Over the past years, people have been nibbling at small “niches” of Eco-Awareness, using Sustainable Materials in their homes and finding new applications for recycled materials. As we enter into the current demand for new homes, social appetite for “Green Building” is exponentially increasing because the benefits to families as well as the environment has proven to be substantial. Perhaps a young couple replaced their vinyl flooring in their “first timer” home with cork tile flooring. They may have heard the “buzz” about how cork was a sustainable material and how it benefited the ecology of the rain forest problem. When they actually purchased and installed the flooring they learned about the natural anti-microbial properties, and the energy efficiency of heat insulation properties keeping the flooring warm and germ free for small children. Then there’s the superior noise insulation quality, a valuable perk for adults. They probably learned about the exceptionally low levels of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions as well.
Ready to upgrade into a larger family home, potential Real Estate buyers have had a taste of the benefits of “responsible green living“. Now home buyers are actively seeking green building advocate Real Estate developers who will ensure that the building process will impact the local environment as well as surrounding eco systems as little as possible. They now know that when real estate developers are true green building advocates, they begin their planning stage for new homes without impacting surrounding natural habitats by incorporating all roads, structures and systems in their initial layouts to avoid trees, native plants, waterways and other natural resources.
One example of a conscientious builder planning ahead to avoid negatively impacting local habitats is his choice to use recycled glass instead of sand to fill all sewer trenches in new developments. Normally the sand used comes from dredging streams, rivers and local waterbeds, a process that upsets the natural environment for so many species of local wildlife. There is a popular local developer who uses permeable concrete instead of most common non-permeable concrete to filter waste water run off that normally can reach area waterbeds. This filtering process is a dramatic way to reduce community pollutants from being released into local water resources and their surrounding wildlife.
Sustainably built homes are not eco-friendly because the label says they are. Educated home buyers are looking for the evidence that new homes have been fitted with Radon reduction systems, a pipe that runs vertically through the house structure to release harmful gases emitted from the underground that can cause lung cancer. They want Energy Star required ventilating, heating systems, air conditioning units and appliances because these systems provide 95 percent energy utilization for every dollar spent.
Richard Morrison, a leading Real Estate Broker in Vancouver, has been observing the trend of this rising demand for sustainably built, responsibly designed homes. ” One of the strongpoints that draw new home buyers to this type of Real Estate is that Eco-Compliant homes can use up to 50 percent less energy than standard homes being built; due to the forethought “green” builders invest in their pre-construction layouts”, Mr. Morrison stated.