Going Green at #IBS2010

    There’s definately a new trend in homebuilding emerging.  Green.

    Walking through opening day of the International Builder Show has shown a tremendous effort to provide eco-sustainable and eco-friendly living environments for more affordable prices.  Traditionally this technology has been quite spendy (and relative to many main-stream non-eco-friendly options, current eco-friendly options are still a notch or two higher in price).

    I have been a fan of a more responsible approach to the way we conduct our lives, and the adoption of new building standards and techniques to minimize waste and improve the quality of life, is win-win.

    wind-turbineSome of my favorite “eco-booths” were the Honeywell Wind Turbine and the Eco-Cottages.  The Honeywell Wind Turbine is designed to be a consumer grade wind tubine to help generate supplemental energy for your home.  Despite other turbine models that need elevations of 60 feet and unmanagable wing-spans the Honewell Turbine is designed to perch on your rooftop or similar structure.

    According to the manufacturer the turbine can produce up to 18% of an average household’s energy assuming there is an average of a class 3 wind (5-6 mph).  The annual average wind speed in Spokane WA is 8.9 MPH, more than enough.  According to some online retailers of these turbines, one can be acquird for as little as $6,000 (not including any retro-fitting to accomodate installation).  The average cost savings to a home would be in the ball park of $20-$30/month (making  a recoup on investment about 16 years assuming steady energy costs).

    My next favorite, and definately the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while are the Eco-Cottages.  These simple, compact and higly efficient dwellings are designed with panelized construction to minimize wast and are extremely efficient.IMG00433-20100119-1443

    Entry costs for a studio unit are around $49,000 with installation being around $7,000.  They also have some great, “off the grid” wilderness packages with solar and alternative energy and water resources.  A great tool and a viable option for a lake or river home.

    We’ll be spending some more time at the booth’s today looking at new (and old) ideas.  There’s a chance we may integrate many of these into our upcoming building project…

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