Green homebuilder

Home for the Holidays

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Contributed by Krystal Meiners; Director of Marketing

The holidays are usually a time for family, a time for friends and loved ones and a time of reflection and celebration for what you have. For many, it is also a time for worship or travel or even shopping.

What I find especially exciting about this Christmas – is that many families including my own and will be celebrating this holiday season in their very first home. All across Seattle (and the world really) there are people, couples and individuals building new traditions in a brand new place. It is a special time of year and a special moment to realize that, as a homebuilder, we are incredibly involved in the process of helping to build those dreams and traditions for people.

While our designers are not typically thinking of where to put the Christmas trees or menorahs – we are thinking about spaces in terms of entertainment, family, capturing moments, creating delight, delivering mystery and excitement, connecting to nature and cradling that low winter light from the Pacific Northwest. We think that the spaces we build can help shape these experiences into lasting memories that live with the home and create a safe and inspirational space for generations.

Green Canopy has built 20+ homes this year. We hope that that will equate to thousands of exciting, warm and happy memories for the families and individuals that will be celebrating this year in a brand new Green Canopy Home.

Welcome Home to our newest Green Canopy Homeowners and Happy Holidays to all!

Here are some of the inspirational spaces that Green Canopy has built this year:

Where is Density?

Contributed by Krystal Meiners

As we gear up for the November Empower Happy Hour, I am excited to write an article that relates to the topic of Density.

Density is one of those subjects that can be mired in analytics – but it is also a very real phenomena that hits many hearts and can have an extreme impact on the life of a community. It has the capacity to improve or ruin neighborhoods – so it can be especially hard to know if you are doing it right.

One of my most recent and favorite density conversations was this past September at the Built Green Conference. The discussion was focused on enhancing Walkability in the suburbs by increasing the number and quality of connections between where people lived and where the wanted to go. The reason that I loved the conversation so much was because it completely challenged the notion that density does not exist in the suburbs.

Niko Larco, a professor from the University of Oregon and author of the book Site Design for Multifamily Housing: Creating Livable, Connected Neighborhoods, was the conference keynote. His address proposed that we take a new look at suburban density to see how we can make improvements in the walkability of what is currently existing. What he wanted to challenge was the idea that “No one walks in the suburbs”. Because, seriously… no one walks in the suburbs right?

When people think about the suburbs – they often think of sprawling single-family homes and whirling subdivisions that have no exits. It is true that this landscape exists a great deal in the suburbs and that this low-density development tends to blight  the countryside.

What we often glaze over, however, is the existence of real density. What Larco showed in his presentation was that DENISTY DOES EXIST in the suburbs. Maybe not in the single family housing that we are so familiar with – but perhaps somewhere else. What we are missing is that medium-density apartment developments are also a huge part of the suburban landscape and have been since the 70’s. While the analytics of density might point to extremely low ratios in the suburbs – the fact is that there are dense micro-developments that rival even the densest downtown core.

In fact, Larco and his students did a great study on walkability in the suburbs and surveyed hundreds of residents that live in apartment complexes throughout America. What they found was that, absolutely, people do walk in the suburbs. They walk to the convenient stores, they walk to the grocery store (even if it is through paths paved from hundreds of trips through the buffer zones), and they even knock down fences in an effort to get from point A to point B.

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I recall this kind of “suburban connection” from my youth. Particularly one that connected the woods behind my grandmother’s house to the back of the Dairy Queen. If we would have taken the paved route to this coveted location, it would have taken us three times as long to get our frozen treats – so we blazed trails, we pulled apart the fence and trampled through the poison ivy.

Now – while this kind of density isn’t what you would normally think of, and this kind of Walkability isn’t the type of trip that will show up on Walkscore – what I do love about this conversation is that it is about something more organic. It is about community-driven design in a sense. It is about people letting designers, planners and developers know what they want and where they want it.

