The Impact of HERS Ratings on the Multiple Listings Service (MLS)

HERS Ratings in the MLS: The Multiple Listings Service (MLS) is a valuable resource for real estate agents and buyers, providing comprehensive information about homes for sale. 

While the MLS covers various aspects of a property, energy efficiency ratings were notably absent until recently. 

In many markets, the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index has been incorporated into the MLS, allowing owners of energy-efficient homes to showcase their properties and enabling buyers to search specifically for energy-efficient homes. 

Let’s explore the significance of HERS ratings and their integration into the MLS, highlighting the benefits to sellers and buyers.

What is a HERS Rating?

A HERS rating is a standardized measurement of a home’s energy performance compared to a reference home built according to the 2006 International Energy Efficiency Code. 

It is represented on a scale from 0 to 100, with 0 indicating a zero-energy home and 100 representing a home built to the 2006 code. 

Certified HERS raters conduct a comprehensive evaluation of a property, combining computer analysis, on-site inspections, and performance testing to determine its energy efficiency. The lower the HERS Index, the more energy-efficient the home.

“A HERS rating stands as a powerful marketing asset, spotlighting a property’s energy efficiency and commitment to sustainability. Given the rising interest in eco-friendly homes, a positive HERS rating has the potential to draw in a broader pool of prospective buyers while simultaneously enhancing the property’s market value.”

Integration of HERS Ratings in the MLS

Recognizing the importance of energy efficiency in the real estate market, many MLS systems have incorporated HERS ratings as a category within their listings. 

This addition allows sellers to highlight the energy efficiency of their homes, attracting environmentally conscious buyers and potentially commanding higher prices. 

The availability of HERS ratings in the MLS empowers buyers to search for energy-efficient homes, making it easier for them to identify properties that align with their sustainability goals.

Benefits of HERS Ratings in the MLS

The inclusion of HERS ratings in the MLS offers several advantages for both sellers and buyers.

1. Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs)

A significant benefit of obtaining a good HERS rating is the potential eligibility for an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM). Homebuyers can qualify for larger mortgages based on their low HERS rating, indicating an energy-efficient home. As energy-efficient homes consume less energy, the associated cost savings can qualify buyers for EEMs, providing financial incentives to invest in energy-efficient properties.

2. Added Value and Higher Prices

A good HERS rating enhances the value of a home, potentially leading to higher sale prices. Energy-efficient features contribute to reduced utility costs over time, making the property more attractive to buyers. The addition of HERS ratings in the MLS allows sellers to market their homes as energy-efficient, appealing to a broader audience and potentially commanding higher offers. 

“A good HERS rating enhances the value of a home, potentially leading to higher sale prices.”

3. Quicker Sales

Energy-efficient homes are in high demand, and the availability of HERS ratings on the MLS expedites the sales process. Buyers interested in energy-efficient properties can specifically search for homes with low HERS ratings, saving time and effort. By showcasing a home’s energy efficiency through its HERS rating, sellers can attract motivated buyers, leading to quicker sales and a smoother transaction process.

4. Competitive Advantage

In a competitive real estate market, having a good HERS rating sets builders and realtors apart. Buyers increasingly prioritize energy efficiency, and a favorable HERS rating gives conscientious buyers a reason to choose a particular property over others. By emphasizing energy efficiency through HERS ratings, builders and realtors can differentiate themselves, attracting buyers who value sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint.

“With the addition of HERS ratings, sellers can showcase the energy efficiency of their homes and potentially command higher prices.”

HERS Ratings in the MLS and its Impact on Real Estate

Integrating HERS ratings into the MLS has significantly impacted the real estate industry, benefiting both sellers and buyers. With HERS ratings, sellers can showcase the energy efficiency of their homes and potentially command higher prices. Research shows that buyers will pay more for homes with high home energy scores.

Buyers can easily search for energy-efficient properties, saving time and making informed decisions. The availability of HERS ratings in the MLS promotes sustainability, incentivizes energy-efficient home construction, and contributes to a more environmentally conscious real estate market. 

As the demand for energy-efficient homes continues to rise, the integration of HERS ratings into the MLS ensures that energy efficiency remains at the forefront of the home buying and selling process.

Ready to unlock the advantages of a HERS rating for your project?  

