Green Building

  1. 5 Green Staging Tips You Can Apply This Weekend

    Home buyers have returned to the market early this year, likely eager for spring after a long winter, and green has been a popular color. If buyers want green homes, sellers must find ways to provide.

    There are some green home certifications, but the best advice for any seller is to highlight a home’s greener side with features and fixtures that are cost efficient and environmentally friendly.

    Green staging should not lead to excessive green spending. There are simple and effective ways to furnish an environmentally smart home without spending a fortune.

    Green Staging Lessons

    It is best to begin with the little things and work your way toward the larger and more complicated tasks. We recommend starting with the light bulbs.

    Swapping incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent lights (CFL) is a 10-minute task, depending on how many family members it takes to change a bulb. CFL bulbs are a fantastic way to conserve energy and save money over the long run. While CFL light bulbs initially cost more than incandescent light bulbs, they use 25% of the energy of a regular incandescent bulb to deliver the same amount of light. Plus, they last 10 times longer. Compact fluorescent light bulbs also emit less heat, while incandescent bulbs spend 90 percent of their energy giving off heat and 10 percent giving off light, so incandescent bulbs actually waste more energy than necessary.  Showing potential buyers a low electric bill might be enough to inspire an offer.

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  2. Green Decorating Tips for New Kitchens

    Natural bamboo flooring for green kitchens

    Going green doesn’t require you to give up as much as it used to. Whatever your personal style, you can be good to the environment while satisfying your tastes in home décor. Perhaps you’re hesitant or you’re just looking for new tips for green design and decoration. Check out these 6 ways to incorporate green decorating into your new kitchen.

    1. Look for cabinets made with sustainable woods such as eucalyptus or bamboo. The eucalyptus is tree grows incredibly fast and can be chopped at the root to grow back again. Because of its quick growing cycle and ability to re-grow from the roots, it is an excellent choice for “green” cabinetry. Because of its lovely natural luster that will last for decades, eucalyptus is an especially beautiful wood to use for wine cellars.
    2. Shop for recycled hardware at flea markets or second hand shops. Those great finds can add distinguished character to a modern kitchen.
    3. Look for tiles made from recycled glass. You can spot recycled tiles due to their translucent in appearance. Tiles with lower percentages of recycled glass tend to be cloudy, while tiles made from 100 percent recycled glass are completely translucent. Usually recycled tiles have a matte finish, but it is possible to find very glossy styles. A professional will be able to identify whether or not the tile in consideration has been recycled. If you’re in doubt, ask your professional craftsman.
    4. Buy ENERGY STAR appliances. ENERGY STAR is the trusted, government-backed symbol for energy efficiency that helps us all save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. ENERGY STAR was established to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by the inefficient uses of energy. The big blue stickers make it easy for consumers to identify and purchase energy-efficient products.Bamboo flooring for green decorating
    5. Install natural bamboo or cork flooring. Both are renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, and are recognized as principle components of modern sustainable architecture. Natural bamboo is being recommended more and more often in response to rising concerns about indoor air quality, allergens, off-gassing that are often associated with traditional building materials. In comparison to other wood varieties, natural bamboo is 27% harder than oak and 13% harder than maple. It is also composed of complex fibers that do not absorb moisture as easily as the others, ensuring long term durability.green kitchen shades
    6. Dress your windows with energy-efficient shades. Hunter Douglas Energy Efficient Duette Architella Honeycomb Shades use a patented honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb construction provides superior energy savings in both warm and cold climates. All Architella fabrics reduce energy consumption and are GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified. They are also available in six distinctive fabric styles so their esthetic appeal is as nice as their financial one.

    If you have any questions (or things to include) about these 6 green decorating tips, contact Heartland or NestExpressions on Twitter @heartlandhomes and @nestexpressions. Best of luck with your green kitchens!


