Cities, builders: Make it easy to be green - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Cities, builders: Make it easy to be green

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Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 7:57 pm | Updated: 1:39 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Their houses may look a bit odd to the neighbors, but those who build environment-friendly “green” residences are the ones chuckling.

They’re laughing at blistering desert heat — as much as one actually can — and those who build “green” abodes of adobe — and straw bales and the like — snicker at their comparatively tiny electric bills.

As the Tribune’s Bill Bertolino reported Monday, Scottsdale was one of the first cities in the nation to have a green building program. Recently requests for permits to go green is on the rise, with this year and next representing the greatest increase ever.

This is a market-driven, not government-mandated trend, and East Valley homebuilders should take note of the uptick in consumer demand for energy-conscious alternatives to sticks-and-stucco construction materials that has become the mainstay of local homebuilding. Today, building an

environmentally crispy house no longer appeals only to tree huggers in Birkenstocks, but to mainstream consumers looking to save money.

Green homes use water-stingy plants, alternative sources for electricity and recycled materials to conserve water and energy,

And they aren’t just techno-rustic hybrid homes that look like Buck Rogers meets Roy Rogers, either. Prestigious homebuilders such as DMB Associates, builders of the DC Ranch community in north Scottsdale, plans to break ground early next year on a 600-home subdivision whose units are to be built according to green standards.

As the East Valley grows, so will the demands on its resources. Our forebears as residents of the Sonoran Desert, the Hohokam Indians of more than 1,000 years ago, adapted their dwellings and agriculture to the environment. East Valley cities should pay heed to Scottsdale’s example of making it easy to be green and offer similar incentives of their own to give those wanting to build a home the option of greening it up — for their wallets, yes, but also for the world around us.

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