Let Green Insight take the helm in simplifying the process. We manage the paperwork, coordinate meetings, and execute performance testing to achieve a solid HERS rating

With decade-long expertise and a history of thousands of accomplished ratings, we stand ready to assist you in fine-tuning your building’s energy efficiency while staying within your budget. 

Get your free assessment today.

HERS Rating: Empowering Colorado Builders and Developers

Colorado is experiencing a surge in population, and with it comes a heightened demand for energy-efficient homes and buildings. To meet this demand, builders and developers in the state are turning to HERS ratings as a means to ensure their projects meet the highest standards of energy efficiency.

We’ve written a guide that covers everything you need to know about HERS ratings and why they matter to Colorado builders and developers. By understanding the ins and outs of HERS ratings, you can position yourself as a leader in sustainable and energy-efficient building practices.

What is a HERS Rating?

At its core, a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating is a measurement of a home’s energy performance. It provides a standardized assessment of a property’s energy efficiency compared to a reference home built to the 2006 International Energy Efficiency Code. This rating is represented on a scale from 0 to 100, with 0 being a zero-energy home and 100 being a home built to the 2006 code.

To determine a HERS rating, a certified HERS rater conducts a thorough evaluation of the property. This evaluation involves a combination of computer analysis, on-site inspections, and performance testing.

Key components of the assessment include the blower door test, which measures a home’s airtightness, and the duct leakage test, which evaluates the efficiency of the HVAC system. The HERS rater enters the collected data into specialized software which calculates a HERS score for the home.

A HERS rating serves as a valuable marketing tool, showcasing the energy efficiency and sustainability of a property. With the growing demand for green homes, a favorable HERS rating can attract more potential buyers and increase the market value of the property.

Why Does a HERS Rating Matter?

Benefits for Builders and Developers

Builders and developers in Colorado can benefit significantly from obtaining a HERS rating for their projects. Firstly, a HERS rating serves as a valuable marketing tool, showcasing the energy efficiency and sustainability of a property. With the growing demand for green homes, a favorable HERS rating can attract more potential buyers and increase the market value of the property.

Also, a HERS rating allows builders and developers to differentiate themselves from their competitors. By prioritizing energy efficiency and obtaining a HERS rating, they demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship and can position themselves as leaders in sustainable construction practices. An increasing number of local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) include a data point for the HERS Index, which is one more way for prospective homeowners to compare homes they are looking at.

Benefits for Homebuyers and Renters

Homebuyers and renters in Colorado also stand to gain numerous benefits from HERS-rated properties. Firstly, an energy-efficient home translates into lower energy bills, offering significant cost savings over the long run. HERS-rated homes are designed to minimize energy consumption, which leads to reduced utility expenses and increased affordability for homeowners.

Additionally, HERS-rated homes provide superior indoor comfort and air quality. Through rigorous inspections and performance testing, HERS ratings ensure that homes are properly insulated, have efficient heating and cooling systems, and maintain high indoor air quality. This translates into a more comfortable living environment and improved health for occupants.

It is important to note that the cost of obtaining a HERS rating in Colorado varies depending on the size and complexity of the project. However, the long-term benefits, such as energy savings and increased market value, outweigh the initial investment.

How to Obtain a HERS Rating in Colorado

Obtaining a HERS rating in Colorado involves a straightforward process that begins with selecting a certified HERS rater. These professionals are trained and accredited by RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network) to conduct HERS ratings. It is essential to choose a reputable and experienced HERS rater who understands the specific requirements and regulations in Colorado.

Once a HERS rater is selected, they will work closely with the builder or developer throughout the design and construction process. They will review the construction plans, conduct on-site inspections, and perform necessary tests to evaluate the energy performance of the property.

After completing the evaluation, the HERS rating software will assign a HERS score to the home, which can be used for marketing and certification purposes.

It is important to note that the cost of obtaining a HERS rating in Colorado varies depending on the size and complexity of the project. However, the long-term benefits, such as energy savings and increased market value, outweigh the initial investment.

HERS Rating in Denver and Fort Collins

While Boulder is at the forefront of requiring HERS ratings in Colorado, other cities like Denver and Fort Collins also recognize the importance of energy-efficient construction. Although HERS ratings are not mandatory in these cities, they provide clear guidelines and incentives for builders and developers who opt for HERS ratings.

