Demand for sustainable homes growing but more awareness needed, officials say

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270 eco-friendly homes certified in Tri-Cities last year compared to 1,000 in Seattle

The owner of Easton Construction’s model home in the Inspiration Estates neighborhood in Kennewick looks like most custom-built homes — a wide and open interior floor plan bringing together the living room, dining room and kitchen with white cabinets and white quartz.

The Built Green program has been somewhat of a niche in the Tri-Cities so far.

Jonathan Jones, director of building science at HBA

It’s airy, spacious and elegant, but what sets it apart from other custom builders’ homes is the importance owner Dan Easton places on eco-friendly, sustainable design and energy-efficient home features.

When people walk through the home, they’ll see signs pointing out the energy-efficient features and sustainably-harvested building materials used in the home, such as a whole house Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) system, triple-glazed windows, on-demand hot water unit, LED lights, touchless faucets, rigid foam insulation, engineered wood and paints with no volatile organic compound (VOCs).

His homes also are built as solar-ready in case homeowners want to install solar panels in the future.

“I try to build a home that gives a person the ability to live comfortably, age in place in the home. These are very healthy homes,” Easton said.

He builds all of his homes this way – and he is seeing increased interest and more awareness from potential home buyers for eco-friendly homes.

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Elsie Puig

Elsie Puig

Elsie Puig is a freelance writer and web designer. She has a strong background in digital marketing communications, copywriting, and social media. Her passion is using web technology and strong messaging to help small businesses meet their goals. She is currently pursuing her online MA in Web Design and Online Communications from the University of Florida. She lives in Richland with her husband and two children.

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