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26 July . 2010

Blogging with the Frog – The Briar Chapel Guide to Green Living

By Shannon McSwiney

Marketing Manager, Newland Communities


We are excited to share with you the latest in green building at Briar Chapel via our blog. “Blogging with the Frog” derived from some recent Realtor / Broker outreach in which our favorite (and original) froggy friend made an appearance! And got quite the response, might we add…

From there, the concept grew and we felt this would be an excellent opportunity to point out some of the fabulous ways you too can incorporate green living  into your everyday lifestyle as well as the BENEFITS of doing so! We are committed to posting the “frog blog” via our View From the Porch  at least once a quarter, and hope that you’ll become an active reader – please share your comments so that we may best address your questions, interests and such.

We find ourselves fortunate to be in an area that embraces the concept of green living – more so than other parts of the country. In fact, folks in our area tend to expect that sustainability should in some way, shape or form be incorporated into their every day exchanges.

This is refreshing! So why don’t we all adopt this way of thinking Well…it’s not always that easy. But if each of us took just one small step and began incorporating these practices into our lives, before we know it we are on our way to making a big difference!  

And so we begin…

At Briar Chapel, we make it “easy being green…”  Our small step, from a homebuilding perspective, will explore topics such as what to look for when buying a green home, energy efficiency in your home, indoor air quality, energy cost savings, and third party verification.

Don’t think we won’t throw in some fun facts and easy tips along the way that have nothing to do with your home – after all, we are “blogging with the frog” so we like to think that we know how to have a little bit of fun here!

Let’s start with a few facts that we borrowed from the Green Home Builders of the Triangle Program, a program we are near and dear to at Briar Chapel. The local GHBT program is also on its way to becoming National so you'll want to stay tuned for further details about that transition to come.

What is a green home A green home consumes less energy, uses fewer resources, has better indoor environmental quality, is more durable, and requires less maintenance than a standard home. A green home is built according to a systems approach that addresses all aspects of green building (lot design and preparation, energy efficiency, water efficiency, resource use, indoor environmental quality, and homeowner education).

Does green building make a difference Buildings in America produce about 40% of our greenhouse gases. The construction of more energy efficient homes – which will save energy every year for their entire lifespan – presents the opportunity to make a significant, positive environmental impact.

Isn’t green building expensive Green building does not have to be prohibitively expensive. The key is to select the green features that will provide the most benefit, according to the needs and budget of the owner. While the initial building cost of a green home might be higher, the monthly operating cost is less (depending on occupant behavior). As a result, green building is likely to be a more cost-effective approach.

How can I tell if a home is green The best way to be sure a home is green is to ask for its certificate from an established green building program like GHBT. Most green building programs (and also ENERGY STAR®) provide a sticker for the home’s breaker box in addition to a paper certificate.

All homes in Briar Chapel are third party tested and certified (at minimum bronze level) by our partner, Southern Energy Management . Just by building in Briar Chapel you will have a home that is at least 15% more energy efficient  than a regular code built home, you have the option to customize green features above and beyond the minimum standards, and your home will come with a green certificate and label, and owner’s manual for all of the green features. Pretty easy, eh

This is just a start. Stay tuned to learn more from additional “Frog Bloggers”; Gian Hasbrock, MIRM, MCSP,CRS and a certified Green Professional™, our very own Kathy Harris who is out and about with her finger on the pulse of the Real Estate community, and me your friendly community Marketing Manager. Together, we will shed some light on how easy it can be to be GREEN!


*Green building facts taken from the HBA-DOC website. This information is intended for educational purposes only. Individual building practices should be discussed directly with builders. Certain criteria applies for home certifications and may vary by builder.




tags: Helpful Tips

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