Each year the GreenBuilt Tour provides opportunities to learn the latest in green techniques and savings. People can visit newly built and remodeled homes. Each property will have a flyer highlighting its green features. Signs will be placed to draw attention to particularly noteworthy elements. Guidebooks are available electronically at www.usgbcnm.org, in print at La Montañita Co-op and Whole Foods, and at each home on the days of the tour.

Organized by the nonprofit US Green Building Council – New Mexico Chapter, the 12th annual tour will take place on Saturday, June 11th, and Sunday, June 12th from 10 am to 4 pm. 25 homes have been selected for the tour – 19 in the Albuquerque metro area (including Corrales and Placitas), five in the Santa Fe area (including Cerrillos and Lamy), one in Taos, and one in Arroyo Seco. The cost to tour a home is $1 per house per person.

From the participant that looked at her old house in Nob Hill and said, “Why not wrap the whole thing up in strawbales?” and then proceeded to do just that – to the state-of-the-art luxury Santa Fe home that left no green stone unturned, the 2011 GreenBuilt Tour has something for everybody. Visitors may find surprising insights in learning about energy efficient technologies such as geothermal heating, solar powered water pumps and blown-in insulation. There are also examples of innovative uses of recycled, reclaimed and local timber, non-toxic interior finishes and water-saving designs.

The tour is a great way of gathering information that may help your home become environmentally and economically efficient. You will be able to see how the systems work in an existing home and make the decision whether it would be practical for your home. According to Kent Gurley and Suzanne Blanke, GreenBuilt Tour co-chairs, “It’s one thing to read about sustainability and energy-saving materials, but it’s entirely different to see them in person.”

Home on the tour range in size from 850 sq. ft. to well over 3,000 sq. ft. Two of the homes are off-grid. Several utilize innovative materials and/or building methods. And a number of the homes have achieved ENERGY STAR ratings and BGNM or LEED-H certifications.

Each year, the GreenBuilt Tour Committee recognizes homes that have demonstrated an outstanding application of one or more sustainable features. Green Awards will be presented at the keynote kickoff event on Friday, June 10th at a Mesa Vista de Corrales home built by New Haven Homes. The home features a solar photovoltaic electrical system, thermal solar water heating, a passive solar orientation, use of thermal massing and a passive graywater irrigation system. The event will feature live music, food and beverages. Reservations ($30 members/$35 non-members) can be made at www.usgbcnm.org.