It is about taking charge of your community. And that is really what this density conversation should be about, right? How can we enable the neighborhood to take charge of their community?

Larco has recently began working with apartment developers to give them a “recipe” for creating successful connections in and out of their development. Where these developers once built with blinders on – they are now noticing that, “hey, I don’t have to put up a fence around the whole property because there is this Pizza place right behind us.” And that saves money right?

It should and could be the same thing in any neighborhood. At Green Canopy we have recently taken steps to develop more community-driven designs. Our community meetings have become more robust – and our feedback is really changing the way that we design and develop properties. It is hard to marry what the neighbors want with what the market wants – but at the same time – there is no need to knock down fences, right?

Green Canopy Branches Out

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When the founders of Green Canopy first launched a homebuilding business in 2009 in Seattle, the temperature of the room was tepid to say the least. Presenting a real estate venture in the middle of a recession doesn’t exactly make you look smart, even if you can say it with a straight face. But, what may have seemed like a huge risk then, was also humbly presented as having its rewards. The rewards were transformational, the cause was inspirational and the drive to create a deliberate and intentional homebuilding business that could move markets and protect mountains – somehow made it worth the risk.

Green Canopy recently closed on our first Portland project in the Arbor Lodge neighborhood of North Portland and we are incredibly excited for our expansion. We will be launching a Portland-centric real estate debt fund in the coming months so stay tuned. This is our climate change solution and we are making it happen! You can read more about our Portland Expansion by downloading our official press release here.

Yes, Building Green Does Cost More

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“This study adds to a growing body of work on the costs and value of sustainability. It provides further strong evidence that a sustainable approach need not add significantly to building costs. And, where there are additional capital costs, these can be repaid relatively quickly through the reduced costs of operating the building."-Yetunde Abdul, Non-domestic Group Manager at BREEAM UK | New Research Challenges the Perception that Sustainability Costs

Contributed by Aaron Fairchild, CEO of Green Canopy, Inc.

At Green Canopy we build homes that cost less to own and we guarantee that. This is a benefit that is enjoyed directly by our homeowners. Year over year they will see their energy bills pale in comparison to their neighbors. While Green Canopy builds the homes - it is the customer that collects the savings from "green" not the builder.

That is why when someone asks "Doesn't it cost more to build green?" the answer is a resounding "Yes." The cost of building a Green Canopy home is higher... much higher, but the process is also more thorough, and as a result the homes are simply better. However, selling these amazing homes at a competitive price in the market and making a profit doesn’t appear easy when the cost to build them is higher… so we are dedicated to innovating our building processes and managing within the cost constraints of the marketplace.

At Green Canopy, we have always been dedicated to efficiently managing our supply chain and process management systems to compensate for the significantly increased costs of bringing green, efficient and more sustainable homes to the market. The challenge of building the highest quality homes that are better for our families and the planet and doing so within the cost constraints of the market has always been identified as our number one challenge… and we are up for the challenge!

I recently read this great piece commenting on a new research study: New Research Challenges the Perception that Sustainability Costs. I have heard discussions and arguments for years that building green, efficient and more sustainable homes cost more. The discussions and research studies assert that the additional costs of building more sustainable buildings isn’t drastic especially when considering the reduced cost of ownership. It is wonderful that this new study clearly shows how to recapture the additional cost of resource efficient construction! Unfortunately for Green Canopy we don’t live in our homes, so we can’t benefit from the operational cost savings that we build into the homes.

However, the women and men of Green Canopy love the challenge of building green homes and selling them at competitive market prices. We continue to push ourselves and figure out new methods of project management, design and material procurement. With every home we sell we are living up to the challenge and bringing the best in housing to market. As a result of this dedication to quality and innovation, we can competitively price our homes in the market, they in turn sell fast, and our homeowners save money. We know that if we can outperform our competition we will build a thriving business, while creating beautiful and resource efficient homes that will rest on the surface of the Earth inspiring generations of future homeowners to come.