In Denver, the City has outlined specific requirements for HERS ratings in their residential provision documents. While not mandatory, builders who choose a HERS rating for new construction homes must aim for a HERS score of 55 or less. Additionally, Denver offers a $150 discount on permit fees for projects that submit a HERS rating.

Fort Collins, on the other hand, does not have specific city-wide requirements for HERS ratings. However, the city encourages energy-efficient construction and offers resources and incentives for builders and developers to pursue HERS ratings voluntarily. These incentives include rebates, educational programs, and recognition for achieving energy-efficiency goals.

Fort Collins, on the other hand, does not have specific city-wide requirements for HERS ratings. However, the city encourages energy-efficient construction and offers resources and incentives for builders and developers to pursue HERS ratings voluntarily.

HERS Ratings in Colorado: A Catalyst for Sustainable Builders and Developers

In an era where energy efficiency and sustainability are paramount, HERS ratings have emerged as a crucial tool for Colorado builders and developers.

By obtaining a HERS rating, you can demonstrate your commitment to energy-efficient construction, attract eco-conscious buyers and renters, and increase the market value of your properties.

Whether you are building green in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, or any other city in Colorado, prioritizing HERS ratings will position you at the forefront of sustainable building practices and contribute to a greener future for the state. Embrace the power of HERS ratings and join the movement towards energy-efficient construction in Colorado.

Ready to explore the benefits of HERS ratings for your project?

Allow Green Insight to navigate the complexities of the process, handling paperwork, organizing meetings, and conducting performance testing to ensure you achieve a solid HERS rating.

Drawing on over a decade of experience and a track record of thousands of completed ratings, we’re here to guide you in optimizing your building’s energy efficiency within your budget. Get your free assessment today.

The Economic Benefits of Green Building in Colorado: Case Studies and Statistics

Green building practices have been gaining popularity in Colorado for their environmental benefits, but they also offer significant economic benefits. 

Green building practices in Colorado are cost-effective for several reasons:

  1. Energy savings: Green buildings are designed to be energy-efficient, which means they use less energy for heating, cooling, and lighting. This results in lower energy bills for building owners and tenants, leading to significant cost savings over time.
  2. Water savings: Green buildings are also designed to conserve water, which is particularly important in Colorado where water is a scarce resource. By using water-efficient fixtures and landscaping practices, green buildings can reduce water consumption and lower water bills.
  3. Improved indoor air quality: Green buildings are designed to promote better indoor air quality, which can lead to improved health and productivity for occupants. This can result in lower healthcare costs and increased productivity, which are both economic benefits.
  4. Increased property values: Green buildings often have higher property values than traditional buildings, as they are considered to be more desirable and sustainable. This can result in higher rental or resale prices, leading to increased revenue for building owners.
  5. Government incentives! In Colorado, green building projects can benefit from several government incentives, including those provided by the Inflation Reduction Act. These incentives include the 179D tax deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings, the 45L tax credit for energy-efficient single-family or multifamily properties, and the 25C tax credit for energy-efficient home improvements. These incentives can help offset the upfront costs of green building practices, making them more cost-effective in the long run. Additionally, they can provide significant tax savings for building owners and developers, further increasing the economic benefits of green building in Colorado. 

Green building practices in Colorado offer a range of economic benefits, including cost savings from energy and water efficiency, increased property values, improved indoor air quality, and government incentives. These benefits make green building a smart and cost-effective choice for builders, developers, and building owners in Colorado.

Not to mention that green buildings benefit the environment in several ways. They are designed to be energy-efficient, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps combat climate change. 

They also conserve water and promote sustainable landscaping practices, which help preserve water resources and protect natural habitats. Green buildings are often constructed with environmentally friendly materials and promote recycling and waste reduction, which reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills. Overall, green buildings help reduce the negative impact of human activity on the environment, making them a critical component of sustainable development.

Let’s explore a few case studies in Denver and Fort Collins that demonstrate the economic benefits of green building in Colorado.

Green Building in Colorado Case Study 1: Denver Housing Authority’s Mariposa Redevelopment Project

Green Building in Colorado: Denver Housing Authority's Mariposa Redevelopment Project
Mariposa Redevelopment Project, Denver, CO

The Mariposa Redevelopment Project is a master-planned development that includes transit-oriented mixed-income housing, senior housing, retail spaces, and outdoor areas such as playgrounds and gardens. Key drivers of the project were planetary health, ecosystem health, and sustainability.