  3. DOW Diamond High Performance Builder

    DOW Chemicals have honored Heartland Homes with a very prestigious award.  The DOW Diamond High Performance Builder Award –  In Recognition of our Leadership in High Performance Home Construction.  It is truly an honor, and we would like to reach out to all of our customers and say Thank YOU.  If it weren’t your high standards, home builders would continue building the same old houses the way they have for the past 1,000 years.  Thank you for raising the bar with us!

    DOW Diamond High Performance Builder Award


  4. Happy Earth Day

    As the area’s first large builder to be committed to 100% Energy Star certification, we are taking great steps to reduce our carbon footprint, conserve energy, preserve our freshwater resources, provide healthier air quality, and now we are planting for our future.  This year alone Energy Star estimates the homes that we build will prevent over 2.4 million tons of CO2 emissions from being released.

    What does Energy Star certification mean for you?  It’s an assurance that homeowners can trust that their home is environmentally friendly and uses energy efficiently.  This leads to savings on utility bills.

    Our commitment to Energy Star is called the Heartland Healthy HomeTake a tour of a Heartland Healthy Home.

    We are being proactive and taking action to save our planet, what are you doing? Check out these websites to get involved and celebrate Earth Day!

    GrowPittsburgh.com is a great website whether you are a green thumb, spade-in-hand, seed sowing, do-it-yourself kind of gardener or just a supporter of the cause. This website hosts several programs and events that promote a smarter and more localized take on going green and promoting urban food production with their four core principles: Growing Food, Growing Farmers, Growing Community, and Growing Capacity.  You can get involved regardless of your commitment level by making a monetary contribution or by volunteering at one of the organizations events.

    National Arbor Day Foundation 

    The National Arbor Day Foundation is all about inspiring people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.  The nonprofit conservation and education organization supports a great cause and their membership comes with great benefits and gifts for you.

    Check out their website: National Arbor Day Foundation

    As important as it is to support local causes on Earth Day, there are many fun ways to stay green and celebrate Earth Day in the comfort of your Heartland Home.  You can check out our previous Green Posts from our archives including the 8-Easy Steps to Making Your Home Green blog, or visit kaboose.com, a great resource of family fun Earth Day crafts from toothbrush bracelets to pop-bottle terrariums.


  5. Special VIP Preview Event at the New Heart of the South Hills

    Heartland Homes Park IV Model Home at NewburyJoin Heartland Homes and Newbury for a special VIP Preview Party for Phase II of the New Heart of the South Hills!

    Meet members of the Newbury and Heartland Homes team, get exclusive information on the new phase, timelines on paving, pricing, and more! Refreshments will be served

    Thursday, March 3rd from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm.

    Door To Door Directions: Take Me to Newbury

    newbury logo final


  6. Grand Opening at Highly Anticipated Newbury This Weekend

    Come join the Heartland Homes team for the Grand Opening of our brand-new Park IV Model Home at South Fayette’s newest and highly anticipated community, Newbury!

    THE PARK IV

    The Park IV, exclusively designed for Newbury in South Fayette offers an abundance of living space and so many custom options that we are sure that you will fall in love with this home. The Park IV provides plenty of luxury, with a gourmet kitchen and Butler’s pantry, large family room, and convenient mudroom off of the garage. The upstairs includes four bedrooms and a spacious master suite with his-and-her walk-in closets!

    Newbury in South Fayette - Present Day PleasantvilleNEWBURY

    Think front porches, a big backyard, tree-lined streets, sidewalks, and parks, all mindfully designed to complement the land and natural views. Newbury homes are new – and still familiar – bringing together form and function, tradition and innovation. Newbury is our present day Pleasantville!

