Bellingham Homeowners Implementing Green Alternatives in the Home

Real Estate Sales Representative with Windermere Real Estate / Whatcom Inc.

A catalyst for homes, public facilities, schools and businesses, achieving environmental sustainability is being driven by a common goal to move cities and states to a green form of living. While human beings use energy to drive daily chores and activities, many take eco-friendly methods of construction and living for granted.

For a large part of the 20th century, corrosive and hazardous forms of insulation were used in homes, buildings and military applications. An older prominent building material that has plagued homeowners is asbestos. The use of this fibrous mineral became widespread due to the variety of industries stationed in Bellingham. Industries such as chemical plants, paper mills, shipyards and oil refiners used the material because of its fire resistant and ultra durable qualities.

Environmental awareness for citizens of Bellingham is on rise partially due to the rise in technology and green methods that will not only produce a healthier home, but can save homeowners on annual energy costs.

Tax breaks are being offered through The American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009. This package extends energy efficiency tax incentives first enacted in 2005 and even creates some new ones for those who remodel their homes using eco-friendly materials.

This is good news for people looking to remodel their homes. Some of the measures eligible for tax credits include: Replacement windows and skylights which are equal or below a 0.30 U factor, window films certified by the manufacturer that the product meets the requirements of a green insulation system, pigmented metal or asphalt roofs that meet Energy Star requirements and added insulation to walls or any part of a structure that meets the 2009 IECC specifications.

It is important to remember that any home built before 1980 could likely contain asbestos. When undisturbed, asbestos is fine. Most experts suggest leaving it un-disturbed, as this can allow its fibers to become airborne. Consistent exposure to asbestos can lead to many illnesses, such as pleural mesothelioma. Due to the fact many mesothelioma symptoms are similar to less serious ailments, diagnosis of this asbestos ailment is one of the more difficult tasks mesothelioma doctors encounter.

Citizens and organizations in Washington are doing their part in nurturing and prospering their mountains, natural springs and fresh air. The Washington Foundation for the Environment is a nonprofit corporation striving to provide projects and education focusing on environmental awareness. It also provides detailed information to citizens, schools and public facilities about the health hazards of asbestos.

Replacing the asbestos with healthy forms of insulation such as cotton fiber, lycnene foam or cellulose is more energy efficient and reduces the risk of asbestos exposure. Many locations throughout the United States are swiftly.


Ryan Martin Windermere Real Estate/Whatcom, Inc.

Your Bellingham real estate professional

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Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

I am shocked that more builders are not implementing photovoltaic shingles as an upgrade in our market.  I know they are trying to cut expenses but with interest rates the way they are, even for a $20K upgrade, recapture would be a cinch!

Great green alternative post!

Apr 16, 2009 11:11 AM #1
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


We see a fair bit of vermiculite in older homes. Some of the vermiculite was okay and some was not. After a certain year, it is probably okay. Basically you had two mines nearby and the asbestos was getting into the other mineral, vermiculite, and nobody knew. Like you said, the general advice is to leave it alone. I saw one house where they built an upstairs in an attic. The floors of the closets were joists with vermiculite exposed. That was here in Bellingham.

Apr 17, 2009 04:11 AM #2
Steven Simmons and Marti Schmidt
John L Scott Ocean Shores - Ocean Shores, WA
Ocean Shores Real Estate

We are getting ready for a huge remodel and are so happy to be choosing "green options."  Looking forward to a tax break!  Great post.

Steven and Marti

Apr 18, 2009 12:21 PM #3
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