Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Green Building in Demand Despite Housing Slump

WBZ-TV (Channel 4) aired a surprising story on their 11 p.m. newscast last night detailing the high demand for green homes even in a slumping housing market. According to the report which was done by Mish Michaels, one of their meteorologists, these environmentally-friendly homes contain such features as recycled lumber, energy efficient appliances and bamboo flooring. The latter is better than traditional lumber because bamboo trees grow more quickly than other species and, therefore, are more sustainable.

Of course the benefits of a green home go beyond just helping the environment. These include saving money on electricity and other utilities, improving indoor air quality and enhancing the overall value of a home. A more comprehensive list of benefits is available at this Web page from the United States Green Building Research Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization which aims to expand sustainable building.

USGBC provides one of the most widespread green construction ratings systems, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system. Since its inception, more than 800 LEED-certified buildings have been constructed totaling almost 100 million square feet as of mid-2007, according to a USGBC report. The report also noted the number of LEED-certified projects has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 50 to 100 percent.

Finally, as the WBZ story explains, people do not necessarily have to be looking for a new home to contribute to the green revolution. There are numerous ways they can improve their home’s carbon footprint, from simply changing light bulbs to installing a solar power system. Any of these enhancements will make their homes more valuable and attractive to buyers once they are ready to sell. And, with no end to the housing slump in sight, having a green home may be a great way to ensure there is a buyer out there when the time comes to sell.

To see some additional WBZ environmental stories, check out this link.

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