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Green renovations reap energy savings

By: Kim Shindle on in  |   | 

REALTOR® Donna J. DeStefano outside her renovated PA RealtyWorks office

A Philadelphia brokerage located in a renovated formerly blighted building was found to be 84 percent more energy efficient during an energy audit conducted by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The renovations to the PA RealtyWorks office in Philadelphia incorporated green building practices and will save the company more than $1,400 a year in energy costs, according to broker Donna J. DeStefano. As a result of the energy audit, PA RealtyWorks received a grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Small Business Energy Efficiency Program.

DeStefano was one of the first REALTORS® in Pennsylvania to earn the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Green designation when it was introduced a year ago.

NAR developed the Green designation in response to growing consumer awareness of the benefits of resource-efficient homes and buildings. Since then, nearly 100 Pennsylvania REALTORS® have earned the designation.

“REALTORS® who earn NAR’s Green designation put themselves at the forefront of the green real estate industry,” said Al Medina, director of NAR’s Green Designation and the Green Resource Council.

DeStefano sees the green industry as both beneficial to the environment and the consumer. “My target market is the value-minded consumer,” she said. “Everyone is looking to save money. Being green is beneficial to the consumer because it adds value to the property and the monthly maintenance costs are less.”

“Consumers know what green means,” she added. “Being green is getting back to basics and doing what people used to do to sustain their environment and their neighborhoods.”

NAR launched a redesigned GreenREsourceCouncil web site earlier this year to provide information for both REALTORS® and consumers. Consumers interested in energy efficiency and sustainable building practices can locate a REALTOR® with the Green designation on the web site.

PA RealtyWorks office before
PA RealtyWorks office before

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Comments (3)


  • Melanie McLane   January 5, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Great article, as a GREEN instructor I sent it on to Dawn Headtke to share with the other GREEN instructors.

    Reply to Melanie McLane
  • John Ferri   January 5, 2010 at 8:31 am

    What was the base line for the 84% efficiency improvement?

    Reply to John Ferri
  • Kim Shindle   January 6, 2010 at 9:11 am

    I talked with Donna DeStefano and she answered John’s inquiry, “The auditor did the calculation based upon the building being a shell. Calculations were based upon improvements type and amount of insulation, windows and hvac and electric. This includes use of all CFL lighting. The improvements were based upon similar size and use and are inclusive of interior and exterior improvements for the ground floor commercial space only.”

    Reply to Kim Shindle

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