Friday, August 10, 2012

Electric Lawnmowers Discout Program

If you're building a new home in the Columbia area,this is something you might want to check out! For a couple of years, our friends at DHEC hace had a program where you could trade in your old gas powered mover for a discount on a new "green" electric one.  They say that gas lawnmowers put out lots more pollution than the elctric ones. I say that if you have a smaller yard, keeping up with the mowing is a lot easier and quieter with an electric model. And no gas can to keep refilling. Now through an initiative by the Columbia Homebuilders association, or local green council, and DHEC these mowers are available at a discount for those guys interested in building a green home.  You don't even have to have a trade in! I recently checked out all the models and the discounts and they have a good selection by several manufacturers.  Even some cordless ones for the ultimate moving experience!  Also had good deals on the other lawn equipment stuff like edgers, trimmers, blowers, stuff like that.  Go to the Columbia Green Council website at the link above and check it out.  Start mowing green today!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Certify Green at the lowest cost!

My clients often wonder how much more it costs to build their next home green. My builders are always trying to get the best green product at the lowest end cost. That's the way it has been and that's the beauty of green. Competition helps drive prices down! As a member of the Homebuilders Green council (Columbia SC) we are always working to make going green as inexpensive as possible. To that end we have re-developed our own local Green building and remodeling program. Our program is now based on the NAHB Green building Standard ICC 700-2008. With this system you can get as green a home as any of the other nationally administed programs, but a reduced program cost.  That's how we roll in South Carolina, making green as affordable as possible! You can now get your home certified through this program for as low as $50 in administration fees! And if you've looked around at programs, that's incredibly cheap! Now you still have to build a green home and go through testing and verification to qualify, just like the other programs, but we feel like lowest cost is a good motivator. If you agree and are interested in this program contact Bin at to get your green project started! You can contact me at also!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Womack home takes shape

It's nice when I get to ride by one of my designs as it is beginning to take shape. Even more fun if it's a green home. This one is in Manchester Park section of Lake Carolina.  Even though this is Tuttle construction's first "green" build, my rater Joseph Gilmore says they have taken to this like a duck to water, so to speak.  Should be a real comfortable energy saving home. And maybe finished in a little over a month. The home just looks great. And from what I've seen on the jobsite so far, I don't think this builder will build any other way again.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Great green article

Got interviewed for a great article last month for Columbia Business Monthly on the topic of Green building in our area. Best in depth look at the progress we are making to date. I think the majority of the public will soon be exposed to how green building is giving us the tools to build and renovate homes in amazing new ways. Read the article and see how some of the front runners in this field are building vastly superior houses. After getting a feel for how well these new homes perform, maybe you will want a better performing home for your family! See the article at

Green spec. homes selling faster

Well at least the last one I drew did. A great builder I know was looking to update his product line for a specific market in the Columbia area. He had a great lot in a great neighborhood, just needed a great home plan. The fact that he's one of my greenest builders didn't hurt either. He called to tell me that he was under contract before the windows were installed. He was excited. I was too! I went to take a few pics, and they were textbook green construction. Sealed crawl space, trusses and Tji floor joists, sealed shoe at exterior walls, great insulation job, tech shield sheathing on the roof,and zip wall sheathing for the walls. Energy star windows correctly flashed and sealed, and tight ductwork. Of course I'm super proud of the plan I drew him, but just as proud of the construction job he did. The new homeowner will easily have half the power bills of his neighbors! (more pics posted on my facebook page

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Green is changing the way we build.

Green building is having a huge effect on the way we build homes in South Carolina. Smarter home buyers are realizing that homes with energy saving features built in can save them tremendous amounts of operating and maintenance costs later on. Builders are realizing that buyers are really beginning to value superior construction again. I guess it took a little time, but savvy buyers are learning that all homes are not created equally, and builders are learning that better built homes do sell better than their energy inefficient counterparts. I am seeing this trend more often in the upper end market where I'm doing most of my work. Buyers have always looked for quality and have been willing to spend what it takes to get there. It the past, all you could buy was better trim, counter tops, cabinets and finishes. Nobody had the knowledge or the tools to measure the energy efficiency of a homes construction. We just did what the code said to do, and figured that was good enough. Now things are different. Programs such as Energy Star, LEED, and NAHB Green have taught builders and designers how to assemble the parts better resulting in energy savings sometimes as great as 50% lower power bills. That's really great considering that most of the time we're using the same materials and paying the same installation costs that we were before, we're just doing a better job at quality control, and getting a vastly superior performing home for about the same cost as before. The better builders are recognizing that attention to detail doesn't necessarily drive up the cost, but yields a vastly superior product. The buyers are agreeing with their pocketbooks. Smart home buyers are opting for the better built and performing product. How do you get in on the action? When you are looking for a builder, look for a builder who has experience in "green". He has the extra knowledge and training to build a home that performs to a higher standard.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Home repair fix #1 Change your light bulbs

The easiest way to save power in your home is to change the way you think about light bulbs. To be honest when the compact fluorescent light bulb came on the scene I was not a big fan. But that was only until I read what was on the box. It said 13 watts=60 watts. That's the same amount of light for 22% of the power used. That's a lot, folks! Not only do you use less power, you get less heat, and that makes your air conditioner run less. So why would you not check this out and start saving money. They make lots of types, regular swirly bulbs, can light replacement bulbs, lights for your vanities, and lamps, even dimmable bulbs (although they don't dim all the way down yet.) You can get also get CFL lights for your floodlights outside. They make different colored light options too, I like the soft white ones at the home depot, because they are closest to the color of my old bulbs. I replace almost every bulb in the house with a couple of exceptions. I left the light over the master bath vanities alone, we don't leave them on when we're not in there. But I did do the kid's bathroom and closets because they leave lights on all the time. So if you can't change you kids, change their light bulbs and everybody will be happy and your power bill will be lower too!