Posts Tagged: eco housing iowa

Commercial Buildings, Part I

You’ve heard about solar energy, maybe you think it’s great for some people’s houses, but have you considered what it might do to boost your revenue from your commercial building? Let’s consider for a moment what might have happened if you had Installed a solar energy system on your most recently-completed building.

For the first in this series, let’s look at commercial structures made for living.


If your most recent building was built for apartments, then you’re on the hook for operations and maintenance of that structure for as long as you choose to keep it. You get the bills for the plumber, the painter, the handyman, the electrician, and the ones who fix broken walls and trim. You also get the bills for electric use in the common areas. Maybe you even supply your tenants with electricity or water or gas. If you get any electric bills at all, you know that over the long term that cost is unpredictable. The utility can raise your rates or change your billing structure without much warning, and you only get to react to it.

A solar electric system that offsets those bills will allow you to be proactive in controlling those costs. Plus, in the long term once your savings has recouped the initial cost of the system, your operating costs are that much lower because the fuel that powers that system is free. If you’re planning to keep your building for more than a few years, you will get to the point where it will be paying you.


If your most recent building was built for condos, then your outlook may be fairly short-term. While some may be interested in continuing to hold the building for the long term, most do not. If you like to hold your condo structures long-term, then see the section above on “Apartments,” because that probably applies more to your situation. If your goal is to get the structure occupied, have the HOA take over, and then move on, then this section is for you.

What will make you most successful? Certainly, a fully-occupied condo structure. What will encourage that? It must be an attractive property. Obviously, solar can do nothing for the location of the structure, nor for its configuration, interior, amenities, etc. But solar can be attractive to many people. Studies have shown that as people’s personal wealth increases, so does their concern for the environment. A condo that comes with solar pre-installed can be a market differentiator for those people, and can attract them to your structure over a competing complex. Solar energy can be a cost-effective amenity to help sell condo units, at a dollar amount that can be quickly recovered (usually with margin to spare) in the price of the unit.

End of Part One

We haven’t even touched on non-residential buildings yet. There’s a whole world of commercial structures out there, and future installments to this blog should attempt to address these other structures. We’ll talk about solar on buildings made for small storefront retail, large retail, food service, hotel/motel, office space, manufacturing, and specialty structures like churches, convention centers, and other venues that are open to the public. Stay tuned…..




5 Things You Must Know Before Building A New Home!

iowa solar energy, eco housing iowa, eastern iowa solar energy
Building a new home is quite an exciting experience, which can sometimes become overwhelming. However, it is quite a routine procedure for your home’s builder, which is why you have to be an active participant in all of the aspects regarding your home construction process in order to ensure that you end up with the home you’ve truly dreamed of. 
Building a new home can’t be a passive process, since there are plenty of decisions that have to be made by you. If you’re unwilling or unable to make such decisions, you’ll ultimately force the builder to make them and run the unfortunate risk of having a home that doesn’t turn out the way you’ve envisioned it. Let’s take a look at 5 things you need to know about building your new construction home:
1. Know the numbers
Before you actually begin to building the new home, it is important that you run some number that determine whether or not you can really afford the home you desire. The majority of house plans provide a cost-to-build tool that can provide an exact estimate of construction that is based on where you are building it. This number includes the total construction costs, funds for the slush account and down payment, tax benefits, and other associated calculations.
2. Check your builder’s reputation
There are numerous amounts of builders out there, but not all of them have been created equal. Perform some research in order to understand which ones have the leading reputations. Whether your perform this research online or receive recommendations from friends and family members, find out if the builder is respected for performing quality work. 
3. Construct with the resale option in mind
Regardless of how much you truly love the home that you’re building, it’s statistically unlikely that it will become the final home you ever live in. Keeping this fact in mind, you need to take into consideration its potential value of resale. Try not to add too many upgrades that overprice the home for its specific neighborhood. In addition, don’t choose things that are way too out of the ordinary.
4. Think green, think solar energy
Make sure that you perform your research in order to maximize the energy/efficiency of your home’s design. Today, there is nothing more important for your home’s energy efficiency than solar energy. The solar energy panels are able to convert the provided sunlight into electricity. Using solar energy will reduce the new home’s electric bills but needs to be designed properly, which Nemeth Energy Solutions will do. It’s also better, cheaper, and more reliable to install solar on a new home than after the home is finished. Adding solar won’t delay the day that the house will be finished, and the work can all be done before you’re living in the house!
5. Don’t neglect the punch
Part of your final phase of constructing a new home is going over the “punch list”. A punch list is the list that has been created at the final stages of construction, which shows that still needs to be done or repaired in the new construction home. You and the contractor will create the list a week before closing when you go through the final walk through. You should take notes every time you visit the construction site or perform a walk though.