Solar panels, insulation, double-paned windows. You already know these things will make a house more “green,” more energy efficient, but what should you start with? How much will it cost? Who should you hire to install a system or upgrade something already existing? Are there local contractors that build LEED-certified homes?
The annual Green Homes Tour, organized by the Utah Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, was created to help answer these questions.
The tour is a unique chance to actually take a walk through some local green homes and talk with the homeowners, contractors or builders. The homes provide inspiration. Having people on hand to talk about their experience and share their knowledge is an added benefit of the tour.
The U.S. Green Building Council is a national community resource that creates par tnerships among homeowners, designers, builders and vendors. Since 2013 the Utah chapter of USGBC has been hosting the Green Homes Tour in Davis, Salt Lake and Summit counties to demonstrate how people in our communities are approaching sustainable designs in their homes.
“Building green is feasible for the average person. You don’t have to get LEED certification to make a difference,” says Daniel Pacheco, event organize r and director of USGBC Utah. “Even if someone goes out on the tour and comes away with big dreams, they can stop on their way home to buy caulk for the windows or LED lights and make a difference that very day.”
For a green home, begin with the obvious. Thinking of solar panels? “ We say build the envelope first. Make your house as efficient as possible. Then go the extra mile.” The Green Homes Tour will demonstrate what is possible.
This year’s tour will include about a half dozen homes. The tour is free. Sign up in advance. The day prior to the event, you will receive the list of homes and their addresses. (The list is announced the day before the tour in order to protect the privacy of the homeowners and to prevent people showing up early at sites that are still under construction.)
Homes tours take place in two sessions: 9 am-noon and noon-4pm.