Using stimulus funds to build green homes

    10:49 PM, Jul 31, 2011   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) When shopping for a house, future homeowners often want to see the utility bills. Developers know an energy efficient home is a great selling point.

    Little Rock developer Ted Upshaw is tapping into stimulus money to build nearly an entire subdivision with energy star ratings.

    Upshaw gives THV a tour of one of his homes.

    "The efficiency of these windows will totally out perform a traditional window. You have solar gain, which is the amount of heat produced as sun comes through the window," says Upshaw.

    Upshaw also says he insulated the tray ceiling in the master bedroom.

    "We have to build dams to keep insulation against all exterior surfaces," says Upshaw.

    Stimulus money refunds developers up to $1500 to cover certification costs. He's hired Andrea Ingalsbe of Green Arrow of Arkansas who charges half that to test his houses in the governor's manor subdivision.

    "When we turn the blower door on, we are able to get an actual measurement of how much air leakage is in the home," describes Andrea Ingalsbe.

    She checks the air ducts and gives Upshaw an energy score in the 70s. That means his houses are 30 percent more efficient than the code minimum.

    "Any builder doing this in the area, you have to give them a thumbs up because it's not the norm," says Ingalsbe.

    The Green Grant gives developers an incentive, while reducing the carbon footprint.

    Developers can apply for this grant through the Little Rock Building Codes Division until December 2012 or until all funds run out.

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