    Where: Newbury

    When:  Saturday, February 26th and Sunday, February 27th

    Time: 12 Noon – 3:00PM

    For a Sneak Peak Click Here: Park IV Media Library

    For Turn by Turn Directions: Take Me to Newbury


  7. World Environment Day is 10 Days Away

    “Pittsburgh is prepared to represent North America, highlight our successes, share best practices and discuss the important work that is needed for a sustainable future. Through the more than 65 planned events and activities, we will showcase the region’s strengths and global accomplishments as a green leader that has successfully managed to improve both our economy and environmental stewardship.” – Pittsburgh Mayor and World Record Breaking Participant, Luke Ravenstahl   

    As you can tell in the tone of Pittsburgh Mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, World Environment Day is a BIG deal. June 5th is World Environment Day, and Pittsburgh is the United Nations’ North American Host City.  Since Earth Day (April 22nd) you might have noticed more and more green activities on your community’s calendar.  This is all part of the “Bridge the Gap” campaign as Pittsburgh tries to stimulate awareness of the environment and enhance political attention and public action.  Talk about a campaign name that really fits our city!! 

    Pittsburgh has been recognized as a green initiative leader over the past few years, and rolling out the green carpet for World Environment Day is a huge honor. This year’s theme is: BIODIVERSITY — Ecosystems Management and the Green Economy.  Biodiversity is a very appropriate theme for a city that heavily relies on its fresh water resources from the tap to the rivers.  Accountability and respect for our natural resources including the rivers, our air, and our impact on the environment will be a common theme throughout the bridging of the gap between Earth Day and WED

    As the Mayor mentions, many events have already taken place and dozens more are still on the calendar going into late July.  So please, visit the WED website and check out all of the informative, proactive, and FUN activities that our city has to offer as the Host for the 2010 World Environment Day.

    For a full list of all the events, including a world record attempt: CLICK HERE


  8. Earth Day by Heartland Homes

    Today, April 22, 2010 marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day.  What better way to celebrate then by planting trees?  In honor of Earth Day and a movement to push the green envelope, Heartland Homes will plant a tree for each person that visits one of our 22 model home locations between now and Sunday.  We’re expecting to plant over two hundred trees, so stop out to one of our models this weekend and see if we can’t make it three, four, or five hundred trees!!

    In between your trips to our efficient model homes this weekend check out the other great Earth Day Events going on throughout the weekend.  We have listed some below, but the Earth Day 2010, EPA, and WED websites are great resources in finding both local and global campaigns:

    Earth Day Mt. Lebanon

    A Block Party for the Planet!!  This is a perfect example of the impact that local volunteers can make by educating and promoting a healthier, cleaner planet. The whole family will have fun with free children’s activities, food, energy conservation and environmental awareness information, recycled and green gifts to purchase, eco-friendly farm products, and sow much more!

    Visit their website: http://earthdaymtlebanon.org/

    Grow Pittsburgh

    GrowPittsburgh.com is a great website whether you are a green thumb, spade-in-hand, seed sowing, do-it-yourself kind of gardener or just a supporter of the cause. This website hosts several programs and events that promote a smarter and more localized take on going green and promoting urban food production with their four core principles: Growing Food, Growing Farmers, Growing Community, and Growing Capacity.  You can get involved regardless of your commitment level by making a monetary contribution or by volunteering at one of the organizations events.

    National Arbor Day Foundation 

    We have mentioned this foundation in a previous post, and it has actually inspired us for our current tree-planting celebration.  The National Arbor Day Foundation is all about inspiring people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.  The nonprofit conservation and education organization supports a great cause and their membership comes with great benefits and gifts for you.

    Check out their website: National Arbor Day Foundation

    As important as it is to support local causes on Earth Day, there are many fun ways to stay green and celebrate Earth Day in the comfort of your Heartland Home.  You can check out our previous Green Posts from our archives including the 8-Easy Steps to Making Your Home Green blog, or visit kaboose.com, a great resource of awesome Earth Day crafts from toothbrush bracelets to pop-bottle terrariums.

    Happy Earth Day and we looking forward to seeing you this weekend at one of our model homes for our Earth Day Celebration!!


  9. Celebrate Earth Day with Heartland Homes and We Will Plant a Tree

    Earth Day, April 22nd through this Sunday, April 25th for each person that visits one of our twenty-two model homes we will plant a tree in one of our communities.  We are celebrating Earth Day, and we are asking you to simply stop by and let us tell you about our green story.

