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Trip the Light Rail Fanstastic

A green builder profits from urban renewal projects near Phoenix's new public transportation system.

Trip the Light Rail Fanstastic

A green builder profits from urban renewal projects near Phoenix's new public transportation system.

  • Project: Elm Street Renovation, PhoenixSize: 1,580 square feet (including guest house)Price: $240,000Completed: November 2009Certification: ANSI National Green Building Standard-EmeraldHERS Rating: 65Builder/Architect: Green Street, Phoenix

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    Project: Elm Street Renovation, PhoenixSize: 1,580 square feet (including guest house)Price: $240,000Completed: November 2009Certification: ANSI National Green Building Standard-EmeraldHERS Rating: 65Builder/Architect: Green Street, Phoenix

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    Michael Baxter

    Project: Elm Street Renovation, Phoenix
    Size: 1,580 square feet (including guest house)
    Price: $240,000
    Completed: November 2009
    Certification: ANSI National Green Building Standard-Emerald
    HERS Rating: 65
    Builder/Architect: Green Street, Phoenix

  • The Hunter drip irrigation system is controlled via the manufacturers Solar Sync sensor, which continually gathers on-site solar and temperature data to determine daily watering requirements. A rain monitor ensures that the yard isnt watered unnecessarily. 760.591.7383. www.hunterindustries.com.

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    The Hunter drip irrigation system is controlled via the manufacturers Solar Sync sensor, which continually gathers on-site solar and temperature data to determine daily watering requirements. A rain monitor ensures that the yard isnt watered unnecessarily. 760.591.7383. www.hunterindustries.com.

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    Michael Baxter

    IRRIGATION
    The Hunter drip irrigation system is controlled via the manufacturers Solar Sync sensor, which continually gathers on-site solar and temperature data to determine daily watering requirements. A rain monitor ensures that the yard isnt watered unnecessarily. 760.591.7383. www.hunterindustries.com.

  • Replacing the homes outdated appliances with Energy Starqualified models from Bosch went a long way in helping to slash energy consumption, Beere says. Selections include the Linea 500 series stainless steel counter-depth refrigerator and the Integra 500 series dishwasher, which features EcoSense technology that reduces energy usage by up to 20%, the manufacturer says. 800.944.2904. www.boschappliances.com.

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    Replacing the homes outdated appliances with Energy Starqualified models from Bosch went a long way in helping to slash energy consumption, Beere says. Selections include the Linea 500 series stainless steel counter-depth refrigerator and the Integra 500 series dishwasher, which features EcoSense technology that reduces energy usage by up to 20%, the manufacturer says. 800.944.2904. www.boschappliances.com.

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    Michael Baxter

    APPLIANCES
    Replacing the homes outdated appliances with Energy Starqualified models from Bosch went a long way in helping to slash energy consumption, Beere says. Selections include the Linea 500 series stainless steel counter-depth refrigerator and the Integra 500 series dishwasher, which features EcoSense technology that reduces energy usage by up to 20%, the manufacturer says. 800.944.2904. www.boschappliances.com.

  • Green Street selected zero-VOC EcoShield interior paint by Dunn-Edwards. The Green Sealcertified formula is free of ethylene glycol, a dangerous and odorless solvent common to even some low-VOC paints, says the firm, and has practically no odor. 888.337.2468. www.dunnedwards.com. Custom-made to meet historic preservation requirements, the homes Jeld-Wen Builders Vinyl windows are Energy Starrated and achieve a U-factor of 0.32. The companys LoE3-366 glass blocks 95% of ultraviolet rays, and the new TegraTite installation kit helps provide a tighter, more energy-efficient installation. 800.535.3936. www.jeld-wen.com. EcoProcotes SoyCrete gave the concrete floors the variegated look of an acid stain. The soy-based, low-VOC formula, which is virtually odorless, bonds with the concrete without leaving behind a topical coating or film that contribute to premature wearing or peeling, according to the company. 877.366.7547. www.ecoprocote.com.

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    Green Street selected zero-VOC EcoShield interior paint by Dunn-Edwards. The Green Sealcertified formula is free of ethylene glycol, a dangerous and odorless solvent common to even some low-VOC paints, says the firm, and has practically no odor. 888.337.2468. www.dunnedwards.com. Custom-made to meet historic preservation requirements, the homes Jeld-Wen Builders Vinyl windows are Energy Starrated and achieve a U-factor of 0.32. The companys LoE3-366 glass blocks 95% of ultraviolet rays, and the new TegraTite installation kit helps provide a tighter, more energy-efficient installation. 800.535.3936. www.jeld-wen.com. EcoProcotes SoyCrete gave the concrete floors the variegated look of an acid stain. The soy-based, low-VOC formula, which is virtually odorless, bonds with the concrete without leaving behind a topical coating or film that contribute to premature wearing or peeling, according to the company. 877.366.7547. www.ecoprocote.com.

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    Michael Baxter

    PAINT
    Green Street selected zero-VOC EcoShield interior paint by Dunn-Edwards. The Green Sealcertified formula is free of ethylene glycol, a dangerous and odorless solvent common to even some low-VOC paints, says the firm, and has practically no odor. 888.337.2468. www.dunnedwards.com.  

