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The Building Industry: Better with Age

Posted by Matt Power

Feb 22, 2015 6:51:18 PM

This year’s building show attendees—and product offerings—show a  level of maturity not dreamed of by their predecessors.

HOMEBUILDING AND REMODELINGS are not what they used to be—and that’s good news. I’ve been attending the annual International Builders’ Show (IBS) every year for the past 20 years, and I can honestly say this one was different. It’s not the venue, although the exhibits are generally classier—no piles of cigarette butts next to half-naked women on exercise bikes this year. It’s certainly not the food.

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Survey Shows that Recent Homebuyers Have Their Green Priorities Right

Posted by Matt Power

Feb 22, 2015 5:05:00 PM

Results show a savvy understanding about the "big ticket" energy users in the home.

RUMORS THAT THE PUBLIC DOESN'T UNDERSTAND GREEN are greatly exaggerated. That's the takeaway from a new National Association of Realtors nationwide survey of homeowner attitudes.The survey was sent to 72,000 home buyers who purchased a home between July 2013 and June 2014, with a 9.2% response rate. Of course,

View the Full NAR research presentation
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The New Water Scoring System

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Feb 19, 2015 1:52:00 PM

I spent a few days this week at the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) conference in San Diego. During the show, I had a conversation with a friend, who is in charge of sustainability for one of the nation’s top production builders.

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6 Spring Home Maintenance Tips to Improve Energy Efficiency

Posted by RESNET

Feb 18, 2015 11:17:33 AM

WITH SNOWSTORMS BATTERING the east coast and unrelenting cold weather across many parts of the country, spring seems a long way off. But it isn’t. Before you know it, the weather will be getting warmer, flowers will begin to bloom and the sound of birdsong will fill the air. And along with that comes the task of taking a look at how badly winter has ravaged your home, and what you can do about it.

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Lawns Are Not Carbon Neutral, Contrary to Industry Claims

Posted by Matt Power

Feb 17, 2015 12:22:33 PM

When you look at the entire yard maintenance impact, lawns don't counterract the CO2 pollution they absorb.

ACCORDING TO LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT SUE REED, author of Energy Wise Landscape Design, the results of one study from 2008, titled  “Technical Assessment of the Carbon Sequestration Potential of Managed Turfgrass in the United States,” has been taken as gospel by major chemical and equipment producers. It suggested that “well-managed lawns capture four times more carbon from the air than is produced by today’s typical lawnmower.”

This would be good news for all involved, if it were the complete story, but as Reed points out (link below), the study ignores the big picture of lawn chemical additives and maintenance. The uncounted environmental costs include:

  • Manufacture and Transport of Fertilizers and Weed Killers
  • Irrigation and Watering
  • Manufacture of Mowers, Edgers and other Equipment
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