Historically speaking, construction materials have predominately consisted of concrete, steel, wood, and brick. However, when the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was passed on December 20, 2018, builders worldwide began to familiarize themselves with a new material deemed the eco-friendly material of the future: Hempcrete. What is Hempcrete? Hempcrete is a unique bio-composite material comprised of the hemp hurds, a mineral binder (lime), and water. When blended, "a chemical reaction occurs between the lime binder
California has had one of its most devastating years in terms of wildfires, with rampant fires spreading across the state for weeks. In 2020 alone, there have been an estimated 8,320 wildfires, 31 fatalities, 8,687 structures damaged, and over 4 million acres burned. Politicians, researchers, environmentalists, and public safety experts have been brainstorming on how to change the course that California has been witnessing over the last few years – They are trying to identify
Over the last few decades, the concept of green living has been on the rise. It first gained popularity in the subcultures of environmentalists and hippies, who were dedicated to changing the systems by which they live in order to better reflect their beliefs and values. Early adopters of green homes, for example, focused on developing their own energy sources, composting their waste, and reducing the pollution created by their environments. However, as knowledge of
Zillow and Climate Central have teamed up to study the impacts of climate change on real estate. Zillow is an online real estate database with information about transactions across the country. Climate Central is a nonprofit news organization that analyzes and reports on climate science. In 2018, the duo released the first nationwide analysis of the number of new homes in areas vulnerable to coastal flooding in all 24 coastal states and the District of
It is no doubt that Climate Change will require large-scale solutions. However, to tackle this gigantic problem, we will all need to make changes to the way we live, and the sooner we do so, the better. To help bring more environmental conscientiousness to homeownership, we've provided some tips below on how to reduce water and electricity use as well as waste in our homes. Save Water According to the EPA, the average American family
California just became the first state to require all new construction, starting in 2020, to be solar powered. The new standards apply to new residential single-family buildings and multifamily buildings up to three stories high. The solar power can either be supplied by a new structure’s own set of solar panels, or buy a shared solar-power system serving a group of homes. The formalization of this mandate into the CA Building Code has elicited mixed
For those that acknowledge the science behind Climate Change, these two words ignite a deep concern in the hearts of many. This is especially true as we watch community members in both Northern and Southern California losing their homes to rampant wildfires. What does Climate Change mean for housing, and how can we adapt? Is there room for hope? The Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II was recently delivered to congress and focuses on the
What is a Green Home? The definition of a “Green Building” can vary widely depending on who you ask. Green buildings are often constructed in a way and/or with building materials that result in less pollution during construction and energy-consumption over the lifetime of the building. Green features can range from energy-saving features to being zero-net energy (a building that produces all of the energy it consumes). Why Green Homes Are A Good
We spend 90% of our time indoors with minimal daylight and fresh air. Studies suggest that daylight can improve your children’s learning abilities by up to 15%. Living in damp and moldy homes increases risk of asthma by 40%. Children's rooms often contain the most pollutants. Read more in this blog post...
The Cement Industry is One of the Primary Producers of Carbon Dioxide The cement industry is one of the primary producers of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas. The primary production of conventional concrete has a footprint of 456 to 689 pounds of carbon dioxide per 1.3 cubic yards One interesting alternative is hempcrete. JustBioFiber, a hemp-based modular block supplier, reports that its product sequesters 243 to 287 pounds of carbon dioxide per 1.3 cubic yards,
If we could see air pollution, would we be more proactive about combatting it? As more comprehensive data on air and possibly other types of pollution are captured and viewed by millions of people, what will be the implications for real estate decision making? In the future could property-pricing take air pollution measurements into account? Would this motivate entire neighborhoods to proactively combat air pollution? Read about advancements in air-pollution measuring and visualizing technology in this article.
See a bigger version of this map here. As reported in 2007 by CalFire, a majority of Santa Cruz county is in a moderate to high fire zone (source). With wildfires rearing up in Northern California, including in our beloved Santa Cruz County, we know that many of our homeowner clients and future homeowner friends are asking “What can I do to protect my Santa Cruz Real Estate?”. This guide gives an extensive
Did you know that new 2016 Residential Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Standards) are now being enforced and California is expecting to see 28% more energy savings in regulated loads* than those built under the 2013 Energy Standards? *an electrical load is an electrical component or portion of a circuit that consumes electric power Having energy efficient buildings: Reduces energy costs. Increases reliability and availability of electricity. Improves building occupant comfort and reduces impact to the environment. Energy efficiency requires
With man-made climate change being widely accepted by the scientific community, the question is no longer "if" but "when" our communities will be affected by these large-scale changes in the environment. The Pacific Institute has recently released an interactive map that projects to 2100 and identifies at-risk areas in the event of a major flood or from erosion, with both scenarios dependent on a ~4.6 ft sea-level rise. Read more about the study conducted here and see the actual