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What's Up Magazine

The Real Deal: Professional input on green retrofits and new green home construction

Mar 28, 2016 02:11PM ● By Cate Reynolds
We asked several leading local home builders and renovators for their take on green retrofits and new green home construction. Here are their quotes:

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“We are doing a lot of geothermal heating systems and solar arrays to lessen the carbon footprint, as well as better insulation, windows etc. but it does not reach the zero net level. Our clients are not asking for it. The demand for energy efficiency is growing and is very important to our clients, but we have not seen the demand or willingness to do what it takes to go as far as net zero. Most of our remodeling projects have a high degree of energy concerns as a part of the project.”

—Brad Lundberg, Lundberg Builders, Inc. 

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“Almost all clients [seek] improved efficiency as part of the project. A small part of the footprint, but people want to participate in reducing their footprint. Adding insulation board under the siding and improving the windows are the largest concerns we work with. The largest need, I think is in a well-insulated and ventilated attic. I don’t think true ‘zero net’ is realistic in retrofit. Detailed (and more expensive) new construction techniques can make it very feasible in new construction.”

—Mark Vanreuth, Brightview Builders

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“Currently the State of Maryland has been adopting new building codes much quicker than before the recession and requires municipalities to adopt them within six months of passage. Which can change a lot as far as how a home is constructed. A Zero Net Home may not provide the same benefits that a ‘green certified’ home enjoys. Energy efficiency does not necessarily provide a healthy environment free of off-gassing products, fresh air circulation, comfort, use of sustainable materials, as well as green lot design, whereas a green certified home does. Green certified homes can be zero net while providing all of those benefits.”

—Mike Baldwin, Baldwin Homes

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“A Zero Net Home is looking to offset the energy is uses, while a LEED Certified or our more preferable ICC700 National Green Building Standard Certified encompass the entire process of the construction of the home from the site work to the quality of living for the homeowners.”

—Lisa Webb, Baldwin Homes