    WINDOWS
    Custom-made to meet historic preservation requirements, the homes Jeld-Wen Builders Vinyl windows are Energy Starrated and achieve a U-factor of 0.32. The companys LoE3-366 glass blocks 95% of ultraviolet rays, and the new TegraTite installation kit helps provide a tighter, more energy-efficient installation. 800.535.3936. www.jeld-wen.com.  

    FLOORING
    EcoProcotes SoyCrete gave the concrete floors the variegated look of an acid stain. The soy-based, low-VOC formula, which is virtually odorless, bonds with the concrete without leaving behind a topical coating or film that contribute to premature wearing or peeling, according to the company. 877.366.7547. www.ecoprocote.com.

  • All fixtures are WaterSense-certified, including the homes two Gerber 1.1/1.6-gpf Ultra dual-flush toilets. They feature 3.125-inch trapways and pressure-assisted flushing. 866.538.5536. www.gerberonline.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp136D%2Etmp_tcm131-406373.jpg

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    All fixtures are WaterSense-certified, including the homes two Gerber 1.1/1.6-gpf Ultra dual-flush toilets. They feature 3.125-inch trapways and pressure-assisted flushing. 866.538.5536. www.gerberonline.com.

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    Michael Baxter

    TOILETS
    All fixtures are WaterSense-certified, including the homes two Gerber 1.1/1.6-gpf Ultra dual-flush toilets. They feature 3.125-inch trapways and pressure-assisted flushing. 866.538.5536. www.gerberonline.com.

  • Before it was demolished, concrete from the original driveway was cut into 2-foot-by-2-foot pavers and laid in the courtyard between the main dwelling and guest house as well as in the front walkway.

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    Before it was demolished, concrete from the original driveway was cut into 2-foot-by-2-foot pavers and laid in the courtyard between the main dwelling and guest house as well as in the front walkway.

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    Michael Baxter

    INSULATION
    The guest house was insulated with 100% water-blown Icynene LD-R-50 insulation, dervived from the oil of the castor plant. THe HFC- and PBDE-free material insulates and air seals in one step and exceeds USDA BioPreferred and ICC requirements for rapidly renewable products. 800.758.7325. www.icynene.com.

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    Michael Baxter

    PAVERS
    Before it was demolished, concrete from the original driveway was cut into 2-foot-by-2-foot pavers and laid in the courtyard between the main dwelling and guest house as well as in the front walkway.

In addition, the new windows from Jeld-Wen meet historic preservation requirements while achieving a U-factor of 0.32, also a marked improvement from the original home’s cracked and broken windows.

To shield the home from the desert sun, landscape architect Michele Shelor specified six fast-growing mesquite trees around the perimeter. In all, energy usage was reduced 70% compared to the pre-remodeled house and the HERS rating went from 208 to 65, which was key to achieving Emerald certification, says Dalrymple.

"A certified remodel is about how much you improve the home over what you started with," he says, a different standard than for certification of a new house.

Most of the remodel’s 58% water savings was achieved by replacing the lawn with desert-adapted landscaping. To keep watering to a minimum, a Hunter drip irrigation system with a solar sensor gathers on-site temperature data used in the calculation of evapotranspiration (ET) to determine daily watering needs. The unit also measures the sun’s rays for optimal watering in every season.

With budgetary considerations never far from his mind, Beere made money-saving choices such as keeping the existing laminate floors in the main house’s bedrooms and specing ceramic tile kitchen countertops instead of his preference, a more modern-looking and costly concrete. He left out some high-performance products, such as a tankless water heater, which would have required increasing the size of the electrical service and an expensive and time-consuming overhaul of the electrical system. In all, Beere estimates that $35,000 of the total $80,000 renovation went to high-performance upgrades.

Nevertheless, Beere makes sure that each Green Street project sports at least a few consumer-friendly signs of its sustainable nature. “People often walk into a house and say ‘OK, point out the things that are green here,’” he says. “But most of our sustainable features aren’t necessarily visible, so we like to make sure we have a few products chosen for their ‘cool factor,’ such as LED lights, recycled concrete pavers, or dual-flush toilets.”

After a 90-day renovation, the house—purchased at a public auction for $90,000—quickly sold for $240,000, $2,000 under its appraised value, helping to prove Beere’s theory that revitalization of Phoenix’s foreclosed houses can be sustainable, affordable, and profitable.

Green Street’s commitment to high-performance renovation also has paid off in professional accolades: The Elm Street house was named the NAHB Green Remodel of the Year at the 2010 National Green Building Conference in May, bringing recognition not only to Beere but to his hometown.

"It brings attention to the city of Phoenix, often labeled as not being as environmentally progressive compared to cities like Portland or Denver," he says. "The fact is, Phoenix has many individuals and professionals who are passionate about making it a sustainable city."

Learn more about Beere’s strategies for profiting from green remodeling in the video below.

 

 

Jennifer Goodman is Senior Editor Online for EcoHome.