Climate Change and Where You Retire: Should You Be Worried?

Category: Green Retirement Communities

By Roberta Isleib
December 15, 2105 — With talks on climate change wrapping up in Paris with an agreement signed between 196 nations, it seems like a good time to consider whether climate change should be factored into choosing your best place to retire. (And to be perfectly honest, one of our regular readers tweaked us recently to write an article on this subject, saying “retirees really need to know how climate change is affecting and will affect their retirement location.”)

So we’re hoping to set aside political agendas and ideologies today and explore some of the facts about where and how things are changing and how that might inform your retirement choices. Are there locations where you should not plan to retire, either in the near future or down the road? The answer – almost certainly.

The Washington Post reported this week that the president of Kiribati, a pacific nation consisting of 33 (more…)

Posted by Admin on December 15th, 2015

The Most Innovative Retirement Living Idea Yet – The Urban HomeFarm

Category: Green Retirement Communities

November 30, 2105 — We have just seen the most interesting idea for productive, sustainable retirement living yet. The idea is from an architectural firm called Spark, which won first prize for Future- Experimental Project at the 2015 World Architecture Festival held in Singapore. Their winning project, HomeFarm, is a sustainable residential development for seniors with these clever features:
– Urban apartments in sizes that allow multi-generational living
– Vertical aquaponic farming on the building’s exterior walls
– Curvilinear building with central courtyard
– Soil based garden plots on staggered terraces and rooftops
– Use of collected rain water and grey water for farming purposes
– Fruits and vegetable marketplace where residents can sell their wares
– Fish waste as fertilizer
– Agricultural waste is fed into an onsite biomass power plant

Spark hopes to have the first HomeFarm up and running by 2030 in the crowded urban nation of Singapore. The productive garden feature provides a modest income for its elderly residents. HomeFarm was designed to keep its residents connected to the wider community through its public facilities that include a clinic, nursery/child care, farm shop and food court. It also intends to provide a familiar caring family environment for those who require medical care in their later years. It aims to provide a cross section of accommodation for single residents through to (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 30th, 2015

Do You Want to Live in a Green Retirement Community

Category: Green Retirement Communities

June 16, 2015 — It is the rare person who doesn’t at least give some nod toward being green in various aspects of life. It might only be grudging recycling efforts or turning off some lights, but the spirit is usually there, somewhere. But would you make your environmental concerns a requirement for finding a suitable place to retire?

If there are many people like that out there they are probably having a hard time finding such a place. Using the Advanced Search Feature at Topretirements we found we have 23 communities (out of about 3000) that are self-described as “Sustainable”, another way of saying (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 15th, 2015

Why a Natural (Green) Burial Is a Good Idea

Category: Green Retirement Communities

February 7, 2010 — When my sister-in-law, the nature writer and environmentalist Susan Cerulean, first proposed a natural burial (also called a green, or conservation burial) for her father, I have to admit there was some serious eye-rolling on my part. And after I heard the scouting report on the first green cemetery she considered, I was even more sceptical. To an outsider the setting seemed undignified, and the people running it appeared more interested in the profit motive than in saving the planet. Fortunately she was able to find another cemetery nearby, a place of great peace and beauty that met all of her objectives for a natural burial.

After experiencing the serene and just about (more…)

Posted by John Brady on February 7th, 2012

Are You Dreaming About Building an Eco-Friendly House?

Category: Green Retirement Communities

By Cynthia Booth

If you have ever dreamed of living your retirement in a dream home that is friendly to the planet, this article is for you.

Denis Carpenter recently acquired a small vacant lot and, to achieve his concern for the planet, planned a residence that was environmentally friendly and easy to maintain. Denis hired designers and Jersey City citizens Richard Garber, assistant professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture and Design in Newark, and Nicole Robertson of GRO Architects in New York City to design and oversee the construction of his single-family house. The result is genuine proof of both innovative design and eco-friendly technologies.

What’s so special about this home?

– Inside the home, on the ground level, radiant heating beneath the exposed cement floor warms the bath room and bed rooms.

– In the loft-like second level, sleek aluminum and stainless steel railings accent the bamboo stairway to the mezzanine, lounge room and an artfully designed kitchen outfitted with salvaged devices and cabinetry. (more…)

Posted by John Brady on September 14th, 2010

New Concepts Aplenty for “Green” Retirement Houses

Category: Green Retirement Communities

Baby boomers looking to retire in a very “green” way often end up being frustrated. The main reason is that most active adult communities are anything but environmentally friendly – they are located far from community centers so they require lots of driving, they don’t always use the most energy-efficient materials and systems, and they usually ignore alternative energy sources and low carbon footprints. The alternative for those truly dedicated to the movement is to strike out on their own, which though might be fun, can also be expensive and prone to trial and error.

