An early leader in the Asheville real estate market’s green movement, Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty is a proud sponsor of Green Built Alliance, an Asheville-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting sustainability in the building industry. Because it is at the forefront of carrying out community education along with measurable standards and green home certifications, Green Built Alliance is the go-to resource when you’re ready to go green. Here, Green Built Alliance’s Josh LittleJohn, Program Manager of Green Built Homes and Appalachian Offsets, talks about how Green Built Alliance can help you build your certified Green Built dream home in the greater Asheville area.
We know the popular reasons for going green when building a new home – energy savings, healthier for the homeowner and better for the environment – but what are some other benefits to a Green Built Home that may not be so obvious?
There are many benefits to building green. One of the most tangible benefits is occupant comfort. A certified Green Built Home should be more completely insulated and air sealed. That, combined with properly balanced HVAC design, leads to a home that has fewer temperature inconsistencies. Being comfortable in your home leads to greater productivity and sense of wellbeing.
Another wonderful benefit of Green Built Homes is that they typically have a higher resale value than standard construction that is not third-party verified. Home sales data has demonstrated that they often sell for 10 percent more than comparably sized code-built houses.
For someone looking to build a new Green Built Home in the Asheville area, how can they best use the online resources at greenbuilt.org?
Green Built Alliance’s Web site has a wealth of information for prospective homeowners and builders alike to access. We have an archive of all of our past Green Building Directory magazines along with technical articles posted to our blog. In our Resources section, there are many videos and articles related to energy efficiency, building products, and building science to explore. On our Green Built Homes program page (greenbuilthomes.org), users can access our most current Green Built Homes Checklist to understand the requirements of meeting certification and find listings of experienced green builders in the area.
What counties in the greater Asheville area do you serve by providing resources for green building?
Green Built Homes started as a statewide program, and we aim to support sustainable construction anywhere we can. Being based in Western North Carolina, we do have a concentrated membership base of builders and tradespeople in this region, but we will always make an effort to support projects no matter where they are. There are some building techniques that are very specific to our region, but many elements of green building are applicable to all areas of the country. We routinely answer questions from across the country about green-building best practices.
How should someone select the best green builder for their project?
I always recommend that people explore our directory of members on our website. We have many builders, design specialists, Realtors and trades listed there. Our members meet standards that demonstrate a commitment to high-performance sustainable construction, and our membership is the best first place to look for a builder. We have a vibrant Home Builders Association in our area and many of our members are also active in that organization. If a customer is looking for a specific or unique type of building construction, we are happy to recommend partner builders who are experienced in those areas.
Are there ways to retrofit an existing home to secure Green Built Homes certification?
There are, but it requires a rather extensive renovation. Green Built Homes requires inspections at the framing and insulation phases of construction, as well as at completion to validate that a home has been constructed or reconstructed to program requirements. If a home is being renovated to the extent that the framing is visible and inspectable, we are happy to explore certification. Reusing an existing structure is always a resource-efficient way of building, and I want to support that in our program as much as possible while maintaining a consistent standard of quality for our certified homes.
Where in Western North Carolina do you see momentum in green building growing?
We have certified the largest number of homes in Buncombe County, but many homes are being certified across the rest of the region as well. I have seen growth in all of the surrounding counties. Henderson, Haywood, Madison and Yancey counties all have residents requesting high-efficiency green homes. As consumer knowledge grows about sustainability, green construction becomes more and more ubiquitous. Efficiency, comfort and sustainability aren’t fads in the building industry like pastel-colored bathroom fixtures from the 1970s. A Green Built Home will always be marketable and of greater value than a code-built home.
For more information on Green Built Alliance’s resources, visit https://www.greenbuilt.org/resources/. For more information on available lots on which to build your green home in Asheville or Western N.C., please contact us at Info@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.
Learn More: Specialists in Asheville Area Green Homes