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.
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.
Six to 10 inches of rain fell in less than four hours in Bucks County, causing a “100-year flooding” of the Neshaminy Creek, which runs through Bensalem Township, Bristol borough and Bristol Township. The flooding emergency closed many roadways and required emergency evacuations of dozens of residents in several communities. More than 800 families suffered loss or damage to their homes due to this flooding and many of the homes in this area did not have flood insurance because they aren’t located in a flood zone.
NAR’s advocacy efforts this year are focused on three areas: improving access to homeownership, building strong and resilient communities and ensuring fair housing for all. And they are devoting extra attention to reinvigorating a change in commercial real estate landscape.