Buying an Eco-Friendly Twin Cities Home

More and more Twin Cities real estate home buyers are searching for homes that offer better energy efficiency and use sustainable materials. Eco-friendly homes not only help the environment, but can mean significant savings in energy and maintenance costs.

As more Minnesota home builders consider the environmental impact of their housing developments, finding an eco-friendly home is easier than ever before. Here are a few things to look for when searching for a greener home.

Nature Use – When searching for an eco-friendly home, notice the use of trees and other landscaping to save energy by blocking sun and wind—lowering air conditioning and heating costs by adding a natural barrier.
Window Quality – Home buyers should notice not only the quality of the windows but the placement as well. Are they placed to take advantage of the sun during the winter yet glazed to prevent summer heat?
Building Materials – Natural materials are not only beautiful but also offer sustainability and lower maintenance costs. For example, cedar-plank siding is resistant to both water and pests, which makes it stronger and longer-lasting than other options; natural stone for counters and floors adds a modern touch, is easy to clean and lasts for years.
Floorplan – Recent changes in home design trends are turning floorplans upside down—literally. Look for homes with living spaces on the top floor, which can take better advantage of natural light while keeping the lower-level bedrooms cooler and more peaceful.

Sustainable building designs and materials are becoming more common. Homebuyers can find newer homes, as well as remodels, taking advantage of these trends. Buying an energy-efficient, eco-friendly home can provide a beautiful lifestyle and save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of ownership.

Eco Friendly Environment

Paint Your Way to a Safe Twin Cities GREEN-Friendly Home

Low VOC Paint

Breathe in, breathe out. Taking a deep breath to enjoy the fresh air while you’re surrounded by trees is inevitable. But can you do the same thing at your own home? How sure are you that the air inside, the air that surrounds you day in and day out, is safe?

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that the air inside our homes is three times more polluted than the outside air, and that paints and finishes are some of the top contributors to this hazard.

We all know that the smell of paint can be toxic – that’s why we wear face masks to protect ourselves while paint is being applied to our walls. However, what most people aren’t aware of is that paints and finishes continue to release low level toxic emissions inside the home years after they have been applied. This is because the effectivity of many paints and finishes in the past relied heavily on toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

paint colors low voc

Fortunately, awareness of the hazards of paints and finishes, and current environmental regulations has persuaded manufacturers to develop low-VOC and zero-VOC paints and finishes.

Not only are non-toxic paints and finishes safe for both the environment and people, they are cost-effective, durable and are easily to washed off since they are water-based. They are not considered to be hazardous waste.

 So, what does non-toxic mean? Does this mean that non-toxic paints and finishes are so safe that you can consume them and not have anything happen to you? Uhh, no.

“Non-toxic” is used broadly. The term deals more with toxicity levels, rather than a claim that paints or finishes are not toxic at all. Even paints and finishes that are said to have zero-VOC have some miniscule amounts of toxins. “Non-toxic” simply means that they are safe for usage and breathing, but they’re unsafe for drinking. Just being logical here.

Non-toxic paints and finishes are divided into three categories – namely, Natural Paints and Finishes, Zero VOC and Low VOC.

Natural paints and finishes are considered to be the safest and most environmentally friendly since they are made from natural raw ingredients such as water, plant oils and dyes, and natural minerals such as chalk and clay.

Paints and finishes with zero VOC are those which have been tested by the EPA and have been found to have 5 grams/liter or less of VOCs. Although some manufacturers claim that their paints and finishes have “zero VOC”, some may use biocides, colorants and fungicides that contain VOC.

Low VOC paints, on the other hand, contain less than 200 grams/liter of VOCs, while varnishes and finishes contain less than 300 grams/liter.

Choosing the right kind of non-toxic paint is as vital as breathing. After all, the paint that you apply to the interior of your home affects your breathing itself. 

So, breathe in and breathe out. You may not be surrounded by mountains, but at least you’re sure your air is safe.

Eco Friendly Environment

Buying an Eco-Friendly Twin Cities Home

Smart Technology Speaker

More and more homebuyers are searching for homes in the Twin Cities that offer better energy efficiency and use sustainable materials. Eco-friendly homes not only help the environment but can mean significant savings in energy and maintenance costs. As more home builders consider the environmental impact of their housing developments, finding an eco-friendly home is easier than ever before. Here are a few things to look for when searching for a greener home.

Nature Use – When searching for an eco-friendly home, notice the use of trees and other landscaping to save energy by blocking sun and wind—lowering air conditioning and heating costs by adding a natural barrier.
Window Quality – Home buyers should notice not only the quality of the windows but the placement as well. Are they placed to take advantage of the sun during the winter yet glazed to prevent summer heat?
Building Materials – Natural materials are not only beautiful but also offer sustainability and lower maintenance costs. For example, cedar-plank siding is resistant to both water and pests, which makes it stronger and longer-lasting than other options; natural stone for counters and floors adds a modern touch, is easy to clean and lasts for years.
Floor plan – Recent changes in home design trends are turning floor plans upside down—literally. Look for homes with living spaces on the top floor, which can take better advantage of natural light while keeping the lower-level bedrooms cooler and more peaceful.

