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When Builders Say Green, Find Out What They Mean

On new construction inspections, I have learned a couple of things.  First, everyone wants to say their product is green, although I am not sure why.  And second, when they do, when builders say green, find out what they mean.

My clients on a recent new construction said that the builder told them it was a "green house."  I asked which standard was used to determine that and if he was going to give them a certificate.  They knew nothing of that.

So I asked, "Why do you think it is green?" 

"Well, the appliances are Energy Star, we think he used good windows and he said there is a thick layer of cellulose insulation in the attic."

THAT MIGHT BE SOMEWHAT STANDARD OR EXPECTED THESE DAYS, BUT NOT GREEN.

I think builders or sellers use the word "green" because they think it lends marketability to their homes. To me, it's faddish.

Energy Star appliances are not that impressive anyway.  Why do I say that?  To me, green means mo' money, but not consumer savings!

For example, the dishwasher in this house was GE Profile.  The Energy Guide sticker said it was mid range in terms of efficiency (green?) and given national averages would cost $35/year to use.  To qualify as Energy Star this dishwasher should use 20% less energy in operating costs, based on 322 uses per year.  Well, that's $7 savings per year!

I looked up the price of this particular dishwasher at a local discount retailer and it sells for $569.  A "regular" dishwasher, not rated Energy Star, sells for $259.  Do they mean to say that this Energy Star rating saves $7 per year, but comes at a $310 premium?  If that's true, the break even is 44 years!  I don't think that unit will last that long!   What the benefit is to the consumer is above my understanding.

Looking in the attic I wanted to see this "green" insulation.

There it is!  This insulation is NOT cellulose!  It is blown-in fiberglass.

Cellulose insulation is super masticated newspaper, treated with boric acid so bugs won't eat it and it won't burn.  It has a higher R-value per inch than blown-in fiberglass.  Cellulose is 3.7/inch vs. blown-in fiberglass of 2.2-2.7/inch.

Right here near the ruler, it had been built up to appear to be 13" deep.  That is not the average overall.  If I had to say given my measurements, it averages 10 or 11" deep. Also, there are footprint holes everywhere and lots of disruption to run electric cables to lights never filled back in.  Not impressive overall!

We in Northern Virginia are in Zone 2 when it comes to insulation R-values.  This would indicate an R-value need of 38.  This fiberglass in this attic has an R-value, at 11", of 24 - 30.  And that is being generous!  This amount of insulation is certainly not "green"...

This house has been on the market for some time, unknown why, but perhaps inconsistencies such as this have quashed sales.  So, remember my sing-song title - when builders say green, find out that they mean!

My recommendation:  when builders say things, find out exactly what they mean.  If they tout particular standards, find out what those standards are.  Request certifications and ask to see who provided those certifications.  If you are going to pay a premium for things in the name of energy savings, you may as well get your money's worth!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 76 commentsJay Markanich • May 02 2011 05:21AM

Comments

Good Morning Jay, Everyone contractors included wants to be on the "green" bandwagon.

In most cases they don't have a clue as to what is green and what standards you are to follow for the home to be certified as a "green home".

Good post,

Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) almost 9 years ago

Good morning, Jay. Green is certainly getting to be a buzz word among builders in this area too. It appeals to the millenials...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

I find that out a lot Clint.  It is faddish, and not all know what they are doing, as you say.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Very sad that builders do this.  Yes, usually green means more expensive.  For flooring, that is usually case - cork is significantly more expensive than oak. Bamboo is the one exception - it's less expensive (due to all the competition.

BTW, alliteration means using the same letters at the beginning of the words (not rhyming).

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 9 years ago

Jay, It's like so many things, no clear standards that are required, so the word becomes a marketing buzzword without true substance.  I know there are standards bodies out there, but until the public knows to ask for LEEDS or the like, it's a bit meaningless.  And paying almost double for the dishwasher?  Not good economics at all.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) almost 9 years ago

Jay,

Then there are the Energystar rated homes, with obvious insulation and infiltration issues.

We are seeing sizzle sold before our eyes....

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) almost 9 years ago

Michael - a buzzword for sure.  People think they are part of a really important group!  Not...

Debbie - it does.  I used to do energy audits for people for free.  Now they pay me!  That's green!  And thanks on the alliteration - I will change it to sing song!

Bliz - I am not sure of the end goal.  To me, the end goal seems to be changing people's thinking, without substance.

