Pottygirl made it on the News flushing her potatoes: Road Warrior: Georgia Home, Garden Show

Road Warrior: Georgia Home, Garden Show.

Advertisements

Why should I buy a LEED®certified home? What is LEED®?

What is LEED®

LEED® stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It was created and is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit environmental organization with more than 14,000 member organizations dedicated to sustainability in building design and construction. The certification system has been in use for more than seven years in commercial construction, and includes Green Home Buildingmore than 3.2 Billion square feet of real estate currently seeking LEED® certification.

LEED® recognizes the highest quality in green homebuilding. LEED® promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor air quality.

Please explore case studies on a variety of LEED®-certified homes at http://www.thegreenhomeguide.org.

 

LEED®for Homes FAQs for Home Buyers

Is a green home right for me?

If you would like a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle for you and for your family, a green home is right for you. Green homes have lower utility bills, use less water, are associated with fewer asthma attacks, and are at lower risk for mold and mildew. Green homes are better for the environment, and they are affordable.

How are green homes good for the climate?

In the United States, our homes are responsible for 21% of our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Living in a green home means that you’re helping to stop the causes of climate change.

How will a LEED®home benefit me?

The benefits of a LEED®home include economic benefits such as lower energy and water bills; environmental benefits like reduced greenhouse gas emissions; and health benefits such as reduced exposure to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins.

LEED®-certified homes may also be eligible for financial benefits such as lower fees for financing and lower insurance rates.

How can I compare a green home to a conventional home?

Think of LEED®as a nutrition label for your home that gives you much greater confidence in specific features of your home that will contribute to your quality of life.

LEED®certified green homes include a homeowner’s manual and a LEED® “scorecard” that reflects third-party verified information about your home’s energy performance, water savings, materials used in construction, and other features.

Similar, third-party verified information is typically not available for conventionally constructed homes.

What types of homes are LEED®certified?

The LEED®for Homes certification system is tailored for the construction of market rate and affordable new single family or low-rise multi-family homes (like condos and garden apartments). Existing homes undergoing extensive renovations – down to the last studs on at least one side of each exterior wall – are also eligible to participate in the program.Green Home Building

What about remodeling projects?

USGBC and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) have partnered to create the REGREEN Program, which are the first nationwide green residential remodeling guidelines for existing homes.

 

How can I purchase/build a LEED®home?

Tell your realtor or builder that you want a LEED®-certified home. Some markets now include whether a home is LEED®certified in MLS listings of homes for sale. If you are interested in purchasing a LEED®certified home in Georgia, please contact me. I have a list of builders participating in the program.

You can also visit http://www.thegreenhomeguide.org to find a homebuilder participating in the LEED®for Homes program in your area.

Do LEED®certified homes cost more?

LEED® certification can fit into your family’s budget regardless of what it is. LEED®certified homes include everything from luxury residences to Habitat for Humanity projects. Buying green and asking for LEED®-certification is your choice.

Are there any incentives?

Many local and state governments, utility companies and other entities across the country offer rebates, tax breaks and other incentives for green homes and for remodeling with green technologies.

Where can I find more information on green home building?

Visit http://www.thegreenhomeguide.org for comprehensive information and links to other great online resources.

If you are interested purchasing a “green” home or remodeling “green” in Georgia, please contact me. As a certified EcoBroker®, I have received additional education to promote energy-efficient, sustainable, and healthier design/features in homes and buildings. If you are a Buyer, I look at your individual situation and help you find a home that is comfortable, affordable, healthy and saves money on utility bills. If you are a Seller, I will help you identify how you can improve your home’s water and energy efficiency to appeal to today’s buyer.

What you should know about toilets

Toilets account for almost 30% of residential indoor water use in the United States.

Toilets are also a major source of wasted water due to leaks and inefficiency. In a home that was built prior to 1993 it is most likely that the toilet uses 3.5 gallons or more for every single flush (in Dekalb County alone, approx. 165,000 homes were built prior to 1993 – there are approx. 1 Mio. Homes in the Greater Atlanta area that still have old, inefficient toilets in use). Experts say that the minimum needed to meet the basic human needs of drinking, cooking and hygiene is five gallons of clean water per person per day. It’s far from enough to ensure health and well-being-just enough to get by. Do we really need to flush down that much each time we go “Number One”?

In the beginning of modern toilets there was the seven-gallon flushing porcelain lavatory. Then there was the low-flush toilet. And by the time you’d flushed several times the bowl was “clear” and you had flushed more water than you did with the faithful lavatory.

Then there was the new and improved low-flush toilet, which was better but still not what always got the job done. And finally, the High-Efficiency toilet arrived; you now have your choice of flushing as little as .8 gallons with dual flush toilets. The best part is that they really work!

What Are High-Efficiency Toilets?

Under federal law, toilets must not exceed 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf). High-efficiency toilets (HETs) go beyond the standard and use less than 1.3 gpf. The WaterSense label will be used on HETs that are certified by independent laboratory testing to meet rigorous criteria for both performance and efficiency. Only HETs that complete the third-party certification process can earn the WaterSense label.

 Do High Efficiency Toilets Work?

