Summit County Parade of Homes: Sustainability and green building trends |

Summit County Parade of Homes: Sustainability and green building trends

Melinda FlemingSpecial to the Daily
Special to the Daily

The natural beauty of Summit County provides such an incredible back drop for our homes. This beauty compels many home owners to consider their impact on the earth when designing and building. Each year the Parade of Homes sees an increase in sustainable and green building practices in homes that participate in the tour.Here are just a few ways that owners, architects and builders are achieving a more sustainable home. 1. A sustainable lot – Choose a lot which makes sense. Some building sites are inherently better for building sustainably. Consider orientation, exposure, topography and accessibility. For example: choose a southern exposure in a cooler environment. Choose an accessible lot to minimize resources expended on infrastructure. Don’t fight the topography. Embrace it. 2. Energy efficiency – Invest in energy upgrades. Insulation is a great way to make a home energy efficient and keep it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Select Energy Star-rated appliances, electronics, lighting, windows and other items. 3. Renewable energy – Install solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, geo-thermal and wind power to produce renewable energy to offset your energy consumption and reduce your carbon footprint. 4. Materials – Selecting reclaimed and recycled materials or long-lasting materials such as engineered lumber and timber frame construction will contribute to the sustainability of the home. 5. Choose a builder familiar with sustainable design and build. These builders are demonstrating through practice and expertise their concern for the earth and its inhabitants.I invite you to tour the newly constructed and remodel homes to check out the sustainability and green building trends.The 17th Annual Summit County Parade of Homes is Sept 17, 18, 24 & 25. Tickets are $10 each and good for entry to all the homes. Proceeds benefit The Summit Foundation. Official programs are available at most Summit County real estate offices, visitor information centers & City Markets. Tickets may be purchased at and Summit County City Markets. Please read the Summit Daily News for trends to look for at the 2011 event.Melinda Fleming is from Colorado Building Company in Breckenridge.

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