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Built Green: What Does It Mean For Your Seattle Home?

March 27, 2019

Built Green: What Does It Mean For Your Seattle Home?

When you’re looking for a new home in the Seattle area, how important is energy efficiency? If you’re like a majority of homebuyers, eco-friendliness is not an option. It’s a necessity. Blue Fern Homes feels the same way, and not just because sustainability is what people want, but it’s the right way to build. We earned the 4-Star Built Green certification. But what does it mean for your Seattle home?

Established in 1999, Built Green is a program of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties that certifies homes, apartments, remodels, and communities as meeting high standards for environmentally sound design, construction, and development. 

The organization’s mission focuses on serving Seattle area homeowners by motivating builders and developers to participate in the sustainable initiative. “We encourage voluntary green building incentives that will help shift the market, making green building truly profitable for all, rather than simply forced.” 

Blue Fern Homes pursued and earned the 4-Star Built Green certification, which is based on our scores for a variety of components: site and water, energy, indoor air quality, and materials. In addition to meeting the requirements for the 3-Star rating, Blue Fern Homes pushed further to earn 4 stars:

  • Use drought-tolerant plants (low watering) that are appropriate for the site’s topography and soil.
  • Incorporate the most efficient aerator for kitchen and bathroom faucets and showerheads.
  • Achieve 20% improvement over the Washington State Energy Code (2015).
  • Use only low-VOC paints on all major surfaces to enhance indoor air quality.
  • Prohibit the use of any products that contain urea formaldehyde for any indoor applications, which is found in some adhesives, particle board, MDF, and finishes.
  • Actively practice waste prevention and recycling during construction.
  • Purchase recycled products.
  • Achieve a minimum recycling rate of 50% by weight.

Built Green did a follow-up study to see how their certified buildings lived up to the standards. Here’s what they learned about certified 4-Star homes, as compared to non-certified homes:

  • 33% improvement in annual energy savings of electricity consumption, more than twice the expected outcome of 15%
  • 3,806 kilowatt hours (kWh) saved per home per year
  • Average $450 annual savings in electricity bills 
  • The equivalent of installing more than 10 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, estimated to cost more than $8,000 per home
  • The annual savings in electricity would be the equivalent of continuously running a 12W LED bulb for 36 years and 77 days.

A recent study reported even more impact from this commitment to green building. “A Seattle Built Green home’s electricity consumption would result in zero carbon dioxide emissions due to the carbon neutral grid, while an average U.S. home produces 16,218 pounds of carbon dioxide-equivalent every year.”

It makes sense that the Emerald City is concerned with green building. As a Seattle builder, Blue Fern Homes is part of this movement for sustainable building. Take a look at our neighborhoods of new construction townhomes in Eastlake, Queen Anne, and Ballard. Then make plans to see the difference of quality, eco-friendly design and construction.

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