In terms of planetary health, Mariposa incorporates integrated district-level energy strategies that aim to conserve resources and generate renewable energy on-site. The buildings are designed with high-performance envelopes and adhere to ENERGY STAR building standards. 

Additionally, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems reduce energy consumption by 40%, benefiting residents and the Denver Housing Authority.

To further promote sustainability, the Mariposa project’s two-megawatt photovoltaic solar panel system may offset up to 80% of the projected energy needs, significantly reducing reliance on non-renewable energy sources.

Regarding ecosystem health, the project prioritizes accessibility to public transportation and aims to improve pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. The goals are to reduce reliance on personal vehicles and encourage active modes of transportation.

Mariposa is a sustainable development that prioritizes planetary and ecosystem health. By implementing energy-efficient technologies and promoting alternative modes of transportation, it aims to create a green and environmentally friendly community for its residents.

Case Study 2: Colorado State University’s LEED Platinum Buildings

Green Building in Colorado: CSU's LEED Platinum buildings
The Pavilion at Laurel Village, Colorado State University

Colorado State University (CSU) is committed to sustainable building practices, as evidenced by CSU’s LEED Platinum Buildings. These buildings showcase CSU’s dedication to creating environmentally friendly structures prioritizing energy efficiency, water conservation, and indoor air quality.

One of CSU’s notable LEED Platinum buildings is the Laurel Village Pavilion. This building has achieved the highest level of LEED certification and is a shining example of sustainable design. 

Another LEED Gold building at CSU is the Laurel Village Piñon Hall, demonstrating the university’s commitment to environmentally responsible construction.

Summit Hall has made history at CSU by becoming the first building to achieve LEED certification for existing buildings and operation maintenance. Certification was earned from eco-friendly practices, including the purchase of e-clothes to reduce chemical usage in cleaning, a green purchasing policy, and green cleaning training for staff. 

Summit is powered by on-site and off-site renewable energy, and aerators reduce water consumption. Sustainable transportation is also encouraged with bicycle parking and alternative transportation options.

Laurel Village Alpine Hall is another LEED Gold building that showcases CSU’s sustainable building practices. This facility combines modern design with eco-friendly elements to create a space that promotes sustainability.

And the Durrell Center, another LEED Gold building at CSU, further reinforces the university’s commitment to green building practices. With its energy-efficient systems and sustainable materials, this building embodies CSU’s dedication to reducing its environmental impact.

These LEED-certified buildings bring numerous benefits to CSU and its community. By implementing green building practices, CSU achieves reduced energy and water usage, improved indoor air quality, and a smaller carbon footprint. Moreover, these sustainable buildings contribute to significant economic advantages, such as lower operating costs and increased property value.

CSU’s focus on sustainable building practices is evident through its LEED Platinum and Gold Buildings. These structures not only provide functional spaces but also prioritize environmental responsibility and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Case Study 3: Townhomes on Vine, Fort Collins

Green Building in Colorado: A picture of Townhomes on Vine in Fort Collins, CO
Townhomes on Vine, Fort Collins

We played an instrumental role in the development of the Townhomes on Vine project in Fort Collins, Colorado. The scope of work included LEED for Homes credit verification, testing during construction and QAD review, energy efficiency recommendations, building material assessments, and review of construction documents, specifications, and project submittals.

Despite the challenges presented by the unfamiliarity of the project team with the program requirements, our staff was able to coach the contractor through the required inspections, and by the end of construction, the LEED requirements were integrated into their procedures. Green Insight also introduced the project team to our Project Insight™ online platform for documenting compliance with all the LEED prerequisites and credits. This made the process of achieving LEED Gold certification more streamlined and efficient.

The Townhomes on Vine project serves as a testament to the effectiveness of our guidance in integrating green building practices cost-effectively and efficiently into green multi-unit construction projects. Our involvement was crucial in ensuring that the development met the rigorous standards required for LEED certification.

Our involvement in Townhomes on Vine was instrumental in achieving LEED Gold certification. We also helped streamline the certification process and ensure that the development met the rigorous standards required for LEED certification. 

The success of the project serves as a shining example of how to successfully build sustainable communities that benefit both the environment and the people who live in them.

Economic Benefits of Green Building in Colorado

Green building practices including proper insulation and air-sealing will increase year-round comfort, reduce energy consumption, and keep the Colorado climate at bay, but they contribute so much more. Green building practices in the state offer significant economic benefits in addition to their positive impact on the environment. 

From the Mariposa Redevelopment Project in Denver to the LEED Platinum buildings at Colorado State University and Townhomes on Vine in Fort Collins, our case studies demonstrate the cost savings associated with green multifamily and green home construction in the state.

Sustainable building practices are not only good for the environment but also profitable, cost-effective, and good for the economy. And statistics show that green building practices have created jobs in Colorado and throughout the U.S. 

By prioritizing people’s health and well-being through the use of eco-friendly materials, improved air quality, and energy-efficient systems, green homes and multi-unit green buildings are becoming increasingly popular. 

With the state of Colorado offering a range of incentives and rebates for green building practices, builders and developers can create sustainable and economically viable buildings that benefit both the environment and the local economy.

Want to find the perfect solution for your green building project?

If so, contact us today. We would love to discuss your project and your goals while showing you how Green Insight can help you achieve green building success. Get in touch

El Camino Real Apartments Earns LEED for Homes Platinum Certification

The small village of Hatch, New Mexico has just under 2,000 residents. But every year they watch their numbers swell to over 30,000 for one big reason: The Hatch Chile.

Also known as the New Mexico Chile, these chiles find the perfect altitude, climate, and soil to grow in the Hatch Valley, located in the fertile Rio Grande River Valley. Tourists flock to Hatch to enjoy the many ways you can experience the vegetable in the small town fondly known as The Chile Capital of the World.

Something else Hatch can now boast of is the El Camino Real Apartments which stand as a testament that affordable housing can also have a lower than average environmental impact.

Project Details

With 60 total units and a community building, El Camino Real is designed to assist the agricultural workers who keep the Hatch Chile industry alive by offering income-based rent that fluctuates between the busy growing season and the off-season.

Because of its role as a low-income housing complex, El Camino Real utilized federal low-income housing tax credits. Because of this, the complex had to be designed and constructed to not only be 30% more energy-efficient but also achieve certification through LEED for Homes.

Green Insight worked alongside developer Thomas Development and contractor Cress Builders to assist them in achieving their green building goals. To do so, Green Insight worked with them on:

  • Project green goal facilitation
  • Identifying cost-effective design solutions before construction
  • LEED for Homes credit verification
  • Testing during construction
  • Energy modeling
  • Building materials assessment
  • Review of specifications, construction documents, and project submissions

Project Challenges

One of the biggest challenges the team faced was the location of the complex. Hatch sits on a floodplain and has been known to be overwhelmed by stormwater. The worst flood was in 2006, but many flooding episodes have cost millions of dollars in damage. Therefore the team had to find a solution by designing a project that would not only be safe during a flooding event but would also improve the surrounding area in the process.

Additionally, developers wanted to create a complex that would qualify for both the federal 45L tax credit for energy efficiency as well as New Mexico’s Sustainable Building Tax Credit. This would require significant efforts to design and construct a project that was not only safe but energy efficient.

Solutions

To combat the challenge of stormwater damage, the design team found a way to minimize the damage that the project may receive in the event of flooding. They were able to do this while still maintaining enough space for the project in its entirety. The project also features a retention pond to catch water runoff from the hills above.

Green Insight worked with developers and builders in a variety of ways to make sure they met their energy efficiency goals for the project. Solutions included inspecting of wall, roof, and insulation systems to reduce the heating and cooling loads of each unit.

Fixtures in all units were also selected because of what they contributed to the energy efficiency of the unit. Additionally, solar photovoltaic panels were added to the project to use sun-generated energy to reduce the remaining energy usage of the complex.

Results

Through Green Insight’s collaboration with Thomas Development and Cress Builders, the El Camino Apartment complex not only met but exceeded its goals for sustainability. Altogether, the finished product earned:

  • LEED for Homes Platinum Certification
  • A $360,412 tax credit from New Mexico’s Sustainable Building Tax Credit
  • An $80,000 Federal 45L Tax Credit for energy efficiency

In all, El Camino Apartments was designed and constructed to be 70% more energy-efficient on average, an achievement that helped them earn the highest possible ratings in the LEED for Homes certification process.

