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The Proof Is In! Green Buildings Get Higher Rents,
Have Greater Occupancy, Says Just-Released Study
The first systematic
study of occupancy rates and rents for Energy Star
certified large Class A office buildings (some 223) vs.
non-Energy Star certified buildings (some 2,077), showed
that as of the second quarter of 2007, Energy Star buildings
had about 2 percent higher occupancy rates and $2 per sq.ft.
greater rents. If the cost of adding energy efficiency
features necessary to get an Energy Star rating is $4 per
sq.ft., for example, then the payback, just on rents, is 2
years, not counting the benefit of extra occupancy.
Operating costs for these buildings run $0.54 per sq.ft.
lower. The authors state, “together, the higher occupancy
rates, higher rents and lower operating costs translate to
significantly higher values. Our results show higher sales
prices by 30% more per square foot.”
Home Builders Go Green, or Do They?
The NAHB National Green Building Program,
an education, verification and certification program, allows
builders anywhere in the U.S. to certify a green home to
bronze, silver or gold levels, using third-party verifiers
furnished by the NAHB Research Center. The NAHB rating
system features an online scoring tool, which shows builders
how to accumulate points in seven categories: water, energy
and resource efficiency; lot and site development; indoor
environmental quality; global impact and homeowner
education. To be eligible for certification, the NAHB
program requires a builder to achieve a minimum score in
Whilst an improvement on the current NAHB
system, which does not provide for independent third-party
verification of each home, using such tools as a
“blower-door” air leakage test and a duct-pressurization
test, the announced program has two shortcomings. First of
all, it is not yet a national standard, since NAHB has yet
to complete the requirements of the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI). Second, the third-party
verifiers have yet to be certified by the
NAHB Research Center. So it will likely be the summer of
2008 before all the pieces are in place.
The somewhat premature launch of this
program at the annual International Builders Show in
Orlando, Florida, was, I believe, an attempt to put the NAHB
back in charge of green home ratings and to reduce the
burgeoning number of local government rating systems and
green home mandates, based on climate change concerns.
I predict this effort to forestall or
eliminate competition will fail, for several reasons. First
of all, for all the fanfare, builders have certified (to
NAHB or similar building industry standards) only about
100,000 homes the past five years across the country,
compared with six million or so single-family homes that
have been built. It’s hard to convince local government
officials that the industry is serious about producing
energy-efficient buildings when the actual track record of
certifications is so deficient.
In my view, the real story behind the NAHB
announcement results from the increasing pressure builders’
organizations are feeling from the competing (and more
LEED for Homes standard promulgated by the 13,000-member
U.S. Green Building Council. LEED for Homes is still in a
pilot (test) phase, but in two years has already enrolled
more than 12,000 residential units in its program. If LEED
becomes regarded as the “gold standard” of residential
certification, the NAHB may have to accept local green home
mandates in order to preserve some semblance of primacy as
the leading authority for greening the housing industry.
Home builders oppose local mandates with a singular passion,
not wanting government authorities to regulate the housing
choices they offer the marketplace.
"Discover a Home That Offers Lower Energy Bills, A Healthier
Living Environment and Complete Peace of Mind – Guaranteed!"
- A home that stands up to fire, noise,
sun, wind, rain, snow, bugs, mould and inevitable Acts of
God like, earthquakes and hurricanes;
- A proven home that provides years of
hassle-free living while saving you 35% to 60% on energy
bills along the way;
- A home that is safer, stronger and
healthier than any other home you have ever seen;
- An incredible concrete home that
blends character and timeless beauty with the kind of
quality materials and workmanship that give you a great
sense of pride and satisfaction. A satisfaction that lets
you sleep peacefully at night;
- A remarkable home to enhance your
- An ICF home...
"If You Are
Looking For A New Home - Here Is Your Chance To Own The Home Of
Your Bare Feet
Will Love You...
Listen to the silence -
Because of the thick walls, annoying neighborhood noises like
fire trucks, barking dogs and early morning lawn mowers are
reduced to a whisper.
Solid Concrete Construction means
that your home is sound proof, resistant to storms, high winds
and other severe weather conditions. Just imagine your family
sleeping peacefully through the noisiest of thunderstorms.
