Going Green: The Importance of Sustainable Real Estate in Colorado SpringsThe need for going green has become increasingly apparent as we grapple with climate change and environmental degradation
Going Green in Colorado Springs
Dated: May 17 2023
Going Green: The Importance of Sustainable Real Estate in Colorado Springs
The need for going green has become increasingly apparent as we grapple with climate change and environmental degradation challenges. One of the most impactful steps we can take towards a greener future is retrofitting our homes with eco-friendly features that not only help the planet but also add value to our homes and save us money on our utility bills, not to mention the money we will save NOT having to pay medical bills in the future by living a healthy and green lifestyle now. Want to go green now? Contact Nick or Check out our Sustaibable development project Green House BV
By incorporating green technologies and embracing sustainable solutions, homeowners going green can significantly reduce their carbon footprint, save money on utilities, and contribute to a healthier planet. Let's explore the importance of retrofitting our homes with various green features that will pave the way for a sustainable and resilient future. Retrofitting your home with green features is a powerful step towards a more sustainable future.
HVAC Systems with Heat Recovery Ventilation
When going green, one of the most impactful retrofits is upgrading our HVAC systems. Especially if we have, or are planning to add, a solar PV array. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are major energy consumers in most households. By upgrading to energy-efficient HVAC systems, particularly those equipped with heat recovery ventilation (HRV), you can effectively manage indoor air quality while reducing energy consumption. HRV systems recover heat from outgoing air and filter and purify incoming air, creating a healthier living environment for you and your family.
Insulation and High-Performance Windows
When it comes to energy efficiency, insulation, and high-performance windows are essential. By improving your home's insulation, you can minimize heat transfer and reduce the need for excessive heating and cooling. High-performance windows, equipped with advanced glazing technologies, can effectively insulate against heat gain or loss, resulting in lower energy consumption and enhanced comfort within your home. We recommend doing a blower door test on your home so you can see exactly where improvements can be made.
Efficient Lighting and Energy-Efficient Electric Appliances
Switching to energy-efficient lighting, such as LED bulbs, can significantly reduce electricity consumption and lower your carbon footprint. Additionally, replacing outdated appliances with energy-efficient models can save energy and money in the long run. Look for appliances with ENERGY STAR ratings, as they meet strict energy efficiency criteria and can help you achieve substantial energy savings. Want to go green now? Contact Nick
Low Flow Water Fixtures and Heat Pump Hot Water Heaters
Conserving water is crucial for sustainable living. Installing low-flow water fixtures, such as aerated faucets and showerheads, can significantly reduce water usage without compromising functionality. Additionally, replacing traditional water heaters with heat pump hot water heaters can save energy by efficiently extracting heat from the surrounding air to heat water, resulting in lower electricity consumption and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
PV Solar Panel Array and Backup Batteries
Embracing renewable energy is a game-changer for homeowners seeking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. Installing a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel array on your rooftop allows you to generate clean, renewable electricity to power your home. To ensure an uninterrupted power supply, consider integrating backup battery systems, which store excess energy generated during the day for use during nighttime or power outages. By becoming energy self-sufficient, you'll reduce your carbon footprint and protect yourself from rising energy costs.
Water-Wise Landscaping and Bio-Swales
Sustainable living extends beyond the walls of your home. If we really want to consider going green, we need to be thinking about implementing a holistic approach to the landscapes around our homes. If done right, these areas can play a big role in the larger ecosystems surrounding Colorado Springs. Implementing water-wise landscaping practices, such as xeriscaping with native and adaptive plants, can significantly reduce outdoor water consumption while enhancing biodiversity and replenishing the water table. Additionally, incorporating bio-swales, landscape features designed to collect and filter stormwater runoff, help not only enhance biodiversity, but also prevent erosion, reduce water pollution, and, if done correctly, still be a beautiful outdoor space. Even a well-thought-out outdoor living space can have features like a pollinator or rain garden. If you don't know what a Bio-swale is, watch this video that shows the incredible series of bioswales they have at High Plains Environmental Center
Rain Barrels and Edible Landscaping
Capturing rainwater with the help of rain barrels or cisterns allows you to harness nature's gift for irrigation purposes, reducing the need for municipal water sources. If we took all the roof space in Castle Rock and captured the rainwater for city water use Castle Rock would more than DOUBLE its amount of water source. Furthermore, consider incorporating edible landscaping or even regenerative agriculture into your yard. Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs promotes self-sufficiency, reduces food miles, and supports a more sustainable food system. Regenerative agriculture can be integrated into a home's landscaping to provide a source of fresh produce while also promoting sustainability. By planting fruit and vegetable gardens, homeowners can reduce their carbon footprint while also enjoying the many benefits of home-grown produce.
