Informed Building - Sustainable Building Community

Who's Going Green?

Click any point on the map below to see green building headlines from around the globe! 


Choosing a contractor online

We get a lot of questions from people asking us how to find a contractor in their area. The nature of the construction business really requires local connections to find reliable, quality contractors for your home improvement projects. Since we are based in South Texas we're naturally limited to giving specific recommendations to our area. For that reason we tend to steer people toward the major online contractor review and selection sites that we know and trust. We've used all 3 of the below sites for work done on our own home and can personally attest to their value.
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Consumer Consequences: Is Your Lifestyle Sustainable?

Consumer Consequences - Sustainable LifestyleIf you haven't played yet, you owe it to yourself to check out Amecian Public Media's new interactive online game, Consumer Consequences.  The online game is aimed at exploring the question of the sustainability of the current American lifestyle.  The question itself is not new, but the Consumer Consequences game asks it in a novel way.  Starting from the question, "What would the world look like if everyone lived like me?", the game takes you through a series of lifestyle questions.  The questions cover categories such as the home, energy usage, transportation, waste, food and shopping, and the results show you how many "Earths" worth of natural resources it would take to sustain all 6.6 billion humans living just like you. 

 

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2009 Energy Tax Credit

After the Bush administration let them lapse in 2008, tax credits for certain energy efficiency upgrades are back for the 2009 tax year.  Though the actual technical qualification criteria can be complicated, don’t be intimidated.  According to the IRS, for purposes of taking the federal tax credit you may rely upon a manufacturer’s written certification that a product is qualified residential energy property.   From our experience, most manufacturers make this information readily available on their websites.  However, should you have any doubts, we recommend getting verification in writing before making any purchases.  Though the vast majority of dealers are honest, we strongly encourage you not to rely on the word of a salesperson alone as their primary interest is in making a sale, not providing free tax advice. 

Following, you'll find a table listing the specific energy efficiency standards required for a given product to qualify for the federal tax credit on.  In addition, a number of publications are available on the IRS website should you have any concerns regarding the details of the tax code itself.

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