Eco Three’s Elizabeth Sanfelippo presented “Selling Green Build to the Homebuyers” along with Sustain’s Natalie Kelly at the 2015 ABLE (Alabama’s Better Living Expo) Conference in Montgomery, AL. Elizabeth and Natalie discussed some obstacles in getting home builders to buy into the idea of “green” homes and how using the term “green” may not always be the best route. “Green” has become so overused in recent years that it has lost a lot of meaning. It gets tossed around so much that it has little to no impact – unless it is talking about saving green (as in money). The irony is that by spending a little bit more green on the front end will definitely help save green throughout the time spent in the house, and it will fetch a higher sales price when it comes time to relocate. One major challenge in the past has been with quantifying projected savings and being able to utilize technologies and diagnostic tests to confirm things like building envelope tightness, duct tightness, and an overall efficiency rating. Eco Three offers help with measuring and assessing these components and obtaining an overall efficiency rating such as the HERS®
Rating from RESNET. Home buyers can also help transform the home building industry by making specific requests to their builders and asking questions about energy efficiency upgrades available and about what features they focus on as a company. If your builder doesn’t seem receptive to your requests, home buyers can seek out other options. High performance home builders are not as common in Alabama as in other states, but they do exist. Regardless of the specific terminology, a “green” “or high-performance” or “energy efficient home” will maintain its value better than a traditional home, save occupants money in operating costs, and keep comfort levels high. One important question to ask is, “Can you really put a price on comfort?” Sometimes you can, and the investment is definitely worth it.