If a Tree Falls we Hear it

Contributed by Krystal Meiners

Recently, our CEO wrote an article in which he mentioned that “at Green Canopy, we recognize that we are firmly planted with everyone else somewhere along the spectrum of hypocrisy.” He was talking about how it is very easy in this industry to not be “green enough” – and how, when you are dealing with market-based realities, you can’t always make the most climate sensitive decisions.

This is hard for our team. It’s hard for any values-based organization.

Despite that - we do our best. If we can’t do the best thing – we will always do the next best thing. And we never stop innovating. Nor do we give in to the status quo.

Most recently our team had to cut down a towering Blue Atlas Cedar on one of our project sites. How could Green Canopy – whose very logo is a stately tree – cut down trees?! Sure there are plenty of design opportunities for homes built around trees, on top of trees, in trees – but the fact was, this was not a custom home and design dollars had to be spared for other resource efficiencies.

This Blue Atlas will not go to waste though. We spend a great many hours and dedicated brain power to ensure that we limit our waste streams as much as we can. Instead, we milled the wood on site and we will incorporate it into design features in our future projects.

The arborist that we use in Seattle is Treecycle and the mobile miller is AJ’s Custom Portable Saw Milling; their services include felling trees and onsite milling into usable lumber – or in our case - into live edge slabs. It is an amazing process to see – and our PM Ryan Nieto was gracious enough to capture it last week.

Below is a time lapse of the milling. You will likely see this noble tree in the near future in a few of our homes or in other projects after it cures. Similar to this Blue Atlas, we have another cedar that we milled a few years ago. It will be used for this year’s BuiltGreen and Green Genius Award plaques – celebrating the region’s most sustainable projects and people.

We made similar plaques last year for the Green Genius winners and are excited to be working with Built Green to craft all of the awards this year. It is great to have these trees come full circle as a reminder to all builders about the use and reuse of this world’s incredible resources.

To hear more about our reuse and the deconstruction process, join us for this year’s Green Genius Awards and the Built Green Conference on September 18th. Justin Hooks will be a session speaker and Green Canopy is the Reception Sponsor. Click here for more info about the conference.

Last Courtyard in Paradise

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Contributed by Krystal Meiners, Marketing Manager for Green Canopy, Inc.

View this project on Houzz.  It is 38 degrees and sunny in Seattle – a forecast that is quite unusual for the Pacific Northwest. Despite the chill, I step into a home that is warm, cozy and filled with light. I love it. I know I say this about all of our Green Canopy Homes – but this one is truly a green dream home. Miriam is amazing.

Today I am meeting Ryan onsite. He is one of our most talented PM’s and is churning this home out nearly one month ahead of schedule. Impressive, Ryan ;)

Before we get started – it almost goes without saying - the most special thing about Miriam, is the interior courtyard.  We both enthusiastically agree. It is an amazing and quiet meditative space in the very heart of the home. The entire project seems to be planned around this space. The path from the front door to the courtyard makes me think of a conch shell – with a circuitous flow from the public entry and entertainment areas, spiraling inward to the heart of the home.



Ryan gives me a tour of the home and we talk about the project and the components that help us achieve that Green Canopy VIBE. Value –Innovation – Beauty – Efficiency. Every Green Canopy Home grows from these 4 roots.

Value

  • Neighborhood – This home is walking distance (Walkscore 80) to both Seattle Children’s and U-Village as well as some cute local shops on 55th.

  • Energy Savings - With the power of an 18kW Heat Pump unit blowing overhead – a 32 degree day in Seattle is unnoticeable indoors. AND with a test-out score of 15,000kWh/year this home is definitely going to be a money-saver!

Beauty

  • We already said it once – but here it is again. INDOOR COURTYARDS ROCK YOUR SOCKS OFF! Literally! We joked that you could enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning in your birthday suit, but no one could see you... basically you’re inside, but you are really outside! Fun.

