Being in the business of financing real estate, David Borinsky was keenly aware of the “green” trends appearing in new construction and rehab. A real estate lawyer and partner at Baltimore-based Bridge Private Lenders, Borinsky was once the co-chair of the University of Virginia chapter of “Friends of the Earth” and has a long history of supporting environmental causes. That’s why when he attened the US Green Building Council conference last fall and saw a demo of a “net zero” home, it hit him. “If low income families could find energy efficient homes to live in, they could actually save a good amount of money on their energy bills. $100 a month might not mean much to some folks but to them, it could mean buying more groceries or clothes for their kids,” Borinsky remarked.
And so began “One Green Home at a Time,” the green iniative of Bridge Private Lenders designed to lend money to rehabbers that use green construction practices on rowhouses in low and moderate income Baltimore neighborhoods. Bridge Private Lenders is no stranger to working towards a good cause – they are a private investment firm that specializes in socially responsible underwriting. They work to finance the purchase and rehabilitation of homes in low- and moderate- income neighborhoods, where demand for units is strong, but institutional sources of financing are scarce. Partnering with Prescott Gaylord of Baltimore Green Construction, the Bridge team set out to partner with contractors are adapting green techniques to low budgets and working to bring new technologies and practices to everyone.
Their techniques aren’t fancy – they mostly just pay close attention and use common sense. Their homes make use of the natural environment whenever possible by using skylights, light colored roofs and (Passive heating and cooling systems). Insulation, heating and cooling systems, and windows are installed with an eye towards energy efficiency. The homes all feature Energy Star appliances.
“Every house is different,” said Borinsky, “But with the right attention these practices can save renters and owners almost 50 percent on their energy bills, providing an immediate boon to low-income families and long term benefits to the community.”
Posted by: Ashley / follow me on Twitter
Filed under: Green, Green Building, Green Economy | Tagged: Baltimore, Bridge Private Lenders, energy efficiency, Energy Star, Green, Green Building, green cities, One Green Home at a Time, sustainable urban development |