Ann Bennett - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY / Metropolitan

Posted by Ann Bennett on 11/6/2016

Over the past two decades, “Green Building” has become the trend, utilizing the methods and practices of building homes using processes and materials that do not damage the environment, are responsibly harvested, resource-efficient, and promote sound stewardship of the earth’s resources through water conservation and promoting efficient energy use. Green building expands and complements traditional builder design priorities of comfort, economy, utility, and durability. In regions of the country with hot summers and hard, cold winters, many architects, and new home builders blend creativity with environmentally-friendly methods and products to build a comfortable and healthy home that reduces operation/maintenance costs while promoting energy efficiency. Builders are finding that green building products and practices do not have to necessarily increase the original construction cost, and green built homes cost less to operate over the lifetime of the property. Today, architects, designers, decorators and home building contractors embrace green building practices while raising the benchmark for upscale, luxury home construction. Do Your Part To Protect The Planet If you are planning on building a home, do the research on green building practices and techniques first. You will be amazed at the amount of “smart home technology” and innovative products available. Make a wish list and talk to your building and or electrical contractor to determine how to incorporate your favorite water and energy saving techniques, methods, materials, and appliances into your home. Use your imagination and design an integrated smart home that fits you and your family’s lifestyle and energy saving goals. Attend home and garden shows, open houses, eco-friendly contractors, and seek out examples of how you can incorporate small items into your building plans that will have a big impact on how you do your part to protect the planet. Green Building Saves Money And Increase Property Value Substantially reducing the total operational energy your home uses for lighting, cooling, heating, appliances, ventilation, and other electronic equipment is a goal every homeowner strives to achieve. When you reduce energy consumption, not only do you save money and re-coop your initial investment quickly, you reduce your carbon impact on the stratosphere. Nationwide real estate property sales research shows that, should you decide to sell your home, a “green built” energy-efficient smart home sells quicker and at a significantly higher number than a comparable property without green building and smart home water and energy conserving amenities. Go One Better Than Code Energy conservation experts advise installing additional insulation above your regions building code. Going beyond the code is a savvy investment that continues to pay a return on original investment for years to come. Talk to your building contractor about what is known in the trade as “super insulation”: an amount of insulation material required to save heating/cooling cost at a rate of 33 or more percent that conventional methods. This is a green building practice that more than pays for its self, saving approximately a third of your electric cost for the lifetime of the structure.

Posted by Ann Bennett on 6/19/2016

Smart home technology is an innovative trend in residential home construction. Innovative advances in technology are forever changing the way we live our lives and build our homes. Smart home technologies once available only in the most luxurious of homes and requiring specialized expertise to design, install, program, and set up, can now be found at all price levels of new home construction. Is the growing rate of burglaries and home invasions a concern? Do you want to be able to anonymously look in on the nanny or see what your teenagers are up to when you are away? Homeowners, due to growing security concerns, are embracing the many new or enhanced safety and security features that smart home automation systems can achieve. Busy professionals are expressing safety and security concerns for aging parents and young children. Smart home technology can relieve concerns with state-of-the-art remote monitoring equipment and technologies. Energy efficiency is another motivating factor behind the increase in smart home technology. The home construction industry is embracing the energy efficiency trend and incorporating home automation systems to meet the ever-growing demand for energy efficiency and reduction of home heating and cooling bills. Convenience and ease of operation drive the technology marketplace with new gizmos and gadgets appearing weekly. Did you fail to turn down the air conditioning when you left for work? No worries. With a touch of an app, you can turn up the heat, turn down the temperature, arm the alarm system, start the slow cooker, water the lawn, or turn on exterior lighting. From a laptop, tablet or smartphone, today’s homeowners can control security systems, lighting, HVAC, entertainment equipment and so much more. The latest innovations in smart home technology can include tank less water heaters, geothermal features, and solar power. Green innovations include the use of recycled materials, advanced framing techniques, tree conservation, and infill projects. When “smart home” owners closely monitor energy and water consumption, they save money. Green Is Good Builders and home buyers are realizing that today’s green technology can give a return on investment must faster than in the past; the concern of additional upfront costs overshadowed by long-term savings from efficiency. Imagine! With a smart home, you are only limited by your imagination. If there is a function in your home that operates electronically, your electrician or technology consultant, working with your builder, can incorporate it into your smart home design. Not only does incorporating green building materials and techniques save money, but it also results in better quality construction practices that result in structures that often hold their value better. We all want to do our part to protect the planet. Green building techniques and technologies make homeowners feel good about minimizing their impact on the environment.