We care deeply about real estate and real estate development and being an active participant in combating climate change. Therefore, we have gone out and completed the required education to be able to represent our clients in this domain officially. This is why we have completed NAR's GREEN Designation, LEED's Green Associate Certification, as well as the International Living Future Institutes Living Future Accreditation. The Living Building Challenge and Living Community Challenges are some of the most stringent guidelines for building a truly net-positive real estate development. So instead of just striving to be Net-zero (produce the same energy onsite as you consumer). These developments actually do better than Net-zero. These developments go above and beyond to positively impact the planet and community they are built, which is why we are super excited to hold the Living Future Accreditation. Want to go green now? Contact Nick
Introduction to the Living Building Challenge
In a world grappling with the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation, the need for sustainable living and development practices has never been more pressing. Colorado Springs, nestled in the scenic landscapes of Colorado, holds immense potential to lead the way toward a sustainable future. By embracing sustainable real estate practices and adhering to the principles outlined by the Living Building Challenge, this vibrant city can become a beacon of hope for a healthier planet.
The Living Building Challenge, developed by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), is a rigorous and comprehensive framework that aims to guide the design, construction, and operation of buildings with a regenerative environmental impact. It is basically going green on steriods! It envisions a built environment beyond simply sustainable, but rather THRIVE-ABLE, by striving to mimic nature's beauty, resilience, and efficiency, all while having a net positive impact on the planet and the community.
To achieve the ambitious goals the Living Building Challenge set forth, the ILFI has introduced a series of Petal Handbooks. These handbooks outline the requirements and strategies for meeting specific goals or "petals," each representing a vital aspect of sustainable development. By following these guidelines, real estate developers and architects can ensure their projects contribute to a healthy, vibrant future for Colorado Springs. In addition to the Living Building Challenge, the ILFI has developed various other programs that complement and enhance sustainable real estate development. These programs include the Net Zero Energy Building Certification, the Zero Carbon Certification, and the JUST program, which focuses on social equity and workplace justice. By integrating these initiatives into their projects, developers in Colorado Springs can address a wide range of sustainability concerns.
The Place Petal focuses on establishing a deep connection between the built environment and the natural world. Its objectives include ecological preservation, urban agriculture, habitat exchange, and creating human-scaled living spaces. By prioritizing the principles outlined in this petal, Colorado Springs can ensure that its buildings and developments are in harmony with the surrounding ecosystem.
Water scarcity and pollution are growing concerns globally. The Water Petal addresses responsible water use and emphasizes the importance of achieving net-positive water impact. By implementing strategies to minimize water consumption, promote efficient water management, and explore innovative approaches such as rainwater harvesting and greywater systems, Colorado Springs can lead the way in responsible water stewardship.
Reducing energy consumption and embracing renewable energy sources is crucial to combat climate change. The Energy Petal encourages buildings to achieve energy and carbon neutrality while focusing on achieving a net-positive impact. Colorado Springs can significantly reduce its carbon footprint by prioritizing energy-efficient design, utilizing renewable energy systems, and implementing energy monitoring and management systems.
Health and Happiness Petal
The Health and Happiness Petal emphasizes creating indoor environments that promote the well-being of occupants. It encompasses healthy interior environments, access to nature, and performance standards that ensure optimal indoor air quality. By incorporating natural daylight, ventilation systems, and non-toxic materials into building designs, Colorado Springs can foster healthier living spaces that enhance the overall well-being of its residents.
Responsible material selection is vital for reducing environmental impact and promoting sustainability. The Materials Petal encourages the use of responsibly sourced, non-toxic materials while also aiming for net-positive waste management. By avoiding materials on the Red List, promoting responsible sourcing, and embracing circular economy principles, Colorado
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