Breathe the clean air -
Due to our diverse southern climate with short winters and hot,
muggy summers, you spend a lot of time indoors. Natural and
man-made pollutants affect the quality of the indoor air that
Some well-known offenders include mould
and mildew in traditional wall systems and poorly filtered
forced air heating systems that circulate dust in the home.
Picture your home designed and built with
a proper air filtration and fresh air exchange system; with no
noisy furnace to circulate the dust around the house. Think of
how much less dusting you will have to do, or how you or someone
in your family will be protected from asthma attacks.
"Which Four Letter Word Do You Use Each Month When You Pay Your
Imagine heating and cooling bills being
half of what you'd expect. Drafts are virtually eliminated and
carbon dioxide emissions from your heating unit are greatly
reduced. The concrete in your walls makes an excellent "heat
sponge" which stops winter temperatures cold (if you pardon the
Add to this: No-maintenance Low E Argon
filled self cleaning windows, a 94% efficient on demand hot
water heater, draft free walls, 30-year maintenance free
exterior, quality interior finishing, hardwood floors, custom
cabinetry, granite counter tops, whirlpool tub and the latest
and best in security measures.
You will enjoy the safest, strongest,
healthiest and most energy efficient home available today.
Proof? The Pictures Below Tell The Story...
ICF House Stands up to
271-ton Boulder: Jack Burns of Rockville,
Utah awoke to a frightening event. It seems a
271-ton boulder had crashed through the rear of his
house, plowed through the bathroom, and stopped four
feet from his bed. . Apparently the boulder fell
from the top of the butte, bounced a few times like
a rubber ball, then careened into the back wall of
the house and the embankment up against it, which
stopped its progress. Observers measured the boulder
after the fact at about 12 feet by 16 feet by 16
feet. Luckily, his home was built out of concrete
More Than 250 Homes Burn as
Wildfires Ravage Southern California:
Powerful Santa Ana winds kicked up before dawn
Sunday, driving two ferocious fire storms that had
already burned more than 200 homes, across more
lawns and rooftops. In a canyon at the edge of
Claremont, about 50 homes were destroyed.
Interestingly enough, the only home left standing,
was a home built out of concrete for Mr. and Mrs.
Bruce. “Even though the home needs extensive
renovation, all of our possessions are intact” said
Mr. Bruce, “Luckily, we built it using ICFs.”
Will Your Home be Safe from
Storms? In the summer of 2004, a series of
four hurricanes struck Florida. Many houses built
out of wood suffered severe hurricane damage, while
homes next to them, built out of concrete, had much
less damage. The hurricanes that hit Florida have
given their endorsement to the new “Insulated
Concrete Forms” system of building. “It is not that
the wind is blowing, it is what the wind is
blowing”, said Mr. Jones, the owner of the home
(bottom, left), who weathered the storm in his
basement. “We knew that we would be safe in our
basement because we built it out of ICFs, said Mr.
I believe the ICF wall saved my life,
claims Mr. Ray Demczyk of Cape Coral, Florida. Early
on the morning of June 26, 2004, as Mr. Demczyk and
his wife slept inside their ICF home, a potential
tragedy was unfolding outside. At approximately 2:00
A.M. an intoxicated driver was speeding down the
Demczyk’s street, fell asleep at the wheel, and
never noticed when his Pontiac Firebird left the
road, became airborne, and slammed into the exterior
wall of the Demczyk’s residence at a speed of 60
miles per hour. Stirred awake by a light thud, Mrs.
Demczyk left her bedroom to identify some household
object that had fallen to the floor. To her great
surprise she found a set of headlights shining
through her living room window. The ICF wall’s
strength was evident once the cleanup had been
completed and damage was assessed. A 3 ft x 5 ft
section of the wall’s exterior finish suffered the
impact of the crash, while the concrete wall itself
When asked if he was surprised by
the strength of the wall, Demczyk responded,
"Strength, wind resistance, and insulation were the
reasons I built with ICFs. It should cost me less
than $800 to complete repairs to my stucco finish,”
Emergency workers on the scene said that the
speeding vehicle would have penetrated the residence
and would have gone straight through had the walls
not been concrete.
So What Are ICFs?
