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RISMEDIA, August 23, 2007-(MCT)-Dallas-Based McGuyer Homebuilders-which builds in Fort Worth, Grand Prairie and Arlington under its three brands-has pledged to build all of its homes to green building standards.

It plans to build 800 homes a year that conform to the Green Built North Texas standards outlined by the Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas. It is the first volume home builder to join the green building program, which the association hopes one day will be considered the norm.

“We’re bringing green to the mainstream,” said Ken Gezella, regional sales manager for McGuyer Homebuilders.

So far, 101 members — 68 home builders — have signed on to the Green Built North Texas standards since they were outlined a year ago.

Homes built to this standard will be more efficient with water usage, have better indoor air quality, use energy efficiently and use durable building materials. Builders in the program also have plans to re-use construction materials as the home is built.

The homes built by McGuyer Homebuilders under the green standards will be 30% to 50% more efficient than homes built to an energy-efficient code that was standard in 2000, Gezella said.

McGuyer Homebuilders has been moving toward green building standards in recent years as more customers have asked about them, he said. Three years ago, the company became Energy Star certified, using the standards outlined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“We look at this trend as something really important,” Gezella said. “We’re going to deliver a better home to all of our home buyers.”

McGuyer’s three brands in the Dallas-Fort Worth area began building to the standards Aug. 6. They include Pioneer Homes, which start at $120,000; Plantation Homes, which start at $150,000; and Coventry Homes, which start at $200,000.

Employing green building practices with entry-level homes is a challenge because of the pressure to keep costs under control. But Gezella said his company has done it.

The home builders association created the standards as a way to help builders keep pace with a growing trend, said Paul Cauduro, the association’s director of government relations.

“We believe a lot of people are looking for these homes,” he said. “We want to provide a resource for building efficient homes.”

McGuyer Homebuilders will continue to look for ways to improve the environmental standards of its homes, Gezella said.

“We are at the bottom steps of this ladder and as we move to the top, it’s a moving target,” he said. “Our homes are getting better built every year.”

Building Green

The Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas has drawn up Green Built North Texas standards to guide local home builders in meeting the consumer demand for environmentally friendly homes. Homes built to these standards feature:

More efficient water usage
Water-efficient toilets, low-flow showers and faucets, mulched flower beds and drought-tolerant plants
Better indoor air quality
Mechanically controlled fresh air-intake systems and sealed ducts
Energy efficiency – Built to Energy Star standards, with fewer windows on the east and west sides and Energy Star appliances
Durable building materials – Exterior building materials with at least a 25-year warranty and engineered lumber
Homeowner education – Techniques for maximizing energy efficiency, locations of local recycling places
Construction-site recycling – Builder protects trees and recycles bottles and cans used by workers

For more information about the standards, go to www.greenbuiltnorthtexas.com.

Source: Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas

Copyright © 2007, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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