“Get Your Green On”…

…and visit A&R Solar at the Home Show this weekend…

Green is definitely “in” – for the home, that is – and nowhere will this be more evident than at the 2008 Seattle Home Show 2, the fall version of the nation’s oldest and largest consumer home products exhibition.Celebrating its Tenth Anniversary, Seattle Home Show 2 will be highlighting the newest ideas and products for green living during its run October 16 – 19 at Qwest Field Event Center.

“Green design and building is one of the hottest trends for the home,” said Mike Kalian, managing director of Seattle Home Show 2.“From sustainable landscapes to services that reduce waste, home and condo owners are gravitating towards green design as never before. The home building and design industries are responding in kind with innovative and state-of-the-art solutions, many of which will be at this year’s Seattle Home Show 2.”

With the slower real estate market, going green – at least in Puget Sound – can also be a way to make a home or condo stand out as well.According to a recent study, new green homes and condos in King County are selling faster and for higher value than their traditional counterparts.

Green model homes

Highlighting Seattle Home Show 2 will be two state-of-the-art green model homes featuring the latest in green design and building practices.Making its debut at Seattle Home Show 2 is The Island Cottage™ by ideabox, a 610 square-foot contemporary style home featuring green and energy efficient construction built around a “small living” design concept.The Island Cottage includes bamboo flooring throughout the home, maple cabinets, stainless steel appliances, cement fiber and galvalume siding.The Island Cottage is both Earth Advantage and Energy Star Certified – two of the major green certifications available for homes.

Contrasting in style but equally as “green” is the Coast Cabins model home, a cozy tongue and groove cabin with loft, featuring environmentally friendly and sustainable practices in and outside the home.Constructed using a patented system without nails or screws, the 14’ x 14’ Coast Cabin features a green metal roof made from recycled tin cans, rain barrels for water recycling, Trex® decking and a composting toilet.Solar panels on the roof and a landscape using sustainable practices, including windmills for energy generation, complete the home.

Kitchen and bath

One of the ways home and condo owners can go green is in the kitchen and bath, and Seattle Home Show 2 exhibitors will be showcasing the newest ways home and condo owners can accomplish this, from energy efficient appliances to design practices.Increasingly, designers are being encouraged to incorporate green design practices into many aspects of the kitchen and bath, according to Eleanor Olsen with Seattle Home Show 2 exhibitor the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). “NKBA members are encouraged to focus on energy efficiency, indoor air quality and natural resource conservation,” says Olsen, whose organization offers a “Green Glossary” for consumers.

One of the more innovative ways homeowners can go “green” in the kitchen is being demonstrated by Cