginia. It is also found within the Dulles Technology Corridor, which means that a lot of high-tech businesses and companies are housed there. An example of a technology company that has headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia, is the Verizon Business, which is a leading internet service provider in the United States.

Nature lovers also have a place in Ashburn since this is the place where you can find the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park. This park is perfect for jogging, walking, cycling, and even horseback riding. For golfers, the Brampton Regional Park is the right place for them, located near the Beaverdam Reservoir.

If you are a history buff, living in Ashburn homes for sale will be a dream come true for you, as Ashburn is home to four historical landmarks, rarely the Janelia Farm, Belmont Manor House, Ashburn Presbyterian Church, and Broad Run Bridge and Toll House. These historical sites are incorporated in the National Register of Historic Places. You can ask for a guided walking tour if you want to savor these historical spots.

The place also features a lot of elementary, middle, and high schools located within the area, so education for your children is not a problem. The George Washington University and the Strayer University also have campuses in Ashburn. This, among others, is one of the primary reasons why Ashburn homes for sale are popular among couples with kids.

Families who are interested in buying Virginia homes for sale need not worry about the current state of the real estate market in Ashburn because the market has been steadily developing since ten years ago. To date, there are a lot of major and minor subdivisions located in Ashburn, such as Ashburn Village, Ashburn Farm, Ashbrook, Brampton, Belmont Greene, Farmwell, Broadlands, Belmont Country Club, the Village of Waxpool, and The Court and Ridges at Ashburn. Moreover, there are a lot of perks with regard to living in Ashwood homes for sale.

Solar Energy Powered Homes

Solar energy powered homes have been around for decades, and though they're fairly popular people with money, others would have them if the cost was not still so prohibitive. Solar costs can range anywhere from $ 35,000 up to $ 250,000, and there's really no savings that can be reached that will recover the costs…

Solar energy powered homes have been around for decades, and though they're fairly popular people with money, others would have them if the cost was not still so prohibitive. Solar costs can range anywhere from $ 35,000 up to $ 250,000, and there's really no savings that can be reached that will recover the costs of installing solar energy panels as yet. It's coming as technology changes, and in some states, people who reach a certain percentage of solar power will get rebates, but overall, it's a loss; at least for the people who originally install it.

It's not only solar panels; Actually, it's not even mainly solar panels. The problem is the batteries, which still have not been made efficient enough nor powerful enough to store all the energy that the panels can produce. At least not on the inexpensive end of things.

Of course, if there is a state that's perfect for taking advantage of solar energy, it's California, especially in the Los Angeles area, where it does not rain all that often, nor is it often all that cloudy. Solar panels actually are not bad looking when they're sitting on top of a house, and some designers have figured out ways to make the solar panels look like stylish editions to some houses.

Something else that's happening in the Los Angeles area is the city itself is looking to move towards more solar energy usage itself, as it's faced rolling brown-outs over the past few years because of excess consumption; it takes a lot more energy to cool down a city than to heat one up. The thought is that they might be able to reach at least 10% by 2020; ambitious, but proof of just how far solar technology still has to go.

Still, celebrities have lead the way. Although people think of Begley Jr now, one of the first celebrities to lead the way towards solar energy was Dennis Weaver, who first built his house out of old tires and other recycled materials, then added both solar panels and solar batteries to the mix. Thinking about this, the construction of his house should have been minimal, but by adding solar, the house ended up costing more than $ 500,000 back in the late 80's, in Colorado no less.

But his was an example of what other stars could do in the Los Angeles area. Some celebrities who have gone this route includes Jackson Browne, Larry Hagman, Julia Roberts, and Edward Norton. Norton even goes further by paying for solar energy for a low income family every time a celebrity installs solar panels in their home; that's a nice way to give back to the community.