Mike - I think it is sizzle!  Until it's looked into!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Maybe the builder meant he used green lumber. It will be interesting as it dries. You're right though, everything is green something and yet no one is sure what makes it green. Great post Jay.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) almost 9 years ago

Good math there Jay. too few stop to look at the cost return verses the useful life expectancy of appliances or windows. I've inspected 100 year old homes with well maintained double-hung single glazed windows. With aluminum storm covers they are totally air tight and still rate better than some 'modern' installations.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) almost 9 years ago

Oh come on Jay, why let the facts get in the way?  No fun at all!

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) almost 9 years ago

Jay, I think the root of the problem is that we are not very thorough anymore... our attention spans are shorter and we don't investigate deeply.  And all the marketers know it.  They greenwash, they guilt us...

When we make a decision to acquire something:

we should consider the waste factor involved (if we are not re-using something that still has utility)

we should consider the total cost to the environment

we should consider the total cost (acquisition and operation)

then try to make the decision that can help us and/or the planet in the priority we see as important.

Thanks for this example and considerations in a purchase.

 

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

I'm bummed to see the builder skimped out on the insulation in the attic.  It would be nice to have a good surprise from a builder once in a while.

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) almost 9 years ago

Jay...

Wow, do they even know what the word means? It is amazing that some consumer might fall for this.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) almost 9 years ago

Jay - unfortunately, people will use words that they don't even know. Green is a good example. That is a great post. You have a great opporutnity to educate everyone about this kind of stuff. Keep it up and thanks.

Posted by Mike Yeo (3:16 team REALTY) almost 9 years ago

That is amazing that they 'think' they can get away with the very lowest quality of material to sell a home as green!  YIKES! 

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) almost 9 years ago

Awesome post...thanks for pointing out the break even costs of what the "Green" benefits really are..

Posted by Cory Barbee, Broker (760) 563-4022 almost 9 years ago

Jay,

Good post. As always, let the buyer beware.  "Green" is what sells not but make sure you are getting what you are paying for.

Posted by Ira Bodenstein, NMLS#: 445143 (PNC Mortgage) almost 9 years ago

Jay - does green means money or does green means environmental friendly? :) Great post.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) almost 9 years ago

Nice post.  I just recently took a class on "green" - what's green to one person, doesn't mean the same to another. Some builders even promote that they build "up to" a certain energy rating system but then don't bother to get their homes certified.  

Posted by Karen Krupovage, Owner & Qualifying Broker, Affinity Real Estate, L (Affinity Real Estate, LLC Alamogordo, New Mexico) almost 9 years ago

HI Jay,

It is the dollar green that most builders are after, even if that means that they have to get creative with their interpretations and applications....., it would make you turn green, if we realized some of the none-sense that is being promoted as "green"

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com) almost 9 years ago

Hi Jay,

Great post! I couldn't agree more with you.  I am definitely pro-environment, green movement, sustainability, etc.  HOWEVER... I get so angry at all the people trying to jump on the bandwagon to get in on the trend and make money.  Yes, we all need to make money, however I think it's so important to educate the consumer, since there are so many people spouting off different things.  In actuality being 'green' is getting back to the basics and can be much more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than the many 'advertised' products.  Thanks for the great post!

Nicole

Posted by Nicole Perry (Sothebys International Realty Osterville) almost 9 years ago

There is a standard set up for green homes: LEED certification. As you found out, simply saying something is "green" whether it's a house or a consumer product really doesn't mean anything. Without an agreed upon standard, anything can be considered green.

Posted by Torgie Madison, Websites and Contact Management (Quicksilver Real Estate Solutions, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Unfortunately, most of our clients (or us!) don't take the time to learn what these things are, let alone whether a builder actually did what they advertised. "Green" is certainly the flavor of the month out there. Thanks for the post!

Posted by Chris and Berna Sloan, Tooele UT (Group 1 Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Great post.  Thanks for the information Jay!!

Posted by Katie McBride, The McBride Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 9 years ago

I have to get on this band wagon. And, I couldn't agree more. Green is much more than a few appliances or energy saving windows and doors. It's imperative that Realtors understand this and give consumers the right resources to understand how to get some answers. Is it sort of Green, pale Green, lite Green, true Green? Argh, you got me going Jay. :)

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 9 years ago

Jay,

Re-blogged. 'nuf said. Thanks.

Posted by Brad Rachielles, REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA (CENTURY 21 Peak, Ca BRE# 01489453) almost 9 years ago

I am all for living green but I do not find alot about it here in my area. I agree though that builders should state perhaps in a disclosure what specifically makes this property green. If it is truely green it would be a selling point and if its not a true environemtalist would figure it out!