Everyone is concerned about the performance of low-flow toilets. Do they clear the bowl and leave it clean? Do they stop up frequently? Unlike the first 1.6 gallon / flush toilets, WaterSense HETs combine high efficiency with high performance. Advances in toilet design permit WaterSense HETs to save water without loss of flushing power. In fact, many perform better than standard toilets in consumer testing. Want proof? Watch this amazing video of Eddie Wilcut, the Water Conservation Manager for the City of San Antonio, flushing a Russet potato down a Caroma toilet with the full flush (1.6 gallon) AND half flush (0.8 gallon), which is meant for liquid waste.

How Much Water and Money Do HETs Save?

High efficiency toilets save you money by reducing your water and wastewater costs. Over the course of a lifetime, an average person flushes the toilet nearly 140,000 times. If you install a WaterSense HET, you can save 4,000 gallons per year and your children can each save about a third of a million gallons during their lifetime. If a family of four replaces one 3.5 gpf toilet made between 1980 and 1994 with a WaterSense toilet, they can save $2,000 over the lifetime of the toilet. If the toilet being replaced was made before 1980, it uses 5 gallons per flush so the savings will be much greater. If you’d like to calculate how much water you can save try the water savings calculator on www.ecotransitions.com.

With these savings, new high-efficiency toilets can pay for themselves in only a few years. Even better, many local utilities offer substantial rebates for replacing old toilets with HETs. Detailed information on the rebates available in Georgia can be found here Rebates in Georgia

What are Dual Flush toilets?

Dual flush toilets offer a patented dual flush technology consisting of a 0.8 Gal flush for liquid waste and a 1.6 Gal flush for solids. They can save up to 40% (approx. 4600 gallons) compared to today’s standard 1.6-gallon single flush toilets. On an average of 4/1 uses a day,  Dual Flush toilets have the lowest water consumption of all – 0.96 Gallons per flush. Caroma, an Australian manufacturer that invented the Dual Flush technology manufactures award winning toilets that are both user friendly and, with a full 3.5″ trap way, virtually blockage-free!  Wouldn’t that be nice to be able to finally kiss the plunger good bye? Beware of some products reducing the amount of water flushed to use with your existing toilet. Existing bowls are not designed to perform with reduced amounts of water, so the likelihood of clogging your toilet while you are trying to flush paper and solid waste increases drastically.

Select a WaterSense Labeled High-Efficiency Toilet!look for watersense label

Whether you are remodeling a bathroom, beginning construction of a new house, or just want to replace an old, leaky toilet, a WaterSense labeled HET is your best bet. Look for the WaterSense label on any toilet you buy. If every home in the United States replaced just one old toilet with a new HET, we would save almost one trillion (spelled with a T)

gallons of water per year, equal to more than two weeks of the water flowing over Niagara Falls!

Note that some manufacturers offer high-efficiency and ordinary models with very similar names, so be sure and look for the WaterSense label. A list of WaterSense labeled High-Efficiency Toilets can be found here List of WaterSense labeled HET’s published by the EPA.

Where can I find a HET?

To find WaterSense partners and resources in your area, please follow the link and click on your state below or choose from the list that follows. EPA – Where you live

For a watersavings calculator and more information on Dual Flush toilets please visit www.ecotransitions.com.

WaterSense Partners helped save 277 million gallons of water in 2007

New Atlanta Distribution Center for Caroma High Efficiency Toilets

ecoTransitions Inc., a Watersense Partner, has partnered with Caroma USA to distribute WaterSense labeled high-efficiency toilets (HET) in Georgia.February 2008 – ecoTransitions encourages Georgians to actively conserve water and decrease their monthly water bills by offering high efficiency Dual Flush toilets. From its newly opened Distribution Center, ecoTransitions broadens the selection of water conserving toilets available in Atlanta.  “In a time of a dwindling water supply in Georgia, it is time to look at the No. 1 water-wasting feature in every house”, said ecoTransisions owner and Georgia resident Andrea Paulinelli. “Toilets are still the biggest water users in our homes. When we think about conserving water and long term savings, retrofitting our toilets is the single best solution.” Most of ecoTransitions Caroma High Efficiency Toilets (HET) are listed on EPA’s Watersense list and qualify for the rebates currently offered by many counties and the City of Atlanta. Because water use reduction is an integral part of LEED™, credits can be obtained as well. Caroma toilets employ an integrated dual flush mechanism, letting the user select either a full flush (1.6gpf) or a half flush (0.8gpf). The patented technology can save up to 72% (approx. 18,000 gallons) of annual water usage compared to the traditional 3.5-gallon flush and up to 40% (approx. 4600 gallons) compared to today’s standard 1.6-gallon single flush toilets. A sophisticated redesigned bowl and a larger 4 inch trap allow waste to easily be pushed down with less water. The larger trap way eliminates clogs caused by excessive paper waste in the bowl. Other key strengths include: Elegant Design – Contemporary European design fits with just about any bathroom décor. Well-rounded corners and an easy closing seat provide easy cleaning. Installer-friendly – most Caroma US toilets can be roughed in at 10″ to 12″ with the use of a plastic offset connector. A larger footprint makes for easier replacement of old toilets. Virtually Maintenance Free – Dual Flush Technology eliminates the need for flapper, ball cock, chain and handle failure issues. Complete Fixture Range – The current US line includes a mix of toilets and lavatories for residential and commercial applications. ecoTransitions Inc.

 you chose between half flush and full flush

Visit www.ecotransitions.com or email Sales@ecotransitions.com for more info, Contact: Andrea Paulinelli, ceo