Green Building Movement Grows Strong in Las Vegas

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The Green Building Movement is alive and kicking in Las Vegas.

Last month, Blue Heron Design Build unveiled the 2015 New American Home which received a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index rating of -13, the first residential home to get a negative score.

The building’s rooftop had 15 kilowatts of solar panels making it a net-zero energy home that produces electric power equal to or even greater than it consumes daily.

This is an excellent feat since most standard homes today have a baseline rating of 100 while older homes reach the top-end rating of 150.

In support of the Las Vegas Green Building Program that seeks to help homeowners save money from consumption of resources and boosting the value of their properties by being listed on the Multiple Listing Service, various groups have also been working on ways to further push for green building.

The Southern Nevada Home Builders Association (SNHBA) teamed up with the Residential Energy Services Network to better measure the energy efficiency of local homes through the HERS index.

Meanwhile, the Appraisal Institute released a Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum Form 820.04 which is recognized by both Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration. The form can be added to a home’s appraisal package where home owners will list down the energy-efficiency improvement done on the home before a sale price and loan can be negotiated.

“We are at a tipping point,” said Annette Bubak, president of Nevada Energy Star Partners, a group established in 2001 to provide educational outreach to real estate professionals, builders and homeowners. “As homebuyers are becoming savvier about the benefits of green building.”

Nevada Energy Star promotes a pyramid showing the benefits of energy-efficiency improvements.

At the pyramid’s base are passive installation features and conservation, the cheapest method of energy saving. Conservation can be accomplished by monitoring temperature settings and shutting turning things off when not in use.

More active conservation devices, featured in the pyramid’s middle, include Energy Star-certified appliances; efficient heating ventilation and air conditioning equipment; tankless or high-efficiency water heaters; low-flow plumbing fixtures; light-emitting diode lighting; and timed water irrigation systems.

Green efficiency home improvements include insulation in the roof and walls; energy-efficient windows; shading fixtures and reflective paint that filter the desert sun’s intense ultraviolet rays.

The energy-efficiency pyramid’s peak includes devices, such as solar panels, that create energy to offset resource usage.

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