“Green building” is on the forefront of the minds of builders and homebuyers these days. From the use of energy-efficient doors and windows to geothermal furnaces, increased water conservation and more, today’s building and remodeling trends are increasingly focused on eco-friendly practices.
Several aspects of the green building movement are on display during the 52nd Annual Spring Parade of Homes, which runs through May 11. Presented by the Home Builder’s Association of Greater Kansas City (HBA) and sponsored by Stewart Title, the Parade highlights the latest in home design, construction, technology and more.
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), green building (also known as high-performance building or sustainable construction) has been practiced by builders and remodelers for centuries, but the modern era of sustainable construction started in the 1970s as oil prices rose and the need for energy efficiency increased.
One Spring Parade of Homes’ entry where this focus on sustainable green building practices is evident is in the Fairway Ridge Estates community in Belton.
Located at 409 E. 166th Court (Entry No. 117), the home, built by AAA Lifetime Exterior Remodeling, is a spacious four-bedroom, three-bathroom, reverse 11/2-story floor plan. Priced at $287,500 and encompassing 2,400 square feet, the green building and energy-efficient features here include PVC triple pane with low E and Argon-gas-filled windows and patio doors, R-49 insulation in the attic and CFL energy-efficient light bulbs.
“The first areas to deteriorate in a home are the exterior, siding, windows, roof and deck,” said Chris Shahbazi with AAA Lifetime. “So we addressed this by using James Hardie fiber cement siding which looks and feels like wood, but performs like cement. It has a 30-year, non-prorated labor and material warranty, as well as a 15-year finish paint warranty. That means there is no wood to be painted, or wood rot that will require replacement, which makes it very green.”
Because doors and windows are the biggest cause of overall energy loss in homes, Shahbazi said using the best and highest rated insulated product in these areas, as well as the insulation above the ceiling and so forth, are of the utmost importance.
Another builder on this year’s Parade who specializes in building Energy Star 3.0 homes is Dreams Design Building. Kevin Stallings, president of Dreams Design Building, is proud to say, “We have produced homes that are 45 percent more efficient than homes built to current code, saving our customers literally thousands of dollars per year on energy costs.”
Dreams Design Building has several homes on the Parade, one of which is located at 4238 S. Stone Canyon Drive in Blue Springs (Entry No. 162). This three-bedroom, 21/2-bathroom ranch is listed at $395,000 and features energy efficient amenities like low E and argon windows, blown-in spider insulation, and high efficiency heating and cooling systems, including a 95 percent efficient furnace.
“On average, our homeowners spend more on their lights and appliances in a year than they do on their heating, cooling and water heater combined,” Stallings said.
These are just a few of the energy efficient homes that can be found on this year’s Parade of Homes. To help prospective homebuyers, the HBA has compiled a free Guidebook listing addresses and information for each of the 377 single-family homes, townhomes and villas on the Parade. There is also an online home search tool atKCParadeofHomes.com, as well as a mobile website feature specifically designed for smartphones and tablets where homes can be searched by price, location, builder or subdivision. Admission to the Parade is free.