Free Bulletin: Benchmarking
People quantify many aspects of the world around them – from the fuel economy of vehicles to their heart rate while exercising. Benchmarking has become increasingly commonplace, but it has lagged behind in the building sector even though it is easier to do than many might think. In this bulletin, we show how to get started with building benchmarking and how to use the data to make more informed decisions.
Download the FREE bulletin from October’s lecture which provides resources to help building owners, renters and homeowners better understand the value of benchmarking.
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Stony Point Design/Build Prepares for Sales of the First—and Only—Earthcraft Multifamily Condominium in Charlottesville
Stony Point Design/Build Prepares for Sales of the First—and Only—Earthcraft Multifamily Condominium in Charlottesville with the Announcement of A New Director of Sales and Marketing
Cvilletomorrow.org, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 8:40 a.m.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia, August 30, 2016—Stony Point Design/Build prepares for sales of the only EarthCraft Multifamily condominium in Charlottesville with the announcement of a new Director of Sales and Marketing. This appointment follows the ground breaking and anticipated completion of the River House Condominium project in Riverside Village—just 1.3 miles from Downtown Charlottesville.
“We’re not just building houses. We’re building lifestyle-inspired homes [at Riverside Village] that reflect our buyer’s wishes and dreams,” says Jodi Mills, new Director of Sales and Marketing, Stony Point Design/Build. “And we certify our homes with EarthCraft Multifamily because we want to pass on the value of high-performance building to our home buyers. When you truly listen to what people want, it makes all the difference in the world.”
“We are thrilled to have Jodi Mills join our team as Director of Sales and Marketing,” says Chris Henry, General Manager and COO, Stony Point Design/Build. “She is a warm, true professional with deep industry knowledge and experience. She will further drive our brand promise of building efficient, quality, functional spaces—building better by design—and building customer loyalty with the long list of benefits EarthCraft certification promises.”
The EarthCraft Multifamily program is a green building certification that provides a blueprint for healthy, comfortable homes that reduce utility bills and protect the environment. EarthCraft Multifamily uses a HERS rating, program guidelines, a points-based worksheet, site visits, and diagnostic testing to verify that projects comply with program standards. By incorporating energy costs that are, on average, 30 percent below those of a typical new condominium, home buyers will notice significant savings on operating and maintenance costs, a healthier living environment with improved indoor air quality, and a quieter home with increased comfort and enhanced durability.
“Being a part of this nimble team is completely energizing,” says Jodi Mills, Director of Sales and Marketing, Stony Point Design/Build. “We have great synergy and trust. There really isn’t anything we can’t do together!”
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Free Bulletin: Planning for Resilient and Sustainable Buildings
A resilient building is also a sustainable building.
Buildings that do not need replacement or significant repairs after a disaster are more sustainable by nature. More critically, resilient buildings provide a safe shelter to their occupants during adverse weather events and following days.
Download the FREE bulletin from August’s lecture which provides resources to help building owners perform a hazard assessment and begin to take action to make their home or building more resilient.
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RTD: Central Virginia market for new home sales continues recovery
Central Virginia market for new home sales continues recovery
By CAROL HAZARD Richmond Times-Dispatch
The central Virginia market for new homes continues to recover, according to a midyear report released Monday morning by the Home Building Association of Richmond and Commonwealth Partnerships, a Henrico County-based marketing firm.
New home closings in the region rose 7 percent (to a total of 1,192) in the first half of the year from the same period a year ago, according to the RVA New Home Market Report.
The average price, however, was essentially unchanged at $369,792. The region is made up of Richmond and Caroline, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and Powhatan counties.
“Building on the success of 2015, the new home market in central Virginia continues to strengthen,” said Craig Toalson, CEO at the Home Building Association of Richmond. “We expect further improvement during the second half of 2016, although homebuilders face a number of challenges related to increasing costs for labor, materials and developing land.”
Read the full article, here.
Announcing August, October and December Lectures
Viridiant is excited to share topics and launch registration for the remaining lectures in 2016 taking place in August, October and December. These lectures will cover a variety of topics including resiliency and benchmarking as well as balancing energy efficiency, historic preservation and affordability with an applied site-visit.
In order to continue offering this educational series, Viridiant will now charge a nominal fee of $5 to attend these lectures in-person (webinar remains $10). Space is limited at each lecture so this reserves your seat and also entitles you to coffee and donuts, bagels or another breakfast treat.
Viridiant, a 501c3 non-profit, prides itself on offering low cost educational opportunities, programs and services to help builders, homeowners and developers create structures that are more affordable, more livable and more durable.
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Quartz: US housing comeback charts
These charts show all the ways US housing is making its comeback
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Written by: Melvin Backman
July 08, 2015
The US housing market remains an enduring symbol of the 2008 financial crisis. But look around today, and you’ll see hints here and there that the business is getting healthier and the US recovery keeps chugging along.
For one, housing starts are coming back to life after a harsh winter that cut into the pace.