Are you looking for a stress-free path to green building success? Our team will help you find the best solution for your green building project.

Get in touch with the Green Insight TeamWe’ll get in touch to talk through your project and your goals.

Arizona State’s Lantana Hall Earns LEED for Home Platinum Rating

Green Insight’s mission on any project is simple: Use our expertise in green and sustainable building to work with developers on a project that doesn’t have to sacrifice style for substance, while keeping the bottom line clearly in focus.. 

Arizona State University’s Polytechnic Campus had just the project for us: A student housing facility that features dorms, common rooms, and state-of-the-art offices with a focus on energy efficiency. With this project, Green Insight was integral in helping developers achieve a LEED for Homes V4 Midrise Platinum Rating, the highest rating given by the U.S. Green Building Council, and higher than the project’s initial target of Silver.

Project Details

Lantana Hall, located on Arizona State University’s Polytechnic Campus, was a dormitory project consisting of 120 residential units, space for classrooms, offices, communal kitchens, and common rooms. Most units contained 4 bedrooms and 2 baths while some contained 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms or 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom.

Green Insight was hired by the developer to manage the LEED for Homes certification process, which included LEED for Homes Provider services and LEED for Homes Green Rater and HERS Rating testing and verification. 

Project Challenges

One of the biggest challenges to the project as a whole (which caused other challenges along the way) was its remote location of Mesa, AZ. Working from our Albuquerque, NM headquarters, we were engaged by the project’s developers after the project was already well underway. Therefore, time also became a challenge to ensure successfully meeting all green building standards required and specific standards desired.

Partners in the Lantana Hall project included Capstone Development Partners, CORE Construction, and Shepley Bulfinch Architecture.

Project Solutions

Because we were engaged late in the design process, we began with a comprehensive plan review to verify the building plans complied with the LEED checklist requirements.  Some adjustments were made which proved invaluable to the relatively smooth process going forward.  

Green Insight took full advantage of having the luxury of working in the 21st century. With modern technology, it is no longer absolutely vital for us to be physically present to conduct every inspection and work with project developers.  Using remote video technology, our Green raters were able to hold extra inspections prior to onsite visits to ensure that the time spent on site was utilized efficiently. This cut back on cost greatly as travel back and forth wasn’t necessary for each inspection.

Clear communication from the beginning was vital for all stakeholders, but especially for us coming in late to the game. Communication between us, the builder, and the architect was key to this project’s success. 

The Finished Product

The end of this project was successful on many fronts. First, we met and exceeded all goals for the developer including meeting the standards required for LEED for Homes Platinum rating. 

In addition to this certification, Lantana Hall was also awarded the 2021 Student Housing Business Innovator Award for Best Use of Green & Sustainable Construction/Design. This award honors excellence in student housing properties. Lantana Hall was recognized out of 140 project submissions. Projects were judged on a wide range of criteria including:

  • How the use of green and sustainable construction and development aligned with the university’s forward-thinking mission.
  • How the use of green and sustainable construction and development will assist in achieving short and long term cost savings. 
  • The project achieving a specific LEED rating
  • The number and scope of green and sustainable construction and development that are featured in the project as a whole.

If you’re ready to see how Green Insight can find the perfect solution for your sustainable living project, contact us today.

You will reach one of our team members who will be happy to discuss your project and your goals while showing you how Green Insight can help you with both. 

Platinum Luxury Apartments, Albuquerque Receives LEED Platinum Certification

The challenge was set: How can you create a living experience that is the very embodiment of luxury while still keeping the utility costs low, the construction costs reasonable for the product type, and the utmost sustainability for the planet?

Out of this challenge, Platinum Luxury Apartments were designed and constructed with Green Insight’s assistance. Green Insight brought their expertise during the Schematic Design Phase of the project to create an energy-efficient building with great indoor air quality. 

Using building science and experience from our hundreds of successful multi-family home projects, we know how to conquer current green building and energy code requirements. Furthermore, finding the right rebates and incentives allowed us to exceed building code requirements and meet project sustainability goals. 