  • Highest Ceilings Ever. Move over downtown lofts and luxury condos… we have 20’ ceilings in this home too.

  • That’s quite the fine façade. A mix of materials, color and the right proportions give this modern home a humanscale touch. Modern architecture often gets a lot of slack for being too “monumental” but Miriam not only has a dynamic façade but the massing is similar to other homes on the block. It makes for an eclectic but appropriately scaled home on the street that reflects similar massing and structures without copy-catting or invoking the “neo-crapsman”  builder style

Innovation

  • New Stair Spec! Its always exciting when our PM’s are able to create win’s for the company that can be repeated over and over again throughout our homes. This spec combines precast concrete treads with reclaimed beams from another Green Canopy Home. It’s a bit more expensive but the installation is faster. WIN

  • Re-envisioning a courtyard - Green Canopy was fortunate to salvage this homes original footprint – which is how we managed to get the inner courtyard in the first place! The original floor plan was a U-Shape with a courtyard that opened onto a full yard – we closed the loop, so to speak, and enclosed that fantastic space.

  • New bamboo closet systems! Pretty and renewable!



Energy Efficiency

  • The original home on this lot tested in at 22,000kWh and tested out at 15kWh. While that is an impressive transformation – Ryan, who is also our HVAC guru, has created a personal goal to have his homes test out at 14,000kWh. Go Ryan!

  • All of homes have the bells and whistles of the Energy Efficiency Seal - the 4th root in our 4 Roots. It also has some additional features that are pretty cool: Convection cook-top range (a product that seemingly works via magic and was created by wizards); As well as Bottom-loading freezer. Why is this efficient? The short answer: Cold air sinks – when you open your freezer air escapes more easily if it is up top. Period. We are just keeping the air where it wants to be.

Miriam is an all-around classy and unique home – that was recently snatched up in our new Presale program.

Happy Holidays!

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Green Canopy Agents of the Month: Kris Murphy & Daniela Dombrowski

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We are proud to highlight a dialogue with two of our wonderful Energy Agents this month, Kris Murphy and Daniela Dombrowski. They will be listing our first ever NetZero homes, Sol and Solange!

1) Both of you have taken very different paths to becoming real estate agents. How has your background prepared you for this?

Kris – My degree and early work experience was in the hospitality field, so customer service has always been the central focus of my career. Following that I worked for a software development company in a client services capacity.  The technology and customer service skill sets have provided a very solid foundation for real estate.  The industry has become extremely “techy” in the past several years; however the need for customer service skills will never go away.

Daniela – My educational background is in art and architectural history as well as languages. However, like Kris I ended up in the software industry (12 years at Microsoft) working with vendors around the world on the internationalization of Microsoft Office products as a localization program manager. Therefore, Kris and I approach real estate very much from a very systematic project management method with the goal to let nothing in the complex web of tasks fall through the cracks. “Death by Flow Chart” if you get my drift …

2) What gets you excited about Seattle Real Estate?

Seattle is in the throes of change!  Between light rail, rezoning, new architecturally interesting dwellings and the whole “green” movement, there is never a dull day.  We pride ourselves in being Seattleites, embrace the urban village lifestyle, and are excited to be part of all the on-going and coming changes as the city continues to evolve. Growing up in Germany which is a model for green and energy efficient building methods, Daniela is excited to see these changes (finally) coming across the ocean.

3) How do you differentiate yourself and your brand?

Nothing gimmicky.  We have worked extremely hard to build the track record we have today, and pride ourselves in extremely high standards which are reflected in everything we do.  When potential clients see our on-line or printed materials, or walk through our listings, they immediately see the difference in both detail and quality.  We understand that leaving out small details can cost our clients many $$$ and we take that responsibility seriously.

Real estate to us is as much art as it is a science. Anybody can look up sales data, hire a stager and a photographer and put a listing on the MLS but to us every client and every home is unique and from the choice of the stager to the meticulous choreography of the photos - of the home as well as the surrounding area attractions such as parks, schools, coffee shops, grocery stores and coffee shops -we attempt to capture the essence of each home and the lifestyle that goes along with it.