Whether you are in the “Real
Estate" or "Home Building Industry” or
not, I am sure that what you just saw and are about to read will
intrigue your mind for days before you really comprehend the
true magnitude of it. In fact, most people can’t believe this
until they live in one of these homes themselves.
Once you have built with ICFs, or lived in
an ICF home, you will undoubtedly never dream of going back to
the flimsiness of a stick-framed house. The difference in
quality is like comparing Niagara Falls to your backyard
In A Nutshell...
Insulated Concrete Forms
(ICFs) are hollow Styrofoam blocks or panels that are stacked to
form the walls of a building. The forms are filled with
steel-reinforced concrete to create a solid structure.
These interlocking, light-weight expanded
polystyrene concrete forms are designed to remain as a permanent
part of the wall after the concrete is placed.
The insulating capacity of expanded
polystyrene coupled with the structural integrity of reinforced
concrete is a powerful combination. These walls are
stronger, safer, quieter and more energy-efficient.
It is the perfect replacement for concrete
block, traditional poured concrete walls, brick, framed steel or
wood walls and any other typical material used in construction.
It complies with all applicable building standards (Actually
Building with ICFs results in a Beautiful,
Fire- Resistant, Sound-Proof, Water-Proof, Strong, Wind-Proof,
Super-Insulated, Extremely Energy Efficient, Seismically
Superior, Sustainable, Environmentally Friendly Home that saves
an average of 13 trees from the old growth forests per home.
In fact since 1996 The Energy
Value Housing Awards in the United States and the
R-2000 Awards in Canada continue to attract
attention from construction industry professionals. As Insulated
Concrete Form (ICF) wall-systems start to dominate these awards,
the tolerances are becoming more and more exacting.
The list Of Awards
- National Energy Housing Quality
- Canadian Home Builders
Association Enviro-Home Award.
- Silver Georgie Award
- CMHC Healthy Housing™ Award
- EnerQuality R-2000 Environmental
ICF projects have won awards for "Enviro-Home","
Healthy Home," Technical Excellence In Design, Environmental
Excellence and Outstanding Energy Efficiency. They are
recognized as a "Green Product" and as "Kyoto Friendly."
Are Raving About This Amazing New Type Of Home!
In test after test, Insulated Concrete Homes are proving they
are here to stay. Apart from warmer and cozier winter nights
there are so many more reasons not to settle for just any home:
- You will enjoy a high quality and
energy efficient home.
- You will enjoy a sound resistant
- You will enjoy much lower utility
- Your home will last many times
longer than any wood-frame house.
- Your home will give you peace of
mind during severe weather conditions.
- Your home won’t have any drafts
or cold spots.
- Your home will have high fire
- You will live healthier and more
- No air infiltration means dust
and allergens are drastically reduced.
- Your home won’t have any wall
cavities for mould, mildew, bugs or rodents.
- Your home will be superior to all
others on your street.
- Your home will be earthquake
- Your home will not mould, rot or
- Your home may qualify for lower
"With the way
utility costs are steadily increasing, existing wooden houses,
and those being built today will, in 10 years, have monthly
utility payments that exceed the monthly house payment..."
Infrared photography of two side by side homes - ICF
home on the left - Enough said!
So, Is Your Home Energy Efficient For The New Century?
Now You Can Do
More Than Just Dream About That Perfect Home...
The Ultimate Custom ICF Home can look exactly
like you want it to, like any other home, and it will cost
almost the same money as the stick house “Bob the
Builder” wants to build for you.
The price as well as the look are decided
by you and nobody else but you. This is not revolutionary
thinking – just common sense, and the way things should be done.
The industry cites an extra cost of only
5%-10%, so the question "Why would you build your home out of
anything else but ICFs?" is warranted.
From the outside, ICF homes look the same
as wood framed homes since all finishes such as stucco, brick
and siding can be used.
Inside, homeowners like the thick walls
that provide deep interior window sills for use as window seats
or window display areas, similar to the effect of adobe
"Of All the Decisions You Must Face When Building Your Home,
There Is None More Important Than The Person You Choose To Build
It - So, Choose Carefully!"
PS.: This type of home is about choices;
choices that make a difference in the levels of indoor air
pollution and energy efficiency, choices which are sensitive to
the environment, and important choices we make concerning our
safety. It is at the very least worth your time to find out