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Plan to be green in 2013

Posted January 23, 2013 in Advice Column, Beaverdale

Well, it’s definitely cold outside these days. It doesn’t feel too bad because it seems as though winters just aren’t as harsh as they used to be. At least it feels like the winters aren’t as long. The cold weather really just started before the new year, and I feel like spring will be here before we know it.

Builders are possibly on the same train of thought, as there doesn’t seem to be a huge slowdown. Starts, sales and closings are all still rocking right through this winter, and the pace seems to be set for a fantastic 2013 for our new construction market. Love it.

There is a lot of dirt moving to make lots available for us to keep building, although as the market research gurus have been telling us for at least five years now, we have a shortage of lots now and going into the future. Really, you have to love it to be developing lots right now because your sales are plenty and fast, I’m sure. If only we can get one of these developers to certify one of these developments green through the National Association of Home Builders. Let me throw this out there to get your wheels turning if you are reading this as a developer (or investor). The state economic development board offers big tax credits for certified green developments. Let me also say that if you are going to cater to Generation Y (the millennials), then infill lots are what they are strongly considering. They are the first-time homeowners out there, and they want many things that urban living offers.

Are you ready for it? You tell me if you can dig it, too — diversity of all kinds, not just socially, urban trails galore, public transit options 24/7, free WIFI, walkability, parks, green space, bodies of water, short commutes and easy access to bars, restaurants and attractions.

By the way, the new National Association of Home Builders green building standards have been officially improved and approved by ANSI, making them the leader in best-building practices across America. Legislature has considered adopting these standards for government-owned buildings and also have considered  builders rebates for certifying building on their scale.

Think of these things, please, on a very holistic level for a healthier and happier community. Buy your meat from local Iowa farmers. Eat fresh produce daily. Make dairy in your diet from Iowa black and whites. Eat unprocessed grains and absolutely no meals needing the microwave unless you’re warming up leftovers. These things all are characteristics of the way it used to be for Iowans; why can’t we get back there so we can slim down and fight disease in a preventative manner? Let’s say us locavores support our Iowa farmers this way. Then we show the hospitals and schools cafeterias that they don’t need microwaves and boxes. Wow, they could take part in a healthier community, too. Seems to make sense since they play an awfully big part of our community. Kids helping in the kitchen and lunch ladies cooking from scratch; that’s a way to beat Americas biggest problem of obesity.

Next month we’ll talk about how the next step of a heathy community is quality indoor air in green buildings.

Information provided by Matt Connolly, Generation Green Builders, 3521 Beaver Ave., Des Moines, 515-453-6196.

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