See how the built environment can contribute to a healthier, more sustainable community.

 

The annual Greenbuilt Tour, presented by the US Green Building Council—NM Chapter—on June 8-9, highlights building practices that are attractive, practical and affordable. There are 18 homes on this year’s tour, from Albuquerque, Río Rancho, Placitas, Sandia Park, Santa Fe, Lamy to Abiquiú and Valdez. They were selected as examples of the whole-house design approach, integrating tight construction and energy-efficient building envelopes with healthy indoor living environments. There are examples of passive solar design; straw bale, pumicecrete, and adobe construction; innovative heating and cooling systems, including geothermal, cooled slabs, and whole-house ventilation strategies; and sensitive site design focused on minimizing impact to the landscape. After conscientiously reducing energy consumption, several homes also integrate renewable onsite energy production, further reducing load on the utility grid.

Many different approaches are used in building green. Some of the homes on the tour show off the technology and unique building materials, while others employ clean and well-considered integrated designs that allow the homes to look like any other—though they function much more efficiently. Some homes are designed to allow the owners to age in place, with consideration of future mobility issues. Some homes have small footprints, demonstrating the efficient use of space. Whatever the approach, the tour has good examples of homes that minimize energy and water use, while maximizing health and comfort.

The owners/occupants of the homes have agreed to open their doors for visitors to learn about the sustainable features of each structure. Information sheets will be available at each home, providing the names of suppliers ad contractors who were used. In some cases, representatives of these firms may be present to answer technical questions.

The entry fee for each home is $2 per person, payable at the door. A tour pass allowing unlimited home visits is available for $15 through the USGBC-NM website: www.usgbcnm.org/GBT2013. A downloadable guidebook is also available there, or it may be picked up at La Montañita Co-op and Whole Foods in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The tour will be preceded by an awards reception ($25). For reception reservations, visit the website and click on chapter events, calendar view and June 7.

 

 

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