Longevity of Earth Day shows public interest in ‘green’

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Illinois REALTORS® know what’s good for the environment is good for business, so recognizing the 45th anniversary of Earth Day can help you connect with potential customers.

Not only are consumers interested in recycling, preserving resources and reducing their “carbon footprints,” an entire “green” industry has been created. Consider some of the following resources for Earth Day and every day:

IAR donates $53K to Kidzeum Green Home Exhibit in Springfield

The Illinois Association of REALTORS® is donating $53,000 to the Springfield Kidzeum of Health and Science to fund the Green Home Construction Exhibit within its Healthy Community gallery.

“The Illinois Association of REALTORS® is excited to play a role in educating young people about the opportunities homeownership brings,” said IAR President Jim Kinney, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, Wednesday. “It’s important to raise an awareness early on of how sustainable living and finding the perfect place to live are not mutually exclusive. We look forward to sharing this information with future Illinois homeowners.”

Part of the Kidzeum’s stated mission is to teach visitors how to reduce their carbon footprint and to learn green practices such as recycling, using energy-conserving light bulbs or reducing the time spent in the shower. Families will learn how solar, wind and hydroelectricity reduce dependency of fossil fuels.

According to information from the Kidzeum, organizers have purchased nationally registered historic buildings at 412, 414 and 416 East Adams St, with a mission to teach children of all abilities about health and science through discovery and play. When the facility is complete, it will feature 25,000 square feet of exhibit space over three floors.

“Laura Ingalls Wilder said it best when she said, ‘Home is the nicest word there is,’” said Kidzeum Board President Rachael Thomson. “Because of the generosity of the Illinois Association of REALTORS®, Kidzeum will have a Green Home Construction Exhibit that will teach kids how to incorporate energy saving and conservation practices in their own homes to make them even nicer.”

Through October 2013, the Kidzeum has raised $5.4 million of its $6.8 million goal. For more information, visit kidzeum.org or its Facebook page.

Morning Minute: Illinois honored for green building projects

For the second straight year the U.S. Green Building Council named Illinois No. 1 for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), according to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday.

The story, “Illinois tops rankings for green buildings,” explains how the USGBC evaluates building projects in terms of square feet of LEED space per state resident. LEED-certified spaces use less energy, save water and money, reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment.

Examples please! – Illinois had 174 projects certified in 2014 and a per-capita square footage of 3.31. Certified projects included:

  • Ridgewood High School in Norridge,
  • Maudelle Tanner Brown Bousfield Hall at the University of Illinois in Champaign,
  • the AON Center in Chicago and
  • the NBC Tower in Chicago.

In other news – In a National Association of REALTORS®’ story, the chief economist from realtor.com® provides several good reasons for clients to buy a now rather than wait. Read “Why Homebuyers Need to Act Now” for information that could help you today.

Commercial: Will the business of ‘going green’ follow Chicago’s lead?

Understanding phrases like “energy-use benchmarking” and the ramifications of a recent ordinance passed in Chicago will make “going green” increasingly important to you and your clients, says one Chicago REALTOR® in the October issue of Illinois REALTOR® magazine.

Angela Aeschliman, the chief operating officer for Watermark Property Management in Chicago and a past president of the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of REALTORS®, says the Chicago ordinance creates new standards for property owners and managers of commercial, municipal and residential buildings, as well as anyone who buys or sells.

In June, owners/managers of buildings with more than 250,000 square feet submitted their first reports on energy consumption, water usage and greenhouse-gas emissions to the city.  In June 2015, owners of buildings with between 50,000 and 250,000 square feet will provide similar reports.  The data will be measured by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency software and must be verified by a licensed architect, engineer or other professional recognized by the city.

The city will be able to share individual building performances next June and Aeschliman says the information could increase competition for more energy-efficient properties.  How quickly these concepts spread to suburban Chicago and the rest of the state will be watched closely by the IAR, local associations and their members.

Read the whole story, “The Growing Business of Going Green,” which includes client concerns about the costs of “going green.”