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Old 09-11-2007, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Charlotte
2,447 posts, read 6,640,136 times
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nsmom- I think you'll find this interesting.

Are environmentally friendly homes the future?

Quote:
The Belmont home's price tag -- $659,000 -- suggests that such environmentally conscious houses aren't likely to be found in an average cul-de-sac near you. But Harrington hopes more homebuyers, including those seeking cheaper housing, might someday be able to purchase so-called "green" homes. "The more and more people ask for it, the more that tract builders or big builders will pay attention to it," says Harrington.....

The few Charlotte-area examples of such green houses are all higher-end development, but other cities offer hope that more homebuyers could save on energy bills and reduce their home's environmental impact.

In Asheville, for instance, several companies have built more affordable green homes. The Mountain Housing Opportunities Partnership has built 20 green homes since 2003, with each priced between $110,000 and $155,000.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,411 posts, read 16,420,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCgirl View Post
nsmom- I think you'll find this interesting.

Are environmentally friendly homes the future?
Good article. Short, but good.
THanks.
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Old 09-12-2007, 02:15 PM
 
8 posts, read 23,571 times
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Interesting article. We'd been looking in Asheville which is where we'd seen the possibility of affordable eco-friendly living and had hoped it was spreading in NC.. it's why I originally posted. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:31 PM
 
1,163 posts, read 1,959,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsmom View Post
Thanks for the "help." Guess these boards aren't what I thought they were... An already built house would have flooring and paint with chemicals in them. We wanted to be able to use recycled and renewable building materials in the home, and have enough land to have a garden. We want a tankless water heater, low flush toilets, etc.

So an existing home that we'd have to pretty much tear apart and throw everything away doesn't make sense. Building on land already zoned for residential use, where someone else would build a home regardless is what we're hoping to do.
Urban sprawl is also considered to be bad for the environment. The failure to re-use existing buildings results in much more energy expenditure and pollution due to increase commutes, additional roads, utility lines, etc. More of the natural landscape is destroyed with new construction. Also, in a new home, everything is "new" even if it's recycled. There is an energy or conversion cost for all recycled products. I highly doubt building a new "green" home will be better for the environment in the long run than making an existing home more eco-friendly.

However, I've often been baffled by "eco-accounting" so what do I know!

Anyway, "green" or not: $250k doesn't buy a whole heck of a lot in the Charlotte area. That's about 2000 sq. feet with a few upgrades in a "non-green" home in a "good area."
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:49 AM
 
237 posts, read 234,560 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amploud View Post
Urban sprawl is also considered to be bad for the environment. The failure to re-use existing buildings results in much more energy expenditure and pollution due to increase commutes, additional roads, utility lines, etc. More of the natural landscape is destroyed with new construction. Also, in a new home, everything is "new" even if it's recycled. There is an energy or conversion cost for all recycled products. I highly doubt building a new "green" home will be better for the environment in the long run than making an existing home more eco-friendly.

However, I've often been baffled by "eco-accounting" so what do I know!

Anyway, "green" or not: $250k doesn't buy a whole heck of a lot in the Charlotte area. That's about 2000 sq. feet with a few upgrades in a "non-green" home in a "good area."



What user seems to be looking for, is eco friendly tag with some bragging rights included.
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:01 PM
 
1,163 posts, read 1,959,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rzvmcwmkxyw View Post
What user seems to be looking for, is eco friendly tag with some bragging rights included.
I'm not sure about that since I don't know the person.

I was trying to raise few more issues they may not have considered. I think the "green movement" (done correctly) is a great thing. However, I've been disturbed at the lack of details, thought, and science that goes into the latest "green" fads.

It amazes me that people would consider building a brand new home (of any type) to be better for the environment as a whole (big picture) than refurbishing an existing home. I don't see how more roofs, roads, destruction of trees and natural plant life, modification of the land's drainage patterns, etc. could ever be considered better for the environment! As I said before, eco-accounting baffles me!
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Fort Mill, SC
1,105 posts, read 4,167,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amploud View Post
It amazes me that people would consider building a brand new home (of any type) to be better for the environment as a whole (big picture) than refurbishing an existing home. I don't see how more roofs, roads, destruction of trees and natural plant life, modification of the land's drainage patterns, etc. could ever be considered better for the environment! As I said before, eco-accounting baffles me!
You have hit the nail on the head. It is sort of like using a recycled paper cups and plates. Doesn't really make much sense if you are trying to look out for the environment.

Look in Fort Mill. You could most certainly buy a smaller, older home and make some upgrades in that price point. You might not be able to have solar panels but you could certainly have energy star applainces and a well insulated home and come off way better for the environment in the long run. And you would have the advantage of the best school district in the Carolinas.
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:37 PM
 
1,013 posts, read 2,646,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amploud View Post

It amazes me that people would consider building a brand new home (of any type) to be better for the environment as a whole (big picture) than refurbishing an existing home. I don't see how more roofs, roads, destruction of trees and natural plant life, modification of the land's drainage patterns, etc. could ever be considered better for the environment! As I said before, eco-accounting baffles me!


Bingo!

Doesn't make sense to me either.
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,411 posts, read 16,420,425 times
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But then, you would have to know enough about building to know which houses better lend themselves to retrofitting. Not everyone has that knowhow when they go househunting. I guess you could pay a green building to go around house hunting with you, if you can find one.

Like, geothermal heat is easier to install in a home that already has a duct system, so you would look for a house with central air, or if you were in an area in which airconditioning was not important, you would look for a duct system for the heat, and not basebord.

I think a compact, multiple story is supposed to be more efficient than a ranch, but I'm not sure.

Buying and retrofitting has its own issues. How would a person research that?
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:26 AM
 
1,163 posts, read 1,959,633 times
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You might start with a "Energy Efficiency Consultant." I don't know of one in Charlotte yet as I am new here.

They can bring an infrared camera to a home and use it to "see" heat losses and gains. They are great for finding air infiltration. They may offer some type service for home buyers. They may at least be able to tell you what to look for!

Here's an example of one: Energy Testing & Consulting - Contractors (http://www.etccreations.com/contractors - broken link)
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