Are homes in Metro Vancouver getting greener?

The features home buyers and owners want

If home buyers and home owners that Elizabeth FitzZaland talk to are any indication, the answer is yes.


"Building and renovating with green features is a priority, whether it's a modest kitchen renovation or a major addition like a secondary suite," says FitzZaland, who heads the design team at Burrard Green City Builders,  a company specializing in green residential building and renovations.


"Everyone seems to be concerned with rising energy costs and with creating healthier environments,' explains FitzZaland.


While future cost savings drive most projects, there are some green features that are more popular than others.


Topping the list are energy efficient, affordable windows and insulation, which are not a huge upfront cost but provide home owners with considerable savings over he long term when it comes to heating bills.


Energy efficient appliances are also popular since they lead to lower utility bills.


This is followed by high quality green building materials such as recycled flooring, reclaimed wood and concrete, and low-VOC paint (VOC stands for volatile organic compounds) which will last a long time and have a better air quality as a side benefit.


According to FitzZaland, 'Bigger and newer is not always better.  In the past, home buyers may have been thinking about demolishing a home.  Now, more and more of them are looking at innovative adaptive re-uses and recylcing and they're willing to spend money to green a home."


Those with bigger budgets want geothermal heating, open space to maximize light, green roofs and edible landscaping with no-mow grass.


"Overall, home buyers and owners are prepared to pay a higher price tag because they can see the payoffs down the road".


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