Sustainable building designs and materials are becoming more common. Home buyers can find newer homes, as well as remodels, taking advantage of these trends. Buying an energy-efficient, eco-friendly home can provide a beautiful lifestyle and save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of ownership.

Lady with her dog

Minneapolis Green Friendly Urban Condos & Lofts Living

Minneapolis St Paul GREEN Eco Friendly Condo & Loft

Downtown Minneapolis is a beautiful place to call home, full of rich history, breathtaking architecture, and a vibrant green-friendly city. Whether you are starting a new career in the city of Minneapolis, empty-nester or just looking for a great new place to call home, buying a condo or loft in Minneapolis, MN is a great choice to consider. Best of all, the city offers a number of downtown Minneapolis green friendly condos lofts that will save you money on energy and let you do your part to keep the environment clean and pure.

Minneapolis St Paul Green Living Condos

Minneapolis urban green living is made possible thanks to condos that are specifically designed to use the minimum possible amount of energy, water, and other resources on a daily basis. Downtown Minneapolis condos green friendly features include designs that allow a limit electrical power output, and reduce CO2 emissions, all while operating at just as high a functionality of any other building you may have lived in before.

Benefits of Living in Minneapolis Urban Green Condos    

Aside from the energy saving benefits of Minneapolis urban green living, choosing to call the city of Minneapolis home has a number of great advantages. For one, Minneapolis is recognized by Forbes as the nation’s healthiest city. It is known for its clean air, amazing bike trails, and healthy food options, making it a great place to live for the health-oriented among us.

Speaking of food, Minneapolis has a wide selection of nationally recognized restaurants to choose from, meaning that you will never run out of delicious options to choose from for dinner. Add to this a vibrant night life, Minneapolis becomes a wonderful place for both the young and old alike to enjoy. 

MInneapolis Organic Restaurant

Calling Minneapolis Home

Whatever your reasons for moving to the bustling city of Minneapolis, there are a number of great housing choices for you to choose from. Consider green the green friendly options that are available, pick a home that is perfect for you, and enjoy your brand new life in the lovely city of Minneapolis!  

SMART Kitchen

RE/MAX Results
Shannon Lindstrom, Realtor®, AHWD, NCS
13784 83rd Way No, Ste. 200
Maple Grove, MN 55369
Direct: 612-616-9714
Lindstrom_S@msn.com
Shannon@ShannonLindstromRealtor.com
www.ShannonLindstromRealtor.com
www.ShannonLindstrom.info

Components of a Green Building

Twin Cities Home with Solar Panels

Twin Cities Green living and sustainability are crucial in modern-day construction. The real estate sector has evolved beyond mere construction and seeks to incorporate green tenets. So, what constitutes a green building? Here is a look.

Solar Panels

A green home is one which uses sustainable methods of construction that boost energy efficiency in the building. A sustainable design is one that uses a high level of insulation, allows the building to capture cool breeze and enable heating with natural methods/sources like geothermal or renewable energy. Using solar-powered systems is one part of the solution. During construction, it helps to use framing methods that use at least 30 per cent reduced lumber, thereby saving both energy and cost. Appliances used in a home should be as energy-efficient as possible, apart from having the Energy Star Labels assigned by the EPA.

Construction materials used

The construction materials used in building green homes make a lot of difference. Consider recycled materials, or locally-sourced materials for increased sustainability. Materials considered green include cork, baked soil, engineered wood, bamboo, and straw, among others.

Water usage

Watertight surfaces like paved paths or driveways don’t let runoff water seep into the ground. Instead, use gravel that is not compacted, crushed material such as stone or porous blocks to pave your pathways. Another method to improve water efficiency is collect rainwater and harvest the same with a storage and filtration set-up. Having green rooftops and open spaces help capture run-off water. Design the plumbing of your home in such a manner that water is recycled, and toilets have a low-flush option.

Boost indoor air quality

A major aspect of urban living is having to battle pollution. Oftentimes, the pollution is within our homes. Boosting indoor air quality goes a long way in improving your health and beating pollution. According to the EPA, nearly 30 per cent of renovated and new buildings have poor air quality. Your carpet could be attracting a lot of allergens, so how about using one made of wool or recycled material? In fact, cutting down on carpet helps steer clear of dust or mildew.

Paints and plants!

Always use low volatile organic compounds (VOC) paints, and make sure that the materials you choose for construction don’t encourage growth of microbes. Ensure that window covers/curtains are not synthetic; clean them often. When you choose air conditioning, use the most energy-efficient one. Clean the filters of your air conditioner frequently. Place potted plants to give the indoor air a healthy touch.