In the midst of a housing crisis and economic downturn here in the Valley of the Sun, Philip Beere, leader of Green Street Development, started something new. Beere and his company work to turn old homes into eco-friendly, money saving homes. Based on a mission of sustainable development of pre-existing homes (possibly homes that have been foreclosed), Green Street Development has become responsible for the first NAHB Emerald certified remodel in the United States, and the second LEED certified single family remodel in the United States (first in Arizona).
Beere first earned his bachelor’s degree in communication at the University of California at Santa Barbara before moving to Portland to start his healthy lifestyle operations, a restaurant. From there, he arrived in Phoenix where he became the principal of an eco-friendly cleaning company. He then earned a master’s degree in real estate development from Arizona State University, which jump-started Green Street Development and his desire to improve the environment, one home at a time.
In Beere’s blog post, The Cost of Going Green, he says that many people might think going green is expensive. However, he counters this argument with his top 10 list of cost-effective home improvements. They are:
- Test ducts for tightness, and sealing of leaks.
- Professional HVAC service, and install of programmable thermostat
- Caulking of and leaks in the building envelope, including windows and doors
- The use of a recycle bin in the kitchen
- Replacement of incandescent lighting with CFLs
- The use of household cleaners that do not contain toxic chemicals. Homemade cleaners are best, using items such as vinegar, baking soda and tea tree oil. And, the elimination of all chemical air fresheners.
- The use of shading via plants or screens on walls or windows with high sun exposure
- The installation of daylighting in dark areas of your home to reduce the need for lights and to improve mental health
- Upgrade insulation to a higher R value
- Installation of highly reflective window film
For more information on Beere’s ideas and green home certification, visit the Green Street Website.
So what do you all think? Is this a convincing money saving strategy that you see taking off right away, or do you think that the timing is wrong? Beere shows on the site how some simple investments can save you money in the long run, but are you convinced?