Posts Tagged ‘Real Estate’

The Green Side of Paperless Technology at Real Estate Connect 2010

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
Exhibit Hall Real Estate Connect San Francisco 2010

Exhibit Hall Real Estate Connect San Francisco 2010

While wondering the exhibit hall of Real Estate Connect San Francisco 2010 style at the Pre-Conference Day, amongst all of the technology we figured that no one would go out of there way to promote Green but then we spied some of the “go paperless” inspired companies. In the race to go paperless, a few innovative companies have stepped up to create a paperless universe (at least in terms of contracts).

In the real estate world, agents often use ridiculous amounts of paper in which to disclose, offer and negotiate which in old school terms means that many trees get the saw for that counter offer.  We passed the DocuSign booth and discussed with the folks the Green benefits of using their technology, which allows people to sign contracts with an electronic signature. No more printing contracts. Just sign on-line. We can see the sustainable value in an item that eliminates paper use and general waste. But we discussed how much energy it takes to run the servers that run the DocuSign program. It would take a third party study to determine the paper, ink, transport carbon footprint savings versus the energy used to run something like DocuSign.

We brought this conundrum to another paperless company that not surprisingly goes by the name Go Paperless. Similar to DocuSign this technology allows people to sign and mark up documents using a stylus and tablet PC. Again, saving paper versus using more energy.

We all know that the cost of people runs high in terms of its impact with deforestation, transportation, recycling, shredding, printing, etc. so even at the cost of added energy use, companies that reduce (one of the three Rs) paper consumption can only improve things. We just hope that these companies use this Green philosophy inside their corporate offices as well.

San Francisco Wants Everyone to Green Their Property

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

green ebergy sf green building sfWith many cities putting Green building on the back burner, while they try and help solve the distressed homeowner crises (equally important), San Francisco continues their progressive Green thinking. In a few years, when the distressed homeowners crisis hopefully wanes, people will start thinking about how important Green building looms in terms of not just energy and cost savings but the health of people who live their.

San Francisco recently developed an accessible financing program that allows residential and commercial property owners to finance sustainable building improvements. This effort coincides with efforts across California and the United States to establish similar financing programs.

Interested home and business owners to finance can utilize GreenFinanceSF privately owned energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements.  The repayment obligation is attached to the property, rather than the individual, and is paid back through property taxes over the life of the financing.

All size residential and commercial buildings can use the program. Eligible projects include energy efficiency upgrades—such as adding insulation, replacing windows, and upgrading heating systems; and water efficiency upgrades—such as installing low flow toilets. Financing is also available for installation of renewable energy generation on buildings such as solar arrays – in conjunction with energy efficiency improvements.

Pretty simple, huh? We think so. It should be a win-win for everyone so we’re hoping that everyone will look long term (yes, we know that is hard for most Americans) and utilize this program.

(photo courtesy apartment therapy)

Green House Meets Gas Guzzler

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

ho_greenhouse_5.jpg

You might say that San Francisco Green thinking still has a way to go after we spotted a un-Green SUV (Range Rover) in the garage of an already well publicized Noe Valley Green house.
After speaking with the one of the owners they admit that it’s hardly Green to drive the gas guzzler but they say that it’s leased. And they have a hybrid SUV on their radar for their next purchase. As for how they’re adapting to and how they like some of the interior green attributes inside the house well that’s for a future entry.

Green House Goes Down – In Price That Is

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006
bernal-heights-green-house

We actually feel sorry for the owner for the owner of the Green house in Bernal Heights. That same property (338 Holladay Ave.) has been languishing on the market for almost three months. That’s the same residence where the house’s owner wrote a letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle several weeks back, which practically exclaimed a rebuttal to the paper’s articles saying that Green houses are all the rage and will sell like hotcakes.

The owner can’t be a happy camper as he and his agent continually drop the asking price from $1,279,000 to $1,195,000 to $1,049,000 to $994,000. The owner claims that location sells houses, as evidenced by the Green house in Noe Valley.  True the Noe Valley Green house location represents a superior addy to the one in Bernal Heights. Also, that Noe Green house sale occurred in a slightly warmer market.

There may be a degree of truth in the owner’s statement but instead of location, location, location the seller and his agent should be more concerned with marketing, marketing, marketing. And education. (more…)

The Green That Brings the Buyers

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006
Bob Barker

With the opening pre-sales event of the LEED certified Arterra in San Francisco coming up on Sept. 30th we’re not exactly convinced that perspective buyers are placing their deposits because of the LEED certification or even the whole “Green Lifestyle” that the Arterra continues to promote.

Apparently, the sales office has pre-sales reservations booked for Saturday, Sunday and into Monday. That means green building gets a boost. Always good. But we have a sneaking suspicion (plus someone at the office told us) that the real green draw is the price point. A one-bedroom Mission Bay condo (without parking) for about $515,000 continues to draw buyers to this project like reality to television.

But who are we to judge why someone buys green? People who buy a piece of the Arterra because as Bob Barker says, “The Price is Right” may be doing the right thing for the wrong reason. But at least they are buying green.

Get the Lead Out

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Lead

Looking for some extra spending money to spruce up your house? Forget digging though the old sofas, just hit up Uncle Sam. If that sprucing up includes removing that nasty, not to mention dangerous, lead-based-paint from rental properties or one that you actually live in then it might be worth downloading and filling out some of the myriad forms on the HUD website.

HUD has made $39 million in funding available as part of their Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program.
Lead exposure can lead to reduced IQ, learning disabilities, reduced height, poorer hearing and a truckload of other health problems associated with children. But don’t dillydally as the closing date for this grant program is October 31, 2006.

Who’ll Stop the Rain?

Thursday, September 21st, 2006
Rainscreen

With the Arterra, San Francisco’s first LEED certified San Francisco condos, just about ready to go into pre-sales it’s no surprise that some visitors in the sales office appear from curious to confused.

Some prospective buyers who drifted around the sales office came for the Green factor but others don’t know green from pink. The salesroom doesn’t exactly push the green aspect. Those who don’t have an attention to detail could easily miss the bamboo kitchen floors, and the dual flush toilets. Even so, one green product continually baffles potential buyers – the Trespa rainscreen system. It more than baffles, it disturbs some.

We’re not exactly fans of bedding down in high-end coffins, except maybe during Halloween, so people here should get over their fears of something new. The rainscreen system isn’t exactly the new green kid on the block. Builders have been using this overcladding technology since the 1940’s in Scandinavia. (more…)

Ashes to Ashes

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

Fly Ash

Normally the thought of ash brings to mind volcano eruptions, funerals, and maybe religious holidays but for us and green builders it’s about flyash and foundations. So, when discussing the topic with one of San Francisco’s up and coming LEED-AP architects (Melanie Jacobson) she mentioned that the CHPS school they are building in the Sacramento area will have a fifteen percent flyash concrete foundation we looked quizzically at her. Why only fifteen percent? She mentioned that that percentage was about as high as their structural engineers deemed to be sound.

We’ve heard other local green buildings contain as high as thirty percent flyash. So, why the discrepancy? It depends on the configuration of the building, the weight on the structure and most importantly what the structural engineer says. (more…)

Green Saves Money

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Finally there’s the green that can save green. Did all you capitalists just get excited? It’s not just about photovoltaic panels, although if you’re not a fan of PG&E or the equivalent megalopolis energy supplier then the fact that an energy company can actually send you a check each month may excite your bank account in the long run.Green savings isn’t just about sticking it to the big bad energy companies but adding value to your house. When you add those photovoltaic panels, that high percentage fly ash foundation, or water recapture system then you automatically add value to your home. (more…)