Cars and Retrofits

August 3, 2010 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Contributed by Aaron Fairchild:

Last year there were 3 home remodels marketed for sale on the NW Multiple Listing Service as a BuiltGreen certified home.  Our West Seattle home, the Sequoia House, was one of the three.  If this seems shocking to you, imagine how we felt!  Yet the trend is clear; we know that homebuyers are looking for and demanding energy efficient and green homes.

But don’t take it from us; a 2010 national AVID Builder survey indicates that green features are the most important “must have” for a future home purchase. AVID surveyed 20,000 existing homeowners and asked which features were “must haves” in their next home.  Just over 60% of surveyed homeowners pointed to green features. In 2009, 40% of all residential new-construction in the City of Seattle was certified BuiltGreen.

Yet only 3 out of roughly 5,000 existing home sales were marketed and sold BuiltGreen certified!? According to a report published by Equilibrium Capital out of Portland in April 2010, “…the biggest long-term impact economically and environmentally is retrofitting existing buildings.”

Right now G2B is out raising equity in our company.  We have calculated how much carbon is offset with one $25,000 investment in our company and the results are compelling.  The amount of carbon emissions mitigated, calculated over the lifetime of efficiency measures retrofitted in one of our homes, is equal to removing 23 cars from the road for one year.  Breaking that out per one $25,000 investment in our company is equal to roughly 6 cars over year one and 50 cars over 5 years! As one interested investor just said, “So for the cost of a Prius I can take 54 cars off the road (in five years) and get a return on my investment (as opposed to losing money on a car).  Nice.

Retrofitting and redeveloping existing buildings is done using today’s technologies and the deep efficiency measures can function optimally for 30 to 40 years!  In 40 years we will still be dealing with our transportation problems and trying to create new renewable fuel sources.   Meanwhile, our efficient homes will continue to roll along the road to sustainability.

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