leed: Tax Incentives for greening your home - 04/09/09 02:12 PM
A recent article in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/garden/09greenhome.html?emc=eta1) does a fantastic job of highlighting the new and improved tax incentives for 'greening' your home.
Given the state of the economy and a near-universal need to save money, these incentives could not come at a better time. With up to 30% of some improvements covered with a dollar-for-dollar tax credit, and hundreds to thousands of dollars in savings each year on your utility bills, these improvements simply make sense.

As advised by the NYTimes writer, the best place to start if you are considering an improvement of your home, is … (5 comments)

leed: Reinvigorating our construction/housing industry through recycling - 04/09/09 01:31 PM

I recently stumbled across a really great opportunity for developers, remodelers, house-flippers and homeowners to save some money, go green and avoid filling up our landfills: http://www.planetreuse.com/
This service offers - for free - the ability to either post offers of building materials, or to request specific building materials.
Skimming through the site, it is obvious that it is quickly gaining popularity. Listings covered free materials that were both high quality and offered all around the country.
This is definitely worth checking out, and a much better substitute than trashing those removed or excess building … (1 comments)

leed: Green Builder Spotlight - 02/16/09 05:53 AM
I recently started a newsletter for the EarthSTEPS Green Building Division. As part of that newsletter, I am going to be highlighting a green builder in every issue. Here's a copy of the first Green Builder Spotlight. A copy of the entire newsletter can be found here.
I would love to get feedback on the newsletter... what kind of information do you want to hear about green building in Florida!?
If you would like to sign up to receive news on green building in Florida, please register here.
LD Callaghan, Inc. of Crawfordville, FL, build their homes to FGBC … (4 comments)

leed: Florida HOP Part 5. Homebuyer Loan Process - 01/26/09 02:38 PM
Florida’s  HOP program
For a brief overview of the program, please see my first posting
Homebuyer Loan Process:  
Keeping it simple, keeps you happy!
1.    Contact a HOP educated REALTOR and Lender to assist you with your homebuying process
2.    Once construction on the Unit has begun, Members (HOP builders) will reserve your homebuyer financing (provided on a loan-by-loan basis) by providing the required date of foundation inspection on the HOP Homebuyer Reservation (“HOPRES201 (5/01/08”) - for more information, please see http://www.floridahousing.org/Home/Developers/HomeownershipPrograms/HOP.
3.    Within fourteen (14) Calendar Days of making the reservation, Members … (0 comments)

leed: Florida HOP Part 4. Eligible Homebuyer Requirements - 01/26/09 02:10 PM
Florida’s  HOP program
For a brief overview of the program, please see my first posting
Eligible Homebuyer Requirements:
1. In order to receive a HOP Loan under the HOP program, the Eligible Homebuyer must:
     (1)     Have an Adjusted Income that does not exceed eighty
     percent (80%) AMI
     (2)     Qualify as an Eligible Homebuyer at the time of the
     execution of the purchase contract
     (3)     Occupy the Unit as their principal residence
     (4)     Provide a minimum down payment of $500, except when participating in a Self-Help program

leed: Florida HOP Part 3. Additional Builder Requirements - 01/26/09 01:36 PM
Florida’s  HOP program

For a brief overview of the program, please see my first posting
Additional Building Requirements:
All Units must be new construction which have not been previously occupied except that Members that are counties and eligible municipalities that are administrators of SHIP funding may make reservations for Eligible Homebuyers for HOP funds on Units that are currently in the process of Substantial Rehabilitation.
At no time shall the HOME financing exceed the Maximum Per Unit Subsidy Limits pursuant to 24 CFR § 92.250. The maximum per-unit subsidy of HOP funding is limited to the … (0 comments)

leed: Florida HOP Part 2. Builder Requirements - 01/26/09 12:48 PM

Florida’s  HOP program
For a brief overview of the program, please see my first posting

Requirements for Building Eligibility:
1.      All New Construction Units are required to meet the more stringent of the State or Local Building Code, as well as accomplish/include the following:
    a.     Range and oven
    b.     ENERGY STAR rated refrigerator
    c.     ENERGY STAR rated dishwasher (which may be waived for self help units)
    d.     Lever-handled faucet with removable spout or lever-handled faucet with separate sprayer (spout or sprayer must have at least a 9-inch hose)
    e.     … (0 comments)

leed: Florida HOP Part 1. Homeownership Pool Program clarified - 01/26/09 08:58 AM

Thinking outside the box when it comes to buying homes in Florida!!!
Florida’s  HOP program

What is it?
The Florida Home Ownership Pool Program, a program of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, provides matching funds and down payment assistance to Eligible Homebuyers for the purchase of new construction or substantially rehabilitated units.
Are you eligible as a homebuyer?
If your income does not exceed 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), then, yes, you are potentially eligible for this program (contact the Florida Housing Finance Corporation for more information on eligibility).  
What … (4 comments)

leed: Green Design Charrettes - 01/18/09 08:05 AM

An important and often-overlooked component of green design is the design charrette.
While not a mandatory requirement for most residential green certifications (e.g. LEED-H), it is a valuable practice that can help to save money and time down the road.
The design charrette enables members of the design/construction team and other stakeholders to come together at an early stage and develop an integrated design goal and schedule.