At the end of the day, we pour our hearts and souls into what we do (sometimes to a fault ;-) and have a lot of fun working together – despite the sometimes heavy workload there is a lot of laughter around every day. This love & passion for what we do inspires & transpires to our work. So really our brand is who we are as people and human beings.

4) How does green and energy efficiency make an impact in your work as a Seattle Real Estate Agent?

We are always striving to expand our knowledge in these areas.  Once you learn about the impact green features have on an individual and a community there is no turning back.  We find that the green knowledge finds its way into all real estate conversations even if just advising a client on how to make their old drafty (yet charming) home more energy efficient and making them aware of the many resources, programs & incentives that are available.  We find we are a much more valuable resource to our clients and spheres having this knowledge and we feel very fortunate to live in a city that promotes and supports these principles politically and like to see Green Canopy pushing these issues forward.

5) What does success look like to you in this market?

That’s very simple: Extremely satisfied and happy clients that come to us with any real estate need, concern or questions they may have and that feel compelled to refer their friends, family and neighbors to us because of the great experience they have had in working with us. That’s why the majority of our business comes from personal referrals and we plan to keep it that way J.

6) You both think outside of the box. What are the most creative projects you have taken on and how have they panned out?

A few years ago, we had the opportunity to market a home of significant architectural history.  The home was built in the 50s by a visionary single woman who was the head of the Interior Design Department at UW for almost half a century (from the 20s to the 60s). She is credited with founding the Northwest Contemporary style by bringing “Modern” to the Northwest and merging it with local materials and Eastern themes.  She camped on the land for many seasons before breaking ground to find the perfect orientation of the home, and the finished product was very “Frank Lloyd Wright” in style. You felt as if the structure simply grew out from the ground; that’s how well it was integrated in the surrounding landscape.

This was a very unusual home for this particular neighborhood, so it was important that we ventured outside the usual channels to find our audience; and find them we did.  We had 60 brokers show up for our opening broker’s lunch/open house.  We took a chance, knowing this property was very special, and found ours comparable in different neighborhoods.  Our list price was approximately $300,000 over the neighborhood expert’s pricing recommendation and it sold almost at that price. But more important than the final sales price, it was a true honor and pleasure to have the opportunity to delve into such an important part of local architectural history. That is also why we love working with Green Canopy on their projects and see dilapidated properties restored and reinvented for the 21st century.

7) What do you see in the future of the Seattle Market and the real estate profession?

Smaller footprints, sustainable materials, low maintenance, simple clean lines, increased energy efficiency. “Green” will eventually go mainstream and become the new building standard. Clients are already asking for these features; they don’t want to spend their whole wad on their dwelling but also do other things such as travel or have another little cabin in the mountains or on the water, be part of an active community where they know their neighbors rather than being locked behind gates. At the same time, they want high quality materials that will stand the test of time and be responsible with the earth’s resources for a better future of the planet.

8 ) Please highlight a project you’ve done with us; whichever one you get the most excited talking about!

We are super excited about the upcoming Twins project in Tangletown.  Having a new construction, single family, net zero project in the neighborhood where we live and work, really gives us something exciting to talk about.  It involves more learning for us and in turn provides an opportunity to do educational community outreach about a deep green project powered by solar energy.  Sol and Solange we can’t wait to show you to the world!

Green Premium

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Contributed by Sam Lai:

Is there such a thing as a Green Premium?This is one of the more controversial topics in the residential green development realm.  From the residential green and energy efficient advocacy perspective, we all want the answer to be unequivocally "YES!  There is a HUGE premium."  Numerous  consumer surveys comport that a majority of Americans want green homes.  But I’m not so sure the "Green Premium" is the most accurate way to describe positive consumer response.