As Rick Goldman from Gold Spike put it, “Our development team for Platinum believed that the global sustainability revolution starts at home, so we transformed a blighted site into a LEED platinum building proving that sustainability can be stylish and affordable.” 

Stylish and sustainable, Platinum Luxury Apartments proved this can be achieved.

Project Details

Platinum Luxury Apartments have 75 units within a modern four-story building. Sleek and modern in its design, it was specifically designed to appeal to young professionals who are looking for luxury living with sustainability as a priority. 

Located in the trendy neighborhood of Nob Hill in the heart of Albuquerque, Platinum Apartments also features a communal sky deck that offers breathtaking views of the Sandia Mountains and West Mesa, a yoga studio, a billiard room, electric car charging stations in the parking court, secure storage for bicycles, and a dog wash station. 

Green Insight’s involvement with developers included:

  • LEED for Homes credit verification
  • Testing during construction
  • QAD review
  • Making energy efficiency recommendations
  • Assessing building material
  • Reviewing construction documents, specifications, and project submittals

By partnering with us, Golden Spike Development and Pavilion Construction were able to rise to the challenge of building a luxury apartment building for young professionals while still earning LEED for Homes Platinum certification. 

Project Challenges

This project had its fair share of challenges just like any project. However, in this instance, our biggest challenge was staying within the desired budget of $110 a square foot. Building projects are pricey, and green projects are no exception. 

In our efforts to stay at the targeted budget, we modeled numerous envelope designs, mechanical systems, and podium options to determine which would be the most cost-effective when it came to the building. If one didn’t get us there, it was back to the drawing board until we hit the target. 

Luckily, there are a lot of rebates and incentives when it comes to green building to make sustainability more of a priority in construction. We were able to account for all rebates and incentives this project qualified for and used them in every calculation we made. 

When it comes to our ability to problem-solve to meet the wants and needs of our client, Casey Cameron of Pavilion Construction said, “In this business, things don’t always work out perfectly, but the team at Green Insight is open to finding creative solutions to figure out the most timely, cost-efficient way to resolve issues. And their ability to turn things around and keep things on track distinguishes Green Insight from competitors.”

Project Solutions

After modeling many designs and systems, we landed on the most cost-efficient ones to keep on budget. The result is a wood-framed structure with an insulation/sheathing that is a lot like what would now be known as ZIP wall. Each unit has its mini-split and on-demand electric water heaters. For the common living areas, a small PV system provides all the power whether you’re doing yoga, playing billiards, or enjoying the mountain view on the rooftop deck.

The Finished Product

The end of the project produced a LEED for Homes Platinum Certified luxury complex that qualified for a $403,871 New Mexico Sustainable Building Tax Credit, a $13,090 water rebate from the city of Albuquerque, and a PNM utility rebate of $22,623. It also qualifies for the 179D Federal Tax Credit.

If you’re ready to see how Green Insight can find the perfect solution for your sustainable living project, contact us today. You will reach one of our team members who will be happy to discuss your project and your goals while showing you how Green Insight can help you with both. 

Cannon Air Force Base Project gets LEED for Homes Certification

After more than 5 years of delays, rating systems changes and untold mishaps, Green Insight is pleased to announce the Temporary Lodging Facility at Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis New Mexico has finally been approved for certification under LEED for Homes 2008! Congratulations to all involved including Tejas Premier, Green Living, LLC and of course the U.S. Airforce. It was an honor to work with our Armed Services and persist on getting this project through the certification process. Green Insight actually advocated for the project to the USGBC to be bring what was an otherwise “dead” project back to life by getting an exemption back into the 2008 program, despite the project missing the registration deadline for that rating system. While not the easiest project we’ve ever worked on, it was a privilege and honor for us.

Another Green Insight LEED for Homes Certification in the Cayman Islands

The LEED for Homes team at Green Insight would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dean and Angela Garfinkel on the recent LEED for Homes V4.1 GOLD certification of their custom home in Crystal Harbour, Grand Cayman. This is yet another successful international LEED for Homes certification for Green Insight. As the company who certified the very first International project in the LEED for Homes program, we take pride in the successful completion of projects like this one, knowing the added difficulties of international certifications.

