What makes a home Green? Standards vary. The soft definition is that a Green home, from how it is built, to how it is heated, cooled and maintained, should conserve energy and water and avoid or limit the use and generation of toxic materials.
Zero Energy Building or Zero Net Energy Building (ZNE) has low-to-no net energy consumption. An example of this is all-electric solar home. A Green home that is “off the grid” derives its energy from an onsite source such as solar panels or windmills and its drinking water from a well. Another option is the home that is mostly self-sustaining but taps into utility companies for part of its needs, e.g., cooking gas. The amount and kind of insulation, air quality, energy efficiency of appliances and water conservation are other factors that make a home more or less Green. Another issue is carbon emissions. Does the home have a fireplace or a woodstove? Is the stove Catalytic or Non-catalytic (there are arguments in favor of either)?
Community is another element that counts. Are homes clustered to preserve open space? What’s the walkability? Does the neighborhood reinforce Green principles through covenants or shared values?
From its rural setting, to its community’s character, our listing at 5005 Agua Fria Park Road, is a home with wide-spreading Green roots. The neighborhood is an intentional community of like-minded folk who share conservation values. Together with the Agua Fria Neighborhood Association, the community’s residents have been working to restore the surrounding land, using native vegetation and large river rocks to stabilize the stream beds and retain the soil. Neighborhood members Taylor and Christina Selby, founders of EarthCare International, are coordinators of this project. They also get help from AmeriCorps.
The home’s water feature, herbs and fruit trees provide an amiable environment for bees, on loan from the neighbor. Other homes have chickens and turkeys (though I’ve never smelled a whiff of farm.) The home enjoys a happy balance of rural removal and urban access, natural and handcrafted beauty.
Where once, going Green meant enduring stifling summer heat in an artless utilitarian box, present day homes come in a range of expressions, from high-tech contemporary concept homes to earthy, artistic hand built whimsies and many colors in-between.
To learn about tax credits and incentives for Green Initiatives, check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, The Energy Efficiency Home and Vehicle Tax Credit New Mexico Tax Credits and Rebates for making your home more energy efficient Rebates and Tax Credits offered through PNM
EnergySavers.gov has scads of juicy links.
Check out Green Fire Times for information on “initiatives that create positive impacts on climate change, energy independence, and green job development,” with a focus on North Central New Mexico.