A Conversation With Realtor Elizabeth "Wren" Shiffler
Q: Tell me a little bit about Green Canopy Homes, the builders who worked on this amazing new green building project in North Portland.
Elizabeth Wren Shiffler: It's been such a pleasure working with Green Canopy Homes! This is a mission-driven company whose people really "get it." They're building green properties to a very high standard, but they are also intent on consumer education and lifestyle support.
As an example - they offer an Energy Performance Guarantee on all of their homes. A Buyer can expect that their bills will not exceed a certain dollar amount for the year, or Green Canopy will pay the difference. Better yet (!), if the Buyer lives in an energy-efficient way, and does NOT exceed their home's projected energy costs for the year, then Green Canopy will send them a $100 gift certificate to REI each year for the first three years they live in their new home! Talk about incentivizing good behavior!
Q: Green Canopy sounds like they're affecting the communities where they build in a real and measurable way. Pretty amazing stuff, right?
Wren Shiffler: They are creating real and positive change in our community and for the environment. And they're improving the comfort and ease in people's lives, while saving the planet. I couldn't have dreamed up a more inspiring client!
Q: With so much tearing down and building up going on in Portland these days, it's sometimes hard to know if what we're getting is better than what we're giving up. Tell me a little bit about how the project came into being, and what's different about it versus what was located there before the build.
Wren Shiffler: It's pretty amazing to see the difference in energy performance between the home that was originally on-site and the homes that are here now. The original home was a 1912 bungalow that was rotting from top to bottom. Green Canopy performed an energy audit and came back with an EPS Score of 126 -- really high (bad) for an 850sf cottage.
By comparison, each of the two units on site now are just shy of 2000 sf, and each has an EPS Score of 54! The projected energy costs for new, eco-luxe townhomes are less than half what they would have been in the old house, in nearly three times larger of a home!
Q: Wow! Is that typical for infill projects in general, or is this kind of rare?
Wren Shiffler: This is not true of all infill projects, but definitely points to some of the most important potential benefits of new construction, and retrofitting existing homes. I knew it was going to be a big difference, but I had no idea it would be that great!
Q: How has your Earth Advantage Certification impacted your understanding of and passion for this project? What are you able to pass along to the potential buyers?
Wren Shiffler: As an Earth Advantage certified Real Estate Broker, I'm better able to understand the benefits associated with a home like this, and to communicate them to my clients. I believe that we're all trying to do the best we can, at any given time. Whether consumers are more concerned about their costs, comfort, or about environmental protection, green design and building methods address all of these.
Yes, green homes often fetch premium prices, but the savvy Buyer recognizes that slightly higher upfront costs are more than accounted for in their long-term cost savings. The Buyer who is most concerned with their family's comfort will find that decades of ingenious design have gone into the systems of a green home, making life easier on every generation.
And, of course, the home buyer who is most interested in protecting the planet will enjoy every detail that went into this home. From the wall construction, to the LED lighting, to the low- or zero-VOC, durable finishes throughout the entire house -- every aspect is a major improvement on how we build and live in our urban dwellings.
Thanks for all the great information, Wren! Learn more about the properties that Elizabeth Wren Shiffler has available, here.