The Wall Street Journal published an eye-opening article earlier this year on the “Green House of the Future“. The Journal asked 4 leading architects to come up with a home design that was environmentally friendly – and possible. The results were amazing: (more…)

Posted by John Brady on December 22nd, 2009

GE: Net Zero Energy Homes by 2015

Category: Green Retirement Communities
ge_netzeroenergyhomeInterested in building or refitting your retirement home so that it’s green? General Electric (GE) announced last month that by 2015 it will have developed the products needed to let new home builders and existing homeowners  manage and generate electricity for overall net zero annual energy.  If achieved, that means that you will have a zero energy bill! GE will get to that goal through its current portfolio of energy-efficient lighting and appliances products,  demand response technology,  and residential power generation products like solar PV and residential wind products.

The GE net zero energy home offerings will come from three major groups within the product portfolio: energy efficient products, energy management products and energy generation/storage products. (more…)

Posted by John Brady on August 3rd, 2009

Preventing the Heartache of Greenwash

Category: Green Retirement Communities

green_house1
No, it’s not something you add to the wash to get out those pesky grass stains you used to get playing touch football. Nor is it a St. Patty’s day breath-freshener. Greenwash is what happens to you when you succumb to a developer who promises you a “green” house in a sustainable community, only to move in and find the Chinese wallboard smells like rotten eggs. (more…)

Posted by Admin on March 31st, 2009

Solar Roof Panels Offered Free by Shea Active Adult Community

Category: Green Retirement Communities

The #1 green priority in baby boomers’ retirement homes is solar power, according to a recent survey. Capitalizing on this interest, Shea Green Certified homes at Trilogy now offers solar powered roofs as a no-cost option in its Victoria Gardens active adult communities. The builder’s website claims savings of up to 60% on electric bills and a reduction in the home’s carbon footprint by 48%. Shea is providing the BP® Solar roof tile system.

Shea Green Certified homes in Victoria Gardens by Shea residences will be equipped with a 3-kilowatt solar power system with photovoltaic cells that convert free solar energy to household electricity. The solar panels will help homeowners gain more energy independence and protect against future energy costs. Excess energy generated will be supplied back into the grid for homeowner credits. In addition to solar panels, Victoria Gardens homes will have additional green features including a monitoring system, low e glass, solar attic fans, Energy Star appliances, and other increased energy efficiencies. Homeowners will be eligible for additional tax credits from the government’s Solar Investment Tax Credit program. The option becomes available Jan 1, 2009.

Disclaimers on the “Free Solar” offer makes it clear that it is available on select homes and lots depending on elevation and orientation. Energy savings varies based electrical usage, plan, site, orientation, weather, energy provider and rates. from “Green” Homes survey conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of Shea Homes. Trilogy is a registered trademark of Shea Homes, Inc. Shea was named “2007 Builder of the Year” by Professional Builder Magazine.

For more information:
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Posted by Admin on October 27th, 2008

Energy Conservation Measures – the New Mudrooms

Category: Green Retirement Communities

A study from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) shows that the energy crisis is producing big shifts in what consumers are looking for in new homes. In as short a period of 2007 to 2008, buyer interest in common features like mudrooms, home offices, game rooms, and home workshops have plummeted. Instead, consumers are looking for a plethora of energy-saving related features that were only glimmers on the horizon in 2007. Builders and architects are paying attention, because the market is so soft for their services.

Leading the pack in new desirable home features are tank-less water heaters, overall energy efficiency, “green” flooring, water saving technology, and recycled building materials. Our conclusion: the green movement is coming – and high energy prices will do more than anything to speed up its arrival. If you are looking to buy in a new active adult or 55+ community – put these features on your list.

And by the way, you might be curious about tankless water heaters. Understandably enough, they don’t have a tank, but instead heat the water in the pipe on its way to your faucet. By eliminating the tank you save a lot of energy that is wasted while you are away for the weekend and overnight. Oil and gas fired hot water heaters are typically more powerful than electric.

The AIA Home Design Trend Survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of 500 architecture firms.

Posted by Admin on September 17th, 2008