And the houses that are getting built are actually getting sold. Americans bought homes at a 5.4 million-unit annual pace in May, the most since 2009.
Read the full article and see all of the charts here.
Richmond Times Dispatch: Virginia housing market improving, Fed survey shows
Posted: Monday, July 6, 2015 10:30 pm
By CAROL HAZARD Richmond Times-Dispatch
The housing market in Virginia was noticeably better in the first part of the year than the same period a year ago, according to results of an annual survey released Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
First-time homebuyers boosted the Virginia housing market, representing 45 percent of clients for the 354 members of the Virginia Association of Realtors who responded to an online survey between May 4 and May 15.
Nationally, first-time homebuyers represented 30 percent of all buyers of existing homes in March, 29 percent in February and 28 percent in January, according to the National Association of Realtors. It rose to 32 percent in May, the latest national figure available, which matched the highest share since September 2012.
A year ago, first-time buyers represented 27 percent of all buyers.
The survey featured 16 questions designed to gauge the state of the housing market in the first quarter compared with the same time period in 2014.
“We saw a noticeable improvement in the residential housing sector in the commonwealth this year,” said Andy Bauer, senior regional economist for the Richmond Fed.
“More than 50 percent of participants reported improved conditions, and 44 percent characterized market activity as strong or somewhat strong.”
In 2014, the least positive of a four-year survey period, 42 percent of those surveyed reported conditions as “significantly” or “slightly” worse than the previous year.
Highlights of the survey show:
- 51 percent reported that median sales prices were slightly or significantly higher, up from 41 percent in 2014;
- 59 percent said appraisals were “about right”;
- 37 percent said appraisals were too low, down from 40 percent in 2014, 53 percent in 2013 and 58 percent in 2012; and
- 70 percent expected home sales to increase, while just 9 percent expected home prices to decrease.
Severe winter weather during the first quarter hurt the housing market, with 47 percent of respondents indicating sales were “somewhat” negatively impacted by the weather, while 20 percent reported the weather “greatly” affected sales.
Customer traffic increased “markedly” in most regions, including central Virginia, and the price range of homes purchased varied, according to survey results.
The Northern region was the most expensive since nearly 50 percent of respondents indicated that the typical range for their clients was greater than $400,000. The Central and Hampton Roads regions were the next expensive with more than 60 percent of sales in the $200,000 to $400,000 range.
On the other end of the spectrum, more than 80 percent of respondents in the Southwest and Southside regions indicated that the typical price range was less than $200,000.
Overall, respondents were positive about the rest of 2015, with 56 percent indicating they considered the housing market “significantly” or “slightly” better now than earlier in the year, according to the survey results. In central Virginia, 61 percent of respondents said the market was “significantly” or “slightly” better.
“There appears to be a good deal of optimism regarding the Virginia housing market,” Bauer said.
Read the article on Richmond.com here.
Green and Growing – EarthCraft Virginia in RAR's The Housing Interpreter
Richmond Association of Realtors’ quarterly publication, The Housing Interpreter, is here and we’re thrilled to be included with an article about increasing awareness of and demand for high performance housing. Check it out here or below on pages 7 & 8.
Washington Post: How to get the real estate market to properly value green homes
From installing rooftop solar panels to putting in new triple pane windows and EnergyStar appliances, people today make all kinds of home upgrades that save energy and lower their utility bills.
But when they opt to sell their “green” home, it’s often less than clear how such upgrades are valued in the real estate market by appraisers, lenders, or purchasers — or even how information about a home’s energy characteristics should be conveyed to real estate agents and potential homebuyers.
“People do upgrade [for energy efficiency], but the problem is, a lot of that information on what they’re doing doesn’t get to the marketplace, doesn’t find its way into the real estate transaction,” says Maria Vargas, who directs the Better Buildings Challenge program at the Department of Energy.
The department aims to change that with a newly announced program. The agency’s Better Buildings initiative, which seeks to slash overall energy use across U.S. buildings by 20 percent in 10 years, has already been successful in the commercial sector, but now it is turning to the residential arena — with a focus on advancing home energy efficiency.
One surprising strategy for doing so will be helping to improve the flow of information about home energy efficiency (and its effect on driving lower utility bills) in the real estate market — thus helping it to be better valued in markets. To do so, the Energy Department is partnering with those who spread and use this information, including the Appraisal Institute, a professional association for real estate appraisers, the Council of Multiple Listing Services — which ties together the large number of local MLS organizations that provide informational databases of real estate listings — and the National Association of Realtors’ Center for Realtor Technology.
Read the full article on WashingtonPost.com here.
What is a HERS Score?
Keep hearing about the HERS Index Score but not sure what it is? Check out this new video from RESNET explaining what the HERS Index Score is and how it works. The HERS Index Score is one part of EarthCraft certification – our average score is 65 with some homes scoring less than 20!
The HERS Index Score is the one number that tells you how energy efficient a home really is. Like a MPG label for homes, it lets you comparison shop for homes based on energy performance. So if you want to know more about a home’s energy efficiency, ask for the HERS Index Score!