Through a combination of exceptional energy efficiency, water savings, and indoor air quality, this home will perform as well as it looks for many years to come. The large scale PV system in conjunction with the efficient envelope and systems, has this project modeling at net zero, even with the pool included.

Once again congratulations to the Garfinkels, the builder (Core Construction), the architect (Equiterra Design – formerly Environmental Dynamics of Albuquerque NM), and all of the trades whose hard work made this such a success!

Green Insight, LLC Receives 2018 PNM Multifamily Energy Efficiency Award

Each year the PNM Multifamily Energy Efficiency Program recognizes its top performing trade allies. These are contractors who have helped PNM reduce its electrical demand by partnering with multifamily housing developers to reduce their electrical energy consumption. At this year’s Trade Ally Kick-Off Meeting & Award Ceremony, Green Insight, LLC was presented with PNM’s Transformer Award. Green Insight was recognized for redefining how energy savings can be identified for rehab and new construction multifamily projects through its use of energy modeling. Green Insight was also credited for being the first Trade Ally to complete a new construction project for the multifamily program.

LEED Platinum Agricultural Worker Housing comes to Hatch, NM

Until recently, stability was hard to come by for those working in the agriculture industry in Hatch, NM. Work was hard, pay was low, and affordable housing was lacking. On April 12, however, that changed for 40 families with the grand opening of the $9.6 million El Camino Real Apartments. Built specifically for farm workers, this affordable housing complex offers income-based rent that adjusts with the growing season. During peak growing seasons rent will average $500 to $800 per month and drop as low as $150 during the off seasons. Also, because this project utilized federal low-income housing tax credits, each apartment had to be designed and built to be 30 percent more energy efficient than homes built to code and achieve certification under the green building standard of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. These apartments on average were built to be 70 percent more energy efficient and all achieved the highest level of certification under LEED, LEED Platinum. Read full article by Albuquerque Journal.

Platinum Building – New Apartments Certified LEED Platinum in Albuquerque

LEED for Homes projects are transforming the industry and the lives of dwellers across the country.

It has turned into the most widely used green building program in the world.This project and others in New Mexico have made us number 10 in our country with over 2000 LEED for Homes certified units.

Platinum is one of those trailblazer projects making it possible for people to live in the Nob Hill neighborhood of Albuquerque in a LEED building.  Not only is it the first project in Nob Hill to successfully implement the increased density and building height allowable in the Nob Hill Highland Sector Development Plan, but it is a catalyst project opening the doors of emerging Nob Hill, showing other people not only is it possible but it can be done with style for a reasonable cost.

The development team believes that the global sustainability revolution starts at home, where people’s habits are formed. This project transformed a blighted and under-used site into a LEED Platinum building that is a healthy, resource efficient, and hip place to live. The project has 74 units made up of efficiencies, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments with private decks. The ground floor has community space including an exercise area and business center. Each upper floor has community deck space with a BBQ area on the roof. All the units in the project achieved HERS ratings of 60 or better which qualified the project to receive nearly $400,000.00 from the State of New Mexico Sustainable Building Tax Credit. This project provides all the common  use space electricity from PV panels on the roof and you can charge your electric car for free.

This is one of those projects that is going to ripple outwards and has already impacted the Nob Hill community by sparking other developers and business entrepreneurs to start up projects in adjacent properties. We are likely going to see the transformation of emerging Nob Hill progress more quickly now.

Tom Roy Youth Guidance Home Earns LEED for Homes Silver

The Tom Roy Youth Guidance Home is an eight-bed long-term group home that serves 16-18 year-old youth aging out of foster care who are in need of a structured-living environment while they transition into adulthood.

Green Insight is very pleased to announce that this multifamily project has earned LEED for Home Silver certification – our first project in Montana.

The Home was designed with an integrated approach that included the youth, the staff, the board, the architect, CTA Architects Engineers, and the builder,Outback Construction, Inc.  Together they collaborated in creating a space that addresses the safety, health, educational and environmental needs of the kids, utilizing LEED for Homes™ green building guidelines. 

LEED for Homes Silver certification was achieved by use of local materials, a high efficiency HVAC system, ERV furnace and dual HRV systems, and heat pump hot water heaters. The project also included a number of indoor air quality measures and achieved a HERS index of 64.  

Read more at: http://youthhomesmt.org/about-us/leed-certification/