Be Pro-Active for a Green Appraisal

When it comes to getting an accurate appraisal for a high-performance home, it’s easier and more practical to take the right steps up front than to try to get a low appraisal revised after the fact.

Appraisal expert Sandra Adromatis, a featured speaker at the High Performance Building Zone during the recent International Builders’ Show, offered advice for securing an accurate appraisal of a high-performance home.

First and most important is documentation, especially of features behind the walls and other items that aren’t immediately obvious.

A good place to start is by taking a close look at the Appraisal Institute’s Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum. This is particularly important if the home is built to a nationally recognized program like theICC-700 National Green Building Standard or includes additional high-performance features that should be documented within the appraisal.

Filling out the addendum and providing it to the appraiser will help ensure that the house’s important features are noted and valued appropriately. In a move that will further facilitate the process, the Home Innovation Research Labs, which certifies homes to the National Green Building Standard, recently announced that it will provide a copy of the addendum noting some pertinent features of the property with green certifications.

In broad terms, the addendum addresses insulation, the home’s envelope, water efficiency, windows, daylighting, appliances, the HVAC system and the home’s energy rating.

The form also allows appraisers to document indoor air quality measures, projected utility costs, the home’s HERS rating, solar capabilities, the walk score, access to public transportation, orientation on the site and landscaping.

Providing detailed information to the appraiser about any of these features will go a long way toward securing an accurate appraisal. Even more helpful will be any comparison you can provide between your product and building the same house to the prevailing local code, especially regarding energy use and costs.

To ensure an accurate appraisal, it’s equally important that the appraiser be experienced in evaluating green and energy-efficient homes. Again, the Appraisal Institute is a good place to start. If you navigate to the left side of its Find an Appraiser page, you can search for someone in your area who has passed the courses necessary to be listed on the institute’s professional development program registry for the valuation of sustainable residential buildings.

That’s good information to share with the lender, who will ultimately be responsible for hiring the appraiser.

Remember also to select a lender well-versed in high-performance construction. Also consider adding a contract clause to require the lender to hire an appraiser qualified to evaluate green homes.

Another option: Establish relationships with lenders who understand the value of green and are committed to ensuring appropriate appraisals on such properties.

The best place to start when looking for such a lender? Put the networking power of your HBA to work and ask other members for recommendations.

Click here for more information on contract language.

SMC’s ABC’s of Green Construction, Behind the walls of a zero energy home!- November 11th

SMC’s ABC’s of Green Construction, Behind the walls of a zero energy home!- November 11th

Ready to Learn More, Earn More? Come see what it looks like behind the walls, and one of Greenville’s first Zero Net Energy Homes at that. The SMC will host it’s Education Kickoff on November 11th sponsored by Addison Homes at Trailside Communities starting at 10:00 a.m.
Come grab a bite to eat and drink, walk through the home and speak to those that are making this home Zero Energy. Todd Usher, President of Addison Homes will conclude this event with information about the home, making you more confident when your client asks you about going Green.
Vendors invited to the event to share information about their contribution to this home include Dow Solar, Dow Building, Palmetto Exterminators, Prime Energy Group/Icynene, and Wood Insulating.


Greenvilleʼs first community built to
rigorous ChallengeHome &
ActiveHouse standards
Best value available,
utility bills that approach zero

Todd Usher Wins Green Building Leadership Award

Todd Usher Wins Green Building Leadership Award

Todd Usher with Michelle Usher

The South Carolina Chapter of the US Green Building Council has honored Upstate builder Todd Usher with a 2014 Duke Energy Leadership in Green Building Award.  Usher was the 2008 President of the Home Builders Association of Greenville.

This award — presented during the organization’s annual meeting Oct. 1 – recognizes Usher’s “above and beyond” efforts to further the cause of green building in South Carolina.

As president of Greenville-based Addison Homes, Usher focuses exclusively on sustainable construction, certifying 100 percent of his homes to environmental standards such as Energy Star, LEED for Homes, the National Green Building Standard and/or DOE Zero Energy Ready Home. In addition to leading the industry by example, Usher promotes the benefits of green building to the mainstream market via community education and outreach.

“There is established value in green building,” Usher says. “Consumers enjoy significantly lower utility bills along with enhanced comfort and healthier indoor air. The environment benefits from reduced energy consumption and fewer greenhouse emissions. When consumers become educated regarding the value equation for healthy, high performance homes, their decision to build becomes logical.”

Now in its eighth year, the South Carolina Chapter-USGBC Leadership in Green Building awards program recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations that show vision, leadership and commitment to the advancement of green building and construction in the state. Other 2014 recipients include: the USC Darla Moore School of Business, Exemplary Project Award;A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School, Green School Award; and Hiren Shah, Keith Sanders Service Award.

“Addison Homes is honored to receive the Duke Energy Green Building Leadership Award and we congratulate our fellow recipients as well,” says Usher. “It is a privilege – and a responsibility – to build increasing awareness of eco-friendly construction.”

McGraw-Hill: Green Residential Market Share is Rising

According to McGraw-Hill Construction, since 2005 the green share of new single-family residential construction has grown dramatically–increasing from 2 percent in 2005 to 17 percent in 2011, or $17 billion in market opportunity.

McGraw-Hill Construction projects that the green market share will continue to rise to 29 percent to 38 percent in 2016, or $87 billion to $114 billion in market opportunity.

According to the same study, remodelers are reporting higher adoption of green building compared to home builders.  In the next five years half of home builders expect 60 percent or more of their projects to be green, and one third expect 90 percent of their projects to be green.

By contrast, the number of remodelers reporting 60 percent or more of their projects will be green by 2016 has doubled, and the number reporting more than 90 percent of their projects will be green has tripled.

New Energy Code (IECC) Course Planned for Greenville and Clemson

The implementation date of the 2009 IECC or International Energy Conservation Codes is January 1, 2013.

To help you prepare for the new code, the Home Builders Association of Greenville will host two seminars that will on the new energy code:

  • December 5, 2012, at Greer City Hall 
  • December 11, 2012, location to be announced.

Each seminar day will feature two course sections:

  • 8 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. section will focus on residential implementation
  • 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. section will focus on commercial implementation

John England, of England Enterprises, Inc., has been chosen to be the exclusive provider for the courses. John, and his company, are well regarded in the construction industry for education and code enforcement.

Watch this site for more information.  To register at, click here.