Unsure what makes a home Green? Befuddled by Green terminology? Concerned about the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule? Or just want to know more about what makes Santa Fe a leader on the Green living front?
Following is a “nothing but the facts” post on matters Green: an aggregation of links to sites that clearly and helpfully explain much of what you’d want to know about buying, building and maintaining an environmentally sensitive home. This list is just a start. I plan to add more links as I uncover new info. If I missed an issue of interest or relevant resource, please let me know.
LEED certification, ENERGY STAR rating and the HERS index. … Each of these terms refers to a type of recognition for homes that are energy efficient. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a third party certification program of the US Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED applies to both new construction and major renovations and is the most coveted of the three.
Build Green New Mexico, Products & Suppliers Build Green is a site put together by the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico to promote and facilitate sustainable construction.
The local chapter of the Green Building Council, “a 501(c)(3) non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation” is an outstanding resource for environmental responsible education and outreach. The Council sponsors an annual Green Building Summit –an 3 day event not-to-be-missed.
ENVIRONMENTAL AND HOME SAFETY
EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule In the works since 2008, the rule went into effect on Earth Day, April 22, 2010. According to the EPA website,
“If you are a homeowner performing renovation, repair, or painting work in your own home, EPA’s RRP rule does not cover your project. However, you have the ultimate responsibility for the safety of your family or children in your care. If you are living in a pre-1978 home and planning to do painting or repairs, please read a copy of EPA’s Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools (PDF) lead hazard information pamphlet (11 pp, 1.3MB). | en español (PDF) (20 pp, 3.2MB). You may also want to call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323) and ask for more information on how to work safely in a home with lead-based paint.”
Homeowners who are hiring contractors to perform repairs, renovations and painting work, should refer to the EPA website for complete details on the new rule. NAHB: What Remodelers Need to Know About the EPA’s Lead Paint Rule explains the basics. National Center for Healthy Housing provides a wealth of information on maintaining a healthy home.
Property owners who renovate, repair, or prepare surfaces for painting in pre-1978 rental housing or space rented by child-care facilities must, before beginning work, provide tenants with a copy of EPA’s lead hazard information pamphlet Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools (PDF) (11 pp, 1.1MB). en español (PDF) (20 pp, 3.2MB). Owners of these rental properties must document compliance with this requirement; EPA’s sample pre-renovation disclosure form (PDF) (1 pp, 53K) may be used for this purpose.
SANTA FE: RESOURCES, INITIATIVES AND ACCOLADES
Although the city of Santa Fe isn’t large enough to make SustainLane’s Top 50 sustainable cities in the US, it was a leader in the solar energy movement of the seventies and, thanks to aggressive ordinances and a public awareness campaign, has one of the lowest rates of per Capita water usage in the Southwest (Sangre de Cristo water co.) Santa Fe was also the first city to adopt Ed Mazria’s 2030 challenge. The Santa Fe Community Convention Center (downtown near the Plaza) itself received an admirable LEED Silver Certification.
Santa Fe Enacts Green Home Building Regulations A clear, lay-friendly presentation of the July 1, 2009 ordinance
FINANCING & MORTGAGES RESOURCES & INFO FOR GREEN BUILDS
Ask your preferred lender whether they offer an Energy Efficient Mortgage Local lenders reputed to offer special programs for energy efficient projects include:
Charter Bank, Albuquerque
New Mexico Bank & Trust, Santa Fe
For cautionary words on the subject, read RISMedia’s recent piece: Tight Credit Stymies Homeowners with Best Intentions to Build Green