The hottest topic of the day....going GREEN - when will Boise be ready?


The discussion of Green Building is everywhere. It's one of the hottest topics - most talked about subject in and among industry professionals. As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of high density building, Green Building, conserving our resources, and making smart decisions when building in our Valley. I'm such a fan, that I've actually signed up to get my EcoBroker designation later this summer.

The builder buzz around town about going Green is huge. However, in the short term, going Green costs a little more money. It will pay off in the long run - energy costs down, maybe resources (oil) costs reduced with lower demand, renewable resources being used instead of those that are more difficult to replace, better air quality, etc. Of course, someone interested in building an environmentally friendly home is most likely getting the most satisfaction by knowing that he/she is "doing the right thing".

So...the question of the day....is Boise and the Treasure Valley ready to go Green? Consumers, are you ready to pay a bit more for the long term payoff? The builders and I would like to know.

Are you ready?

Kit Fitzgerald
Red Barn Real Estate
Posted by Kit Fitzgerald at 6/25/2008 6:25:00 PM
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Comments (6)
Re:Green, Green, Green
Boise may be but Parma is ready now! Yesterday a request for a proposal was made for a home "as green as possible" to a builder on the site, in Parma.

I like your comment about it being the right thing to do! Sometimes it just can't be about money. We have a personal responsibility to protect the land. It is too great a place to screw up. There are also several programs you can get into to help with costs. I am sure Idaho Power is anxious to get everyone saving energy.
Posted by on 6/25/2008 1:16 PM
Re:Green, Green, Green

I believe Boise is ready now. That's why the Building Contractors Association of SW Idaho started a Green Building Council to promote green building and to educate building industry professionals on how to build green.

We have scheduled the first Green Building for Building Professionals course on Monday and Tuesday, August 18th and 19th. Completion of this two-day course and the Business Management for Building Professionals course enables you to obtain the Certified Green Professional designation from the National Association of Home Builders.

If interested, you can Mercedes at the BCASWI 377-3550 or you can contact me.

President / Builder Chuck Miller Construction Inc.
(208) 229-2553
[email protected]

Posted by on 6/25/2008 3:12 PM
Re:Green, Green, Green
Thank you all for your great comments. Building green doesn't necessarily mean higher costs, in fact, in some cases even saving costs. It's a matter of education and knowing your end goal and materials. There is lots to learn but it's alot of fun (as we are all learning). Visit our website, or better yet, sign up for our newsletter so you will get the latest and greatest in Green Building Products www.greenfoundations.com Join founder Lisa Scales, MD Saturday mornings at 10 am on am630 KFXD to hear the Green Foundations report and interviews. We have also partnered with Channel 6 for Living Green segments every evening at 10pm for Treasure Valley Green news through out the month of July. Green Foundations is launching a green virtual community so everyone can network for free (coming in July). www.greenfoundations.com
Thanks for everything, everyone is doing! The green community is conscious and awake! You are all doing your part and it is working!
The Team at Green Foundations Building Center
Posted by on 6/25/2008 6:52 PM
Re:Green, Green, Green
I don't think Idaho is quite ready to go on full scale as power is still too affordable, commute times while bad are a fraction of other cities, and we simply don't have the support from the legislature to make it happen.

We are on the cusp . . . but if you look at other markets like Seattle or Portland we are light years behind them still.

Going green doesn't have to cost more. My most recent project cost me $1.50 a SF or approximately $2,000 per unit. Propane bills for the third month in a row were $7 and electric has never been above $18. It pays off quickly financially but the health benefits can be recognized immediately.

Kudos to you for getting your Eco-Broker designation. This will put you as an early adopter before everyone else catches on.

Nic Stover
Rubicon Construction
Posted by on 6/26/2008 3:16 PM
Re:Green, Green, Green
The whole idea of focusing on new construction in far from jobs locations is just 'green spin'.

If Boise wants to go green it should focus on upgrades and improvements to existing construction. If you build, use close in land near public transit or jobs.

Building is energy intensive, with materials shipped from all over. While I admire the effort when there is new construction, it is the wrong focus, ....
Posted by on 6/27/2008 8:10 AM
Re:Green, Green, Green
I would disagree with the comment on new construction. the reality is that there will always be new construction. while yes we should and actually are focused on the existing home market, see www.energystar.gov for information on the national movement to improve the existing home market, and look at all the companies etc that have jumped into the green remodel market ( home depot, Green remodeling companies, the national association of remodelers, Green rating programs, LEED H-just to name a few) we currently are working with multiple Green remodels in Boise that will be certified using the USGBC LEED H program. So there is an effort being made. Saying this is Green and this is not Green is really up to ones opinion. there is national debate on this topic all over the country and world. to just give an example, i used to give presentations on Green building in Bend Oregon and I would get chewed out by people for trying to remodel or build a conventional home instead of building straw bale or earth Ram houses. Funny these same people could not afford to have me build a straw bale or earth ram house, nor were they improving the home they lived in. So who makes a bigger enviromental impact? a builder who builds 100 homes per year and decides he is going to implement green building measures like advanced framing saving 20-30% in lumber vs the one earth ram home he could have built? A step in the right direction is still a step. If we draw ultimatums and set the standard to high-nothing gets done. This has been proven by groups all over the nation not willing to budge no matter what side of the fence you are on. Cooperation always brings more improvement. For a mind convinced against its will is of the same opinion still! Yes, it would be nice to see more existing and infill being done, and really there is more than you realize, and more to come. Wouldn't it be nice if existing and new construction was all built to a green standard? Lets not make it mandatory though, builders who want to build or remodel green always build better than when they are forced. Kudos to the local association of home builders and remodelers for stepping out in the right direction.
Posted by on 7/3/2008 10:26 AM
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Samantha Dunn, Idaho Real Estate Agent

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