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

You have to shop around when purchasing energy stat appliances. GE profile is the high end stuff. You pay for bells & whistles. I purchased an energy star washer a few years ago and noticed an immediate drop in both my water usage and electricity. The washer cost as much as a conventional washer and came with rebates. When it was all said and done I paid less than the cheap washer that uses more water and doesn't pre dry the clothes as well. Not all energy star appliances are equal.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay,

Good article. We have a fight going on here in my neck of the woods because of energy standards the state wants to employ. But the issues is that our energy is so darn cheap it does not work out from a cost savings standpoint.

What they need to sell as here is the comfort of your home when it is built correctly. Not the cost savings.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay - The term green is so overused and misunderstood that it's meaningless.  There are standards (which as you pointed out, come with a certificate) but saying one home is more "green" than another is no help to buyers--and it's frequently untrue. 

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) almost 9 years ago

I love your math on the dishwasher.  That stuff drives me crazy.  What's the opposite of green?

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 9 years ago

Jay, there is so much wrong with the whole notion of "green" as to render it meaningless as a means to producing better houses and saving energy.  There are ways to build more efficient houses that cost no more than conventional houses.  That is closer to "green" in my opinion.  Also I would argue that any house for a family of 4 with 1 dog and a 1 cat that is over 2000 square feet is by definintion "not green."

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Green....yes., there are certainly shades......and good to be aware of them !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 9 years ago

Randy - I'm pretty sure that's it!

Robert - some of the old stuff is still pretty good.  Those old wooden, tightly-fitted storm windows are still around here and work great.

Sorry Kathryn.  I am a literalist.  I paid a huge premium for my hybrid vehicle, which got no where near the mileage I was promised, and never got close to breaking even on the premium.  Do you think my new car is a hybrid?

Chris - I agree with all that.  But I am not sure the environment, purposely "designed," cannot recover from anything we humans can throw at it.  There was a huge trash dump in Washington DC, two miles from the Capitol Building and three from the Washington Monument, which an 1888 editorial in the Washington Post said would be an environmental disaster for millenia to come (they didn't use the word environmental) and what could be done, what could be done?

It turns out that trash dumps make really, really good foundations for really, really heavy stuff.  This is what that trash dump was turned into in 1960.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Justin - a house lives with the insulation for a long, long time!  It can always be added to, but when buying a new house a buyer should have to!

Richard - that's the point of the post!  What does it mean?  Find out!

You are welcome Mike!  Words have meanings!

Hence the need for a home inspection Sally!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Cory - green always comes with a premium.  Is it worth it?

Ira - my question is what are we paying for?

Loreena - I am sure the environment will do just fine if I don't purchase a "green" dishwasher!  It has survived comet collisions, a change in polar caps and moving continents, that continue to move!  We humans can't do anything serious enough to harm it.  Remember Crichton's intro to Jurassic Park - the book I mean?

Affinity - who decides what "green" is?  Or what is "green" enough?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

P&L - some of it is nonsense, but bought hook, line and sinker by a public that wants to do something "good."

I agree Nicole.  Basics are such because they are founded on principles!  And see my response to Loreena!

Torgie - if one is to tout a standard, at least say which one is being followed.

Chris - and "this too shall pass" one day.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

You are welcome every time Katie.

Debb - what is green anyway, but common sense.  My grandmother said, "Turn off the lights!"  Pretty green...

Thanks Brad!  As always...

Rosalie - "environmentalism" is simply love for the being who gave us the great gift of a world to live on and to be good stewards thereof.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jim - fer sher!  We needed a new dishwasher and I got a top of the line Bosch, for $400!  It was the floor model, end of the line for that year's model, with a rebate and a Memorial Day sale price!  Energy Star too, whateve that means!  I think I'll break even on that one!  No premium!

Donald - the fastest way to screw up everything is for the state to impose "standards."

John - it sure has gotten that way.  But, "this too shall pass."

Most people don't consider the math Reubs!  The opposite of green?  Who knows?  Tutti fruiti?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Charlie - you know that, I know that, but the noise on the bandwagon is so loud nobody can hear anything else!  Wow, I didn't know that was the definition of green!  I am way, way not green, by that standard!  We have three, a dog and a guinea pig, and around 5000 including the basement.  But we have a lot of plants in the house!  Does that count?

S&D - and which, of all the shades, is the right one?  I'm partial to my high school and college green - Kelly Green!  I hope that's the right one...

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay--very good points. We talk about "greenwashing" in the NAR Green Designation course, which I teach. I also have a course for appraisers and agents which is only 3.5 hours --but we cover this--everyone always wants to jump on a new bandwagon, don't they? I do see a future for home inspectors to do thermal imaging and blower door tests for consumers interested in the energy efficiency of a house. I also see more demand for HERS raters, as that is required for an EEM (Energy Efficient Mortgage).