Let's start from what most people think of when we say "Green Premium."  For example, Joe the builder just finished up on an Energy Star-certified and 4 Star BuiltGreen-certified home.  Joe's home is at the tip-top of the local market in terms of marketable appealand functional utility.  There are plenty of conventional high quality homes that have recently sold in the immediate vicinity of similar design, appeal & functional utility for $815k, $822k, $830k & the highest sale in the area $835k.  Joe and his real estate agent decide that the home might be worth about $830k if it wasn't green.  But they decide that because there is a "Green Premium" of 6% based on a recent research study, the market value of the property should be $880k.  The definition of "Green Premium" from this example is the premium a green home yields above the competitive market.  This is a great way to not sell a house.

The question of whether or not there’s a “Green Premium” reminds me of a scene in a mockumentary movie “Spinal Tap”, where guitarist Nigel asserts that his guitar amplifier goes to eleven.

Every market has an upper threshold whether you call it 10 or 11.  From a valuation or banking perspective, if a home is superior to the rest of its market it is overbuilt because at some point the market stops responding.  Although most consumers in America desire green characteristics in their next home today doesn't mean that they throw all other deciding factors aside.  Green characteristics are weighed alongside all other distinguishable marketable characteristics including price, functional utility, aesthetic appeal and quality.

Speaking of quality, how does the market distinguish quality in residential homes?  I would assert that our homes can be seen as an emblem of the leading cultural values of the moment.  In 1999, common characteristics for what was considered high quality new construction home would be 5,000 sq ft of living area, master suite with whale size soaking tub, “drive-through” shower and of course a gourmet kitchen with Viking range and Sub-Zero refrigerator.  Shifting values of our time are reflected in the kind of quality buyers are looking for today:  energy-efficiency, ‘quality over quantity’ and low-toxic finishes.

So, is there such a thing as a “Green Premium?”  Or, does it go to 11?  Sure, call the “tip-top” whatever you want.  We believe that green characteristics will continue to be the hallmarks of quality in residential homes into the future.  We just need to remember that people primarily buy homes for location and you can’t just slap on a “Green Premium” and expect the market to agree.   Do you agree?

Market Movers

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Contributed by Sonja Gustafson:

Dow Jones Newswires published an interesting article two weeks ago on one national homebuilder’s announcement that it will be measuring the efficiency of all its homes.  Using what it calls an Energy Performance Guide (EPG), national homebuilder KB Homes is positioning the rating along the lines of a “miles per gallon” score we are used to seeing on cars, and hopes to use this to differentiate their homes against the competition.

Although I think the EPG is imperfect because it does not account for absolute house size (that is, a big home can get as good a score as a little one, even though the larger will consume much more energy), the idea of a homebuilder asserting a measurement of efficiency is a powerful tool for both the builder and the eventual homebuyer.  For some builders, it may be a way to differentiate their product amongst plentiful competition, or be a way to highlight the company’s fundamental values.  And for buyers, it’s just another valid piece of information that they deserve as they make a major purchase decision.  In the state of Washington, we are required to disclose if a home has a leaky roof, why not leaky walls and windows?  An EPG score may help to tease out some important information about the quality of the home.

What really strikes me about this article is the reaction of another builder who is ignoring the green position.  “I will build whatever the market demands,” says Eric Lipar, chief executive of LGI Homes, a Texas-based builder. “It’s not what the public wants.”  The sad truth is that many builders have in fact built green homes only to see buyers choose something a bit cheaper, a bit bigger, a bit lower in quality.

But.  Let’s look back in order to look forward.  Remember when the public didn’t want airbags in their cars? (I know, this dates me. If you’re too young to remember, there was a big brouhaha over the “significant” cost of adding airbags to cars).  “People aren’t demanding it”, lagging automakers said.  “They won’t pay the cost.”   Then Chrysler decided to install airbags standard across the product line, and suddenly they had both a differentiating factor that made the competition look a little slow, and also played innovative market mover. Can you even find a new car without airbags anymore?  The market didn’t initially demand them; and automakers actively fought against them.  But then, data showing crash survivability emerged and the market moved, and the laggards scrambled to catch up.

