Tiny Homes are catching the attention of people all over the country (have you seen the HGTV show Tiny House, Big Living?). Here in Santa Cruz County, we’ve had quite a few clients ask if they can put a Tiny Home on a lot. The short answer is, “it depends”. Read the more comprehensive answer below. What is a “Tiny Home”? A tiny home is typically one that is under 400 square feet, though some
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
Santa Cruz County Coastal Zone Map: What is the Coastal Commission? The California coast is a unique treasure loved by locals and visitors alike. To protect California’s coast and ocean for present and future generations, citizens came together in 1972 to enact the The California Coastal Conservation Initiative. Through this initiative, the Coastal Commission came into being. Four years later, the State Legislature enacted the California Coastal Act, which is the primary law that
The installation of solar panels has been increasing for over a decade. The graph below shows total solar capacity* in California over time. According to surveys, a majority of homeowners choose to “go solar” to save money on energy bills and reduce a home’s carbon footprint. source Have you considered installing solar panels on your home or purchasing a property with solar panels? If so, it is important to understand how solar panels
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
Without access to water, a property essentially has no value. We are just emerging from a 6 year drought, and with man-made climate change on the horizon, it’s important to ask, where does our water come from, and is it sustainable? As a resident of the County, your water comes from: 5 larger water suppliers 4 smaller systems 130 small systems 8,000 private wells And you are part of one of the following water
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
In simplest terms, a zero net energy home is a building that produces as much energy as it consumes over the course of the year. With Federal and Statewide initiatives in place, it is very likely that more energy efficient and net-zero homes will become a new norm in the near future. Since 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) has coined the term “Zero Energy Ready Home” which is identified as a home