By Jessica Findley
The Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of Realtors (OKMAR) is setting to use more aggressively market environmentally-friendly-homes, as a greater service to buyers and sellers, officials say.
The Green Resource Council in Oklahoma City is a local chapter of the National Association of Realtors, which originally established to program. The Green Resource Council to emphasize green awareness to homebuyers, to boost residential marketability.
GRC recently was adopted of the realtors’ group, and it moving ahead with the program expeditiously.
“When we talk about green housing, we are talking about energy efficiency, high performance, housing standards and then green technologies integrated into building,” said Sarah Bytyqi, Chairman of the OKCMAR Green Resource Council.
Green principles to take into consideration are air and water quality, location, access to public transportation and access to other services within walking distance. The mechanical systems within the house need to be energy efficient and efficient, and materials should be environmentally safe, she said.
The best way to determine the energy rating of a house, or whether it is “green” or not, is based on Home Energy Rating System scores. On the HERS scale, homes are scored from zero to 150. Zero is the best rating, while 150 is the worst.
“The green council has been responsible for bringing that scale to the attention of the industry and incorporating that into our multiple listing service (MLS) as a searchable tool,” Bytyqi said. “It is really the only benchmark in the industry for comparing apples to apples, homes to homes.”
Bytyqi compared the HERS readings to miles per gallon on a car. Consumers compare automobile efficiency based on the m.p.g.; that is the purpose that HERS numbers serve for houses.
“At the end of the day, you would never consider buying a new car unless you knew how it was going to perform,” she said. “People buy houses all the time without even asking about performance.”
Any home can be assessed for a HERS score through a home energy audit. A series of tests are done on the structure that can report the efficiency and performance of any given makeup, whether it is a house, building or apartment.
Currently, Oklahoma City is reconfiguring a development plan, and every component of that plan is focused on sustainability and going green. Locally, it is a new concept, but GRC is hoping to change the way the metro views home buying and home upkeep.
“What we are really after is getting people to think about home performance and put just as much priority on the performance of the home as they do the amenities of the home,” Bytyqi said.
Many consumers believe that going green is too expensive. But, that is not the case.
“There are things you can do for under $100 that can generate 20-30 percent more efficient ratings,” said Bytyqi. “It’s not out of reach. It is affordable and can be attained no matter if it is a new house, an older home or even an apartment.”
For more buyer and seller information on exactly what “going green” means in terms of housing, or to learn about the green council in general, visit www.gogreenokc.com.