Connect Realty, Rocklin Realtor® Franklin Burris
Serving Rocklin, Loomis, Roseville, Granite Bay, California
Franklin  Burris

Impact of Homes & Buildings

The built environment (residential and commercial) has a profound impact on our natural environment, economy, health, and productivity.   They can lessen or compound our Global Warming problem by the Co2 they generate from Construction, Rehabilitation and Demolition.

In the United States alone, buildings account for:
•    65% of electricity consumption                               •    36% of energy use
•    30% of greenhouse gas emissions                          •    30% of raw materials use
•    30% of waste output (136 million tons annually)       •     12% of drinking water

We all need to understand the advantages of owning an energy-efficient home or business (see sidebar).  Specific features of green homes can include low-flow faucets and toilets, formaldehyde-free foam insulation, advanced irrigation practices for lawns, advanced thermostat controlers, LED lighting fixtures, motion sensor lights, use of energy star rated appliances, carpets made from recycled materials, and cabinets and paints made with low volatile, organic compound (VOC) materials, to name a few.

According to Realtor magazine, it is easier than you think to be green. Home improvements do not have to be epic to relieve utility costs. Here are ideas to start thinking green:

• Plant trees on the south and west sides of the home to provide shade and reduce interior temperatures.
• Landscape with drought-resistant or indigenous plants, which retain more water.
• Replace appliances with Energy Star–rated versions. Energy Star appliances exceed government energy-efficiency standards by 10 percent to 25 percent.
• Invest in new, more efficient heating and cooling systems.
• Paint your home's exterior a light color as darker colors retain more heat.
• Plug up air leaks (the equivalent of leaving a window open all year). Sealing leaks can save more than 10 percent on energy bills.
• Install double-glazed windows with low-emission glass, hat allow maximum light while keeping out heat and cold.
• When replacing roofing, install light-colored shingles made of metal or tile to reflect heat.
• Add insulation in walls.

Interested in learning more about going green? Go to for specific projects and resources.

A little GREEN Primer

ENERGY STAR: Created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the ENERGY STAR program certifies everything from household appliances to entire homes as being energy efficient. The program's Web site ( also hosts a wealth of information on various energy-saving methods and products and a number of educational resources.

Carbon Footprint: Carbon footprint refers to the overall carbon emissions created by a building, including both its construction (what materials were used, how they were produced, and their sources of origin) and its operation (how much energy does the building use on average).

Carbon Neutral: A claim made by some companies and developers to describe a building or product whose net carbon emissions are zero. This is very difficult to achieve and truly possible only if something doesn't emit any carbon at all or soaks up as much as it emits. However, there is an increasing number of carbon neutral claims out there, so much so that the Federal Trade Commission recently launched an investigation of such claims and is currently revising its Green Marketing Guidelines to limit the use of the term.

Carbon Offsets: Carbon offsets allow people to pay money to fund a forestry project, renewable energy project, or research into renewable energy technology in order to offset their carbon emissions. Although sometimes positive, carbon offsets have come under fire for allowing people to essentially pay their way out of environmental responsibility.

Greenwashing: Selling something as green when it's not, i.e.,"Come check out our eco-friendly gas station!"

Photovoltaic (PV) Panels: Panels that can be fitted to a roof or a post in the ground, which convert visible light into direct current (DC). Once connected to the power grid, they can provide no-cost solar energy for decades. While the up-front costs of PV systems are still high, federal, state, and local incentives and rebates, as well as drastically reduced energy prices, help the systems pay for themselves more quickly.

Sustainable Forestry Products: Wood products certified according to standards set by the Forest Stewardship Council ( or the Rainforest Alliance's SmartWood program ( come from responsibly managed forests, where biodiversity is conserved and local communities are supported.

Sustainability: The dictionary definition of sustainability is "A state or process that can be maintained indefinitely." In reference to building or business, it's an approach that evaluates environmental, social, and financial factors equally.

NAHB National Green Building Program gets Green Light!

NAHB LogoThe National Association of Home Builders has launched the NAHB National Green Building Program to allow any builder, anywhere, to build green homes — while keeping green practices voluntary, market driven and most importantly, affordable.

The program features a dynamic online scoring tool at, which shows the builder how to accrue points in seven categories: water, energy and resource efficiency; lot and site development; indoor environmental quality; global impact and homeowner education. The program sets point requirements in each category to meet the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.  Concern for the environment is part of every decision from developing the lot to choosing the wall paint.

Benefits of GREEN Buildings

Environmental benefits:

  • Enhance and protect ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Improve air and water quality
  • Reduce solid waste
  • Conserve natural resources

Economic benefits:

  • Reduce operating costs
  • Enhance asset value and profits
  • Improve employee productivity and satisfaction
  • Optimize life-cycle economic performance

Health and community benefits:

  • Improve air, thermal, and acoustic environments
  • Enhance occupant comfort and health
  • Minimize strain on local infrastructure
  • Contribute to overall quality of life

California Goes Solar

SolarThe California Solar Initiative "Go Solar, California!" has established the goal of creating 3,000 megawatts of new solar-powered electricity by 2017, or enough to power 1 million homes. This program will allocate $3.3 billion to businesses, homeowners, and builders who qualify for rebates and incentives if they install solar systems on their homes or commercial buildings. The California Energy Commission funds solar electricity systems on new homes; the California Public Utilities Commission funds solar electricity systems on existing businesses and homes.

For more information, visit

SMUD Solar Smart

More information from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District's (SMUD) Smart Solar Program, visit

More information from the Pacific Gas & Electrict (PG&E) go Solar resources, visit


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Franklin Burris    P: 916.275.4662    F: 866.665.3486    E:   Rocklin, CA


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