Posted by Melanie McLane (The Melanie Group) almost 9 years ago

After reading this post...I see red when someone mentions green.....thank you Jay...

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 9 years ago

Marketers look for whatever will set their products apart. I do believe there are products made with the best intentions for saving resources, but many times, those are more expensive that standard products (look at recycled paper for example). And as you say, those 'new' ideas become commonplace quickly when they are very sound and economical.

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Maybe he used green lumber? Or maybe he was only thinking about the dollars at the end of the day?

Posted by Tim Bradley, Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY (Contour Investment Properties) almost 9 years ago

Obviously the builder outright lied or he simply does not know what "green" really means.  Buyers should be extra careful to do their own diligence. It also appears that the buyers may not have been "green" enthusiast.  I'm not either, but from what I hear, those who are do their homework to ensure the product means their "green" standard.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

Hopefully the builder does not mean that the framing lumber he used for the home was sitting, moist and damp in a warehouse so long that it developed mold.  But, that's a different sort of "green."

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Jay, "green" is the new buzzword not just for builders, but for large corporations as well. I believe they are tugging at our guilt ridden heart strings, but without unified standards "green" is meaningless and anyone can use it at their discretion.

Posted by Ray Waisler, NMLS #6621 - Specializing in Jumbo FHA & VA (Finance of America) almost 9 years ago

Jay,

A greenhouse is a great place to grow orchids. Think they also are called a hothouse. :)

Steve

Posted by Steve Hoffacker, Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor (Steve Hoffacker LLC) almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne,

Like your idea of green - and I have seen that. :)

Steve

Posted by Steve Hoffacker, Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor (Steve Hoffacker LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay,

I love to recycle adn I would love to see more builderes busing recycled products instead of worrying about GREEN especially when it isn't. Have you  gotten the word out even more to consumers, to understand what GREEN means? Have you put this on Your outside Blog or edited it to be on the first page of Google? I would love to see more emphasis put on this topic for the general public. If you have a local TV station, you might talk to them about interviewing you and then create a "guide" that if they call in to the station or go on the stations website, they can click on a button to get a copy of the guide.

It would be great if you created this "guide" and get it out to AR community so we can give away too!

Posted by Joey Fenwick, Fenwick Team FHA, VA & Jumbo Loans, Phoenix, Scott (Self-Employed, 1st Time & move up buyers,FHA, VA conventiona) almost 9 years ago

Green really is becoming faddish these days.  I have a new construction project (renovated warehouse) and I try to be careful what I say about our "greenness". 

Posted by Kathy McGuriman, CRS, SRES, ACRE, Realtor for Lansdale, PA area (First time home buyers, downsizers,seniors,new construction) almost 9 years ago

Funny - I just read a silly little murder mysery that was all about a green building contest. I learned that it means a LOT more than energy-rated appliances and insulation.

The folks who are really into green building use all sorts of recycled materials as well as local, renewable materials, paints and floor coverings that don't give off toxic gasses, plenty of natural light, solar or wind energy, and on and on.

Sometimes I'm amazed at the things I learn from recreational reading.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) almost 9 years ago

Melanie - I have been doing thermal imaging in energy inspections for over three years.  I used to do things like this for free, but now people pay me for "energy audits!"  Now THAT'S what I call green!

Richie - people have to be more proactive in trying to find out what green means to them, not for them!

Karen - it does boil down to common sense.  I find that recycled plastic products are trash!  They shouldn't be recycled again!

Tim - green lumber!  Only the pressure treated stuff!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Charita - I think most people don't know what "green" means!  I would put this builder in the more ignorant category, like the rest of us!

Karen Anne - Ha!  I have seen a lot of that!  And all over the house!

Ray - green has become a buzzword, marketing word, bandwagon word and a generally misused word.  As to the fad, this too shall pass...

Steve - hot house can mean a lot of things, but for plants it is a really good term.  I like the Roman bath hot house idea!  And I liked Karen Anne's comment too!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Fenwick Team - yes, I have put this all over!  But I am one who does not understand green at all.  Green things are all over the map, and who is to decide what is green enough and what is not!?  I am afraid I would not put together a very good guide!

Kathy - fads do come and go.  And this one, well, this too shall pass...  The Scroll Marked V.

Marte - reading for fun is very enlightening and does give us broader perspectives!  Green mostly is common sense.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Great post.  We have some builders going green here as well...

Posted by Brenda, Ron, Lee Cunningham & Tara Keator, Realtors, Homes for Sale - Phoenix Metro (West USA Realty) almost 9 years ago

Brenda and Ron - so, do you know what they mean by that?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

I suspect he was either referring to the color he planned on painting the house or the fact that if your client bought into his spiel he would pocket some green.

