Parade of Homes
This article first appeared in the Austin American Statesman.

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Parade of Homes to Feature Green Building

by Jill Mayfield, City of Austin Green Builder Program

Green Building-what does that mean? Is it a cabin in the wilderness, a yurt in the desert, just basic shelter? Beginning Saturday, June 29, the 1996 Parade of Homes will change your mind about what "green building" is all about.

Eight of Austin's most prestigious custom builders have made a conscious choice to build homes that are more environmentally-friendly than the average home in Austin. These builders have joined the City of Austin's Green Builder Program and will have their homes rated by the Program.

The Green Builder Program is a rating system that assesses the environmental-soundness of a new home. The Program provides free technical and marketing assistance to area builders who want to build environmentally-friendly homes. The program also provides information to consumers who want to buy, build, or remodel a home with their health and the health of the environment in mind.

The 1996 Parade of Homes Builders are Tommy Livingston Construction, Tom Hobbs Company, Lloyd Homes, Inc., Wilde Custom Homes, Jauregui Architect-Builder, Scott Bryant Homes, Austin Travis Homes, and Gregory Sells Builder.

Some of the green features include water-conserving turf grasses, plants and shrubs; attics made cooler with radiant barriers and continuous venting under the eaves and at the roof ridge; glues and paints with reduced levels of toxic fumes; construction using many recycled-content materials; high-efficiency cooling systems with all duct work connected by latex mastic (not duct tape!) to reduce loss of conditioned air; backyard composting and space in a handy inside location for recycling bins; and a system that converts sunlight directly into electricity for the home.

"While these homes are in the higher price ranges, it doesn't mean that "green building" is unaffordable," said Green Builder Program Manager, Doug Seiter. "Green building ideas can fit into any home, no matter the cost. In fact, a home using "green building" principles should be more durable, healthier to live in, and have lower utility and maintenance costs."

The 1996 Parade of Homes is presented by the Texas Capital Area Builders Association, hosted by developer Dwyer/Murphy Companies, and sponsored by the Austin American-Statesman in Parkstone at the Wilderness off Capital of Texas Highway in the West Lake Hills area.

The Parade of Homes runs June 29 through July 14th. The Parade is open Wednesdays through Sundays. On weekends and July 4-5, there will be parking and shuttle buses at Barton Creek Mall. Prices are $5 with children under 12 free.

The City of Austin Green Building Program is a voluntary home-rating system that encourages environmentally-sound home building, remodeling, and home maintenance. Our long term goal is the creation of sustainable communities--communities that provide a high quality of life for Austinites, and protect our environment and resources for generations to come. For more information on how the City of Austin Green Builder Program can help you build or buy an environmentally-sound home, call 499-7827.

copyleft 1996: You are encouraged to copy and redistribute this article provided that you acknowledge the City of Austin's Green Builder Program as the source. Please attach this statement.

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