    As the area’s first large builder to be committed to 100% ENERGY STAR certification, we are taking great steps to reduce our carbon footprint, conserve energy, preserve our freshwater resources, provide healthier air quality, and now we are planting for our future.  This year alone ENERGY STAR estimates the homes that we build will prevent over 2.4 million tons of CO2 emissions from being released.  ENERGY STAR certification assures our homeowners that their home is healthy, efficient, and eco-friendly, saving our homeowners thousands of dollars on utility bills. 

    Please visit us this Thursday through Sunday and Celebrate Earth Day with Heartland Homes.  We will thank you, and so will our Earth

    Our model homes are open from 10am – 5pm on Thursday, and from 12pm – 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. For a full list of communities and model homes available to visit please visit www.LoveHeartland.com


  10. 8-Easy Steps to Making Your Home Green

    As a whole, our society has become very environmentally friendly, but what are you doing as an individual to help reduce your carbon footprint?

    Think back one, five, and ten years ago.  Do you see how far we have come since the year 2000?   Being green 10 years ago simply meant that you separated your recyclables from your trash, and turned the water off when brushing your teeth. Did you still leave the light on when leaving a room, or were you the person that would leave the television on for the dog, when you would be out of the house all day…?

    Now think back to 2005.  Feeling a little bit greener?  Most of us, at the very least, were aware of the green movement.  Did you remember making the switch to the new curly-fry LED light bulbs, or cut back on how much traveling you did in that gas guzzling SUV, or were you even one of the first to drive a new Hybrid vehicle?  Probably 2 out of the 3, but that’s a start!

    Now think back to 2009.  You know you are definitely greener now than in 2005, but why?  What is it that you are doing differently today, that you weren’t doing 5 years ago?  Maybe you are doing little things like using canvas shopping bags, buying products that are made of recycled materials, or only purchasing foods from local farmers.  Or is it possible, that the brands you are using are doing the green work for you?  Are you becoming more environmentally friendly without putting in any extra effort?  If this is true, it’s okay!! But if you are going above and beyond to become a green samaritan that’s superb!! However, there are still steps that we can ALL take in our everyday lives that will reduce our carbon foot print significantly.  And I promise they will not put a big burden on your shoulders, some might even make your life easier!!

    1.  If you do not already, Recycle the Basics!!  Paper, aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles, all are recyclable and it’s as easy as keeping a separate bin for your recyclable products right next to your trash bin.

    2.  Conserve Gasoline!!  Good for the environment, good for the wallet!!  Carpool with a coworker every other day, or at least try to walk to lunch from the office.

    3.  Change your furnace filters regularly!! You would be surprised how much energy you can save by switching your filters out every 45 days. A more efficient furnace, means lower utility bills!!

    4.  Do you have outdoor lighting?  Then set timers!!  Timers will shut lights off automatically at day break.  I am sure you NEVER accidentally leave a porch light on, but just in case…

    5.  Help out with local and national organizations like GrowPittsburgh.org and the National Arbor Day Foundation.  Promote preservation and growth!!

    6.  Go Paperless!!  Read the news or pay your bills online!!  Paper bills sent through the mail consume millions of trees each year, and reading the news online makes tip #1 even easier for you!!

    7.  Spread the Word!!  Awareness is really the most important tip of all.  Like a wildfire, going green will spread well beyond being a trend or lifestyle, we can make it an inherited way of life for everyone!!  Start by leaving your own tips in the comment section below!!

    8. Build a Heartland Home!!!  Every new home built by Heartland Homes is Energy Star Certified!! We call them our Heartland Healthy Homes, and we have very high standards of the quality name brands that we use inside our houses.  Not only are there companies green, but there products are as well.  Increasing the air quality in your home and saving you money on utility bills, all while reducing your carbon footprint.


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