The charrette is typically an intensive single to multi-day effort, involving all interested parties in a comprehensive overview of the project. This process enables all parties to … (3 comments)

leed: Green MLS: ENERGY STAR and Green Homes in Tallahassee - 01/14/09 04:09 AM

The Tallahassee MLS is GREEN!!!!
As of this last November, the Tallahassee Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has included new searchable fields for ENERGY STAR and third-party verified Green Certified homes.
The current options available are:
LEED for homes ENERGY STAR Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) green home NAHB HERS rated Green Candidate (for homes that are in the process of obtaining a certification/rating). As part of the quality control process, Realtors submitting homes to the MLS as a green home will be required to attach an associated document that confirms the certification for the listed property.

leed: Building Green in Tallahassee - 10/22/08 03:21 PM

I just received an email from a builder/homeowner that I am working with in the Tallahassee area. He is planning on building a certified green home, and is only a few weeks from receiving his permits and breaking gound on the project.
He emailed me to let me know that he has just created a really cool blog to document the process! For those of you reading this that are interested in green building, planning on building green yourself, or just plain curious about the process, this blog is sure to be a detailed and fun account of the whole … (4 comments)

leed: LEED® Certified and Registered Projects in Tallahassee - 07/13/08 07:21 AM

[for updates since publication of this blog, please send a request here]
Way back when I was studying for my LEED® AP, I thought I would take a look at the list of registered and certified LEED projects in Tallahassee, FL... the results were quite interesting!!!
We still had only one building that was listed as having fully achieved the LEED® certification (Silver level). However, there were a lot of projects in the pipeline!
[note: we're just talking commercial certifications here]
Certified Projects:
If you are interested in building a LEED® certified … (6 comments)

leed: Learn About Green Building Online! - 07/09/08 12:17 PM

Just relaunched, GreenBuild365 is the USGBC's online portal to learning all about green building. Courses cover all aspects of LEED: schools, new construction, remodels, LEED for homes, etc...
Judging from the online poll that they are having, most folks are taking these online courses because they are studying for their LEED AP, while environmental interest is coming in second!?

(fig. 1. graph taken from the USGBC website: www.greenbuild365.org)
However, they have courses covering a wide range of green building issues. In total 81 course offerings covering topics such as architectural concrete, … (0 comments)

leed: Green Trends 2008 - 07/06/08 01:48 PM
Coming up in less than a month is the 2008 Green Trends Conference and Trade Show!
July 30th - August 2nd at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando Florida
This year promises to be really exciting as we face the reality that green building may soon be the only building that gets done.
In addition to exciting building news, seminars, products and events, there will be a live music performance by the Charlie Daniels Band!
For more information, check out the Southeast Building Conference website.
Alex Mordas, M.Sc. EcoBroker® & REALTOR® LEED for homes, Field Agent … (13 comments)

leed: Habitat for Humanity Builds LEED® certified homes - 06/15/08 03:08 AM
Habitat for Humanity, in Tallahassee, FL, is currently in the process of obtaining LEED® certification for a home they are building. The home is sponsored by the Brinkmeyer Family and the Episcopalian and Methodist Communities.
This is the first LEED® certified (or any green certified) building to be built by Big Bend Habitat for Humanity. With a focus on energy-efficiency, indoor air quality, and environmental impact, this is going to be a great example of how green can be accessible for low-income housing. Let's hope we see many more of these to come!
For more info on this, or … (3 comments)

leed: FGBC/TBA Green Council meeting was a big success! - 06/12/08 09:12 AM
The Tallahassee Green Building Council (GBC) meeting that I wrote about a few days ago was a great success!
The place was packed with builders, realtors, home inspectors, and other professionals coming to learn more about the Florida Green Building Coalition Green Home Standards certification. Many had already had a little experience and were there for networking purposes. Others were new, or relatively new, to green building and were coming to learn about associated costs, obstacles, and what types of market advantage green homes might have.
Suzanne Cook, of the Florida Green Building Coalition, gave a great presentation and … (0 comments)

leed: Italy's warning - 06/09/08 03:12 PM

If you did not yet get a chance to read the NY times' Sunday article on Naples' trash problem, you have got to take a quick peek!?
If you don't have time for the whole article, here's the gist of it:
No trash has been picked up in Naples for the last few months... Why? There's nowhere left to put it. All of the garbage dumps have been full for some time, and there is no vacant land remaining to build another!
Part of the problem appears to be the Italian lack of interest in recycling, part of the … (6 comments)

leed: LEED for homes, Florida - 05/10/08 08:44 AM

LEED for homes, the green home rating system was officially released in January of this year. However, it had been in pilot project for some time. Now fully up and running a few homes are fully certified here in Florida, and many more are currently in the process.
For example, K2 Urban Corp in Tallahassee, FL, has a new development (Evening Rose) designed using the concepts of the New Urbanism movement, and requiring all new homes built to be LEED certified.
The distinction for the first LEED certified home in Florida goes to Royal Professional Builders of Port St. Lucie, … (4 comments)

leed: Every Day is Earth Day at the Green Living Center ..! - 04/22/08 06:06 AM
The Green Living Center (GLC), located at 1020 N. Monroe Street on the same block as Decent Pizza, aims to be Tallahassee's answer to all things green.
The GLC hosts a wide array of products and services from green businesses in and around the Tallahassee area. In fact, if you have a green business, or green business idea and would like some space to place products, or a place to advertise, come on down to the GLC and chat with the friendly folks there to see what they can do for you. 
Different Low Energy lighting options available at the GLC
The … (0 comments)

leed: Green Products Fair & Trade Show - Reminder - 04/15/08 07:43 PM
I wanted to remind all of you Tallahasseans (and wish you were living in Tallahasseeans) that our local chapter of the US Green Building Council will be hosting the Capital Region Green Products  Fair & Trade  Show this Tuesday, April 22, 2008. 
Expect a fun-filled and highly informative evening with professionals from all aspects of the green building community -  Please come on down and get informed. Folks living here in Tallahassee are lucky in that we are really pushing forwards to lead the nation in the green building front. If you are just in town for a few days, please … (3 comments)


Alex Mordas

Green Building Consultant

Tallahassee, FL

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