Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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Green Building Initiatives in Houston, May 2009

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A look at some news coming from the Mayor’s office on the greening of our city.

I look forward to the City of Houston E-newsletter, because it provides me with updates on the direction the city is heading. Lately, I have been seeing more announcements about green projects. This past letter really did provide me with some news that made me quite happy.

Ijumped the gun to become too excited when I heard about http://houstonpermits.com. Could it be true that I would not have to stand in line for a building permit? No such luck. The site will prove to be quite useful for many Houstonians, but your building projects are a bit more involved, so they do need more review than what can be accomplished on the internet. Here is the quote from the Mayor’s e-mail on what permits are (and will be) on the site:

Permits & Licenses that can be Applied for and Purchased Online today:

  • Alcohol License Renewals
  • Noise Permits

Permits & Licenses that will be Available for Online Purchase Over the Next 90 Days

Antique Dealers, Itinerant Vendors, Carnivals, Metal Recycling, Charitable Solicitation,Mini-Warehouses,Common Markets,New Alcohol License,Dance Halls, Second-hand Dealers, Gold, Silver and Coin Dealers,

There is exciting news for those of us interested in green homes in our community. The Green Building Resource Center is open. I have not visited it yet, but I hope to soon. The center is part of the Public Works and Code Enforcement Department, so you can have your plans reviewed for your green project. That is nice enough, but I am more interested in the other part of this center. There are displays of touch and feel samples of green materials and products. It is one thing for me or others to write about such products; it is a whole new world to go and examine them with good information about their use. Green Expos provide consumers with information, but I find that the pressure from salesmen interferes with the knowledge we need to make wise decisions in our homes. This center fills a need that we should take advantage of. It is located in the Code Enforcement Building on 3300 Main Street from 8am to noon, and then 1pm to 5pm Monday through Friday. There is more information on this pdf link: http://www.houstontx.gov/citizensnet/greenbuilding.pdf.

There is more great news for green advocates; a reuse recycling warehouse is now open. Official grand opening is not until June, but they began accepting materials on 29 April. The project is geared towards builders who are working on green projects (and donations are tax deductible), but homeowners who are concerned about being green can also drop of materials. The goods will be available for use to any non-profit organization. Would it not be great if it was operated like a salvage yard that we regular consumers could go to? Having more building salvage yards could be great, if we would use them. I am quite happy that donated materials would go for an excellent cause. Here is what they accept:

Items accepted include cabinets, fans, sinks, showers, windows, concrete blocks, pavers, copper, doors, windows, flooring material, glass and gutters. For a complete list and additional information, visit www.houstonreuse.org

Last bit of green news comes from the George R Brown convention Center. They will obtain part of their power from solar energy. Currently this is just a pilot project to test the system out, but this may lead to more green initiatives. If you are curious about the green initiatives at the George R Brown, you can read about them on this fact sheet:http://www.houstonconventionctr.com/GreenBrownFactSheet.pdf.

With easy access to energy in the last hundred years, we moved away from green design in our homes. In the sixties, you had many pioneers looking at revitalizing these elements, but most of us did not pay them much heed. Trends show that most of the public are concerned about < ! -google_ad_section_start- >green products for the home, and buying a green home< ! -google_ad_section_end- >, so I think that this may become just a part of our lives. The city is taking steps to make this happen, so we should take advantage of these efforts.

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© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States

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