Posted by Marshall Brown, BSEE, CHI (Mid America Inspection Services, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Who knows Marshall!  I think people who tout "green" really don't know what it means.  I sure don't.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

If you really want to test the electrical usage of a new appliance or an existing one, You can pick one of these up online or Home Depot for 20-30 dollars. You can program your actual cost of a killawatt off your electrical bill and after a few minutes it will tell you the cost per day, month, or year. The product is P3 Model PP4460 Kill A Watt EZ. This will help you decide if it is really worth replacing or not. It has many other features as well.  

Posted by Michael Durnell, Escondido Home Inspector (PRP Inspections ) almost 9 years ago

Jay,

You sure got some interest with this post. Congratulations. Now featured on "The Law Of The Land." :)

Steve

Posted by Steve Hoffacker, Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor (Steve Hoffacker LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay - You are correct advising us to understand what all the marketing verbology means!  Sometimes because of the discount or rebate that comes with buying or installing an item glazes reality.

Posted by Robert Courtney, Century 21 All Islands, RA, CDPE, MCRE, CIAS almost 9 years ago

I always love it when I learn a few things.  Between post and comments, great information here.  I think humans are just naturally acquisitive and we'll keep dumping the old, buying the new and, uunfortunately, often not understanding what we are buying.  

Posted by Beverly Femia, Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) almost 9 years ago

Michael - I have seen those but never used one.  How do they calculate usage per year?  Do they figure a cost per use and multiply it by an assumed number of annual usages?  It sure is a cheap way of finding things out.

Thanks Steve.  It is interesting stuff because it is all we hear.  But, we are not very good at understanding what it all means!

Robert - most marketing "benefits" to consumers comes with a cost or a hidden benefit to the offerer!

Beverly - understanding is the true purpose of education - and that is to teach us how to think for ourselves.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

All I can say is, green doesnt mean energy efficient or money savings, it means you are spending more of your "green" that you will never see again. Unless of course you live to be 200 years old.

Good post. 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) almost 9 years ago

I'm in that camp too Scott.  And energy savings, etc, can be derived without spending a lot of "green" stuff.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay, great post well explained & calculated. That's what I always thought but never actually got out the ole' calculator.  That insulation for a new house is pathetic. Possibly other signs of apathy on the builders part are also thruout the house.

Green is the new buzz word which most of the time = rip off to consumer.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 9 years ago

hey Jay,

This is a very interesting post and I love your point of view about construction over using the word "Green" when building.  I def agree with you about people using the word for marketability but, on the other had, when you say your going "green" it means much more then having an "energy Star" appliance. 

"Going green" represent the materials being used to build homes, businesses, hospitals, hospitality locations, and so on.  It deals with the type of materials used to furnish the interior, construct the exterior, and to create the landscape.  That is the true meaning of being "Green" or Leed Certified. 

This concept has been around since ancient times, it's just now that people are in need of it.  A shift in how we build, share the environment, think, and utilize materials in the world is very much in motion. It basically comes down to how you coexist with your environment and being mindful with not use toxic projects when building.

Congrats on your feature!! :)

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 9 years ago

It is a very trendy thing that sounds good to government types and a few green types, but really I don't think it makes a difference to most people.  They want real effeciency not garbage talk.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Lyn - it is a bandwagon with everyone talking so loud nobody can actually hear what is being said!

Carole - I understand the entirety of the concept, but I think it is misused, taking advantage of people who think they are doing something "good" for the world.  But for the most part, nobody really knows what green means because it is so watered down by people trying to make a buck.  It is ancient!  And common sense!

I try to be a good steward over what I can be because I love the "designer" who gave it to me, for free!

Gene - efficiency is the name of the game, but the benefits need to exceed the costs!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay, thanks for the educational post!  I love it when I learn more about something I really don't understand.  The commnets were helpful, as well!

Posted by Paula Burt, REALTOR , SFR, RECS almost 9 years ago

Great Paula!  I am glad to be instructive.  That is the point of most of my posts!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Many builders say "Green" and when you ask what is Green about their homes, they often only mention the energy star appliances or rating.  Green does not always save a ton of money as you indicated with the dishwasher...great post!

Posted by Patricia Beck, Colorado Springs Realty (RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE) almost 9 years ago

Too true Patricia!  I think green just means more money, but I guess that's one definition of green!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Not all ''green'' is green.

Customers are tired of greenwashing.

The term "green" is becoming an overused and fuzzy catchall phrase.

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) over 4 years ago

There are many such fuzzy words in our modern society Inna.  Now everything is green.  It does get silly after a while.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

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