KB Homes is clearly making a bet that people will come to value green, even if over time.  They are smart to use an energy rating to assert their position with measurable data.  (We at Green Canopy are happy to see a national homebuilder take this position, one that we announced in 2009 when we chose the Energy Performance Score.)  Part of why builders have not been rewarded for green is that buyers don’t know what the heck green is.  Taking a measurable position (such as energy efficiency) takes out the mystery and makes your case that much more simple to assert.

So I believe that Mr. Lipar at LGI Homes will be one of the many laggards forced to catch up as the rest of the market uses the transparency of an energy score to tease out the information that helps them make their decisions. In this Google era, people are not asking for less information.  They are not asking for less green.  And as valuable data such as energy scoring becomes more commonplace in the residential market, we think consumers will come to demand this sort of information–and the efficiency measures that drive the scores upwards.  The market is speaking, Mr. Lipar.  Move along.

Green Trifecta in Motion

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Post contributed by Aaron Fairchild:

I got back from the West Coast Green building conference recently, and I continue to be struck by issues of contrast. Green “do-gooders” and green “capitalists” mingle about with policy wonks like one big happy family. I have written about this contrast before. But what I continue to find is that, while tension still exists, we are for the most part coming together nicely. There are a lot of people out there who have been fighting for the environment and changing their behaviors for a long time. Some of these folks have a proprietary feeling regarding issues of the environment, but the majority holds open their arms to welcome in the mainstream. I see the convergence of three major sectors around a new green economic imperative or paradigm on the horizon: for-profit business, non-profit, and government.

On the government side, I had the opportunity to talk to a small business owner at West Coast Green named Nathan Doxsey who wanted his city to do more to support sustainability. Nathan owns a small real estate company in the city of Austin, and is focused on marketing Green homes. Nathan was instrumental in helping the city adopt a brilliant ordinance requiring most all residential homes to have an energy audit done during the purchase and sale of a home. Energy audits performed at the point of sale is just smart policy. Energy is a public good and the use and application of energy affects everyone in society. It is already a regulated resource and the thoughtful use and monitoring of energy should not be left entirely up to the free market. The arguments pro and con couldn’t be exhausted in one or even two essays. Needless to say, at G2B Ventures we are promoting a similar policy for the city of Seattle.

At West Coast Green I also listened to panel discussions that were full of good intention and short on actionable ideas. Those panel discussions brought me back a few years, because they had the activist feel without creating pathways to sustainability through profitability. However, I also met Adam Boucher at West Coast Green. His resume need only read: “Entrepreneur with a golden revenue model; eco-capitalist.” Adam is creating financing solutions at the project level in addition to bringing solar panel to over 100 homes in southern California. Go Adam!

More recently, this afternoon I was at a round table discussion at McKinstry sponsored by Climate Solutions talking about Federal regulation. That was the trifecta of for- and non-profit coming together with federal and state policy makers around the issue of climate change and cap and trade. I have rarely seen such as sense of possibility and urgency as I witnessed in that gymnasium.

In meeting after meeting, I have become more and more convinced the world is changing as you read this. All sectors of our society are pivoting toward green issues. Green had become code for being environmentally and socially responsible. Green equals awareness, but it shouldn’t only equal non-profit “do-gooder” or government bureaucrat. The free, public markets and making money is part of the economic green transformation. Note Apple rejecting the US Chamber of Commerce for its stance on climate change. Note Wal-Mart’s efforts to create a more sustainable supply chain. Note Daniel Pink’s video,  “the surprising science of motivation.” Green gives us a purpose to our businesses and makes those businesses more productive and profitable as a result. The green revolution is not only being televised, it is being brought to you in every sector of your life.