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Recent Press And Video

Press


September 12, 2011
New Ways to Use Less Energy at Home
Concrete countertops? Blown fiberglass insulation? The payback may be quicker than you think.
By JIM CARLTON

For new-home buyers, green is the color of money.

The share of homes being built in the U.S. with environmentally friendly features jumped to 16% of single-family starts last year from 2% in 2006, says McGraw-Hill Construction, a market-research firm in New York. Fueling the trend, industry officials say, is a desire to save energy at a time of high fuel costs. Indeed, in a recent survey, 93% of builders named increased energy efficiency as an important green practice—far more than cited any other benefit.

"People understand energy efficiency because it's easy to measure," says Michele Russo, director of green content at McGraw-Hill, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos. "They get that bill all the time."

Green homes generally cost anywhere from 2% to 10% more than a typical home, depending on the features included, though the difference is shrinking. About 4%, or $14,000, of the cost of a $398,000 home purchased last year by Keith and Rebecca Sorensen was for green features, including a solar water heater and added insulation, says Michael Chandler, who built the three-bedroom residence in Chapel Hill, N.C. But the couple says their energy bill has been cut by two-thirds from their previous home. The roughly $200 a month in savings means the Sorensens' green premium will be paid off in about six years.

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Ecohome Features Chandler Design-Build
A North Carolina home reads like a playbook for optimized building science techniques with the certifications to prove it.

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EcoHome checks in with Michael Chandler, president of Chandler Design-Build, a Chapel Hill, N.C.-based custom building company.

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Video

Green builder: Sustainable is wave of the future

 

 

 

 

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