Where in the MetroABQ
Where in MetroABQ Are You?
Hint: Gas & electric for these Westside homes can each cost less than $100/year! Welcome to one of New Mexico’s true Green-Built Homes.
After an exhaustive search for that perfectly affordable Green Home for two friends–a home with low or no utility bills, low taxes, minimal landscape needs, plus some nice upgrades–I finally visited Paul Allen Green Built Homes. It turns out a Build Green New Mexico Gold-Certified home in a community a few miles west of Cottonwood, and was exactly what my friends were looking for. A huge plus is that their gas and electric bills are each less than $100 per year!
I appreciated how transparent their building process was. We were allowed to visit the home during the construction; my friends visited often and asked questions throughout. They asked for various changes: different upgrades, design elements switched, and even floorplan adjustments, and their wishes were accommodated whenever possible.
According to Paul Allen Green Built Homes, “Building environmentally sensitive homes is more than just recycling some construction trash, installing water faucets that restrict water flow and putting a lot of insulation into a home. This is a total process that starts months before construction and should continue as long as you own your home.
“A home must be engineered & designed to maximize the thermal envelope. That includes major attention to wall & roof insulation. The concrete slab & stem walls need to be insulated as well as the hot water lines. Low-E windows will minimize the heat transfer to & from the home as well as keep harmful U-V rays from penetrating to the home’s interior. Air tightness can be increased by individually caulking each piece of sheet-rock before it’s hung.”
Paul Allen Homes also uses a special computer program to predetermine where every heating & cooling vent needs to be positioned, to assure no cold or hot spots in the home. The company uses only Energy Star refrigerated air units and furnaces and Energy Star appliances. The tankless water heaters are 13 times more efficient compared to a regular energy guzzling water heater. Each EcoQuantum duel flush low flow vacuum pressurized toilet saves about $40 of water a year. Paul Allen also uses a LEEDS certified green landscape designer. The plants are placed to help cool the house in summer and warm the house in winter. Plant selection is critical to this process for a real green built home.