Local News

Program encourages homebuilders, buyers to go 'green'

Posted November 3, 2008 8:33 a.m. EST
Updated November 3, 2008 10:42 a.m. EST

— A new program is aiming to make it easier for people to build and buy homes that are environmentally friendly.

Sarah Potter is a homebuilder who specializes in environmentally friendly homes. One of her biggest and most meaningful projects is in Cary.

“This one’s actually my personal home. Next week, we’ll be living here,” she said.

The 30-year-old ranch house was in bad shape when Potter and her husband bought it earlier this year.

“(It had) lots of water damage, mold, terrible energy efficiency,” she said.

Potter remodeled it with “green” in mind. She installed sustainable floors, used spray foam in the ceiling, low-energy lighting and water-saving faucets and toilets.

“In this house, we have zones. The bedrooms are all in one zone, the living area in one zone, and we have a bonus. The thermostats can be set differently,” she said.

The Potters' house is part of the North Carolina HealthyBuilt Homes program – a state project to encourage builders and buyers to go with environmentally friendly homes.

“I think everybody wants to live in a house that’s safer, healthier and more comfortable,” said Dona Stankus, a manager with N.C. HealthyBuilt Homes. “You get to take care of the environment as well and create value for your children in the future.”

Green houses can cost a little more to build than conventional houses, but Potter says it's worth it.

“You spend a little bit more in the beginning, (but) you are going to play less every month for your energy bills,” she said.

Potter said she’s ready to call her "green" house home.

"I can't wait to get in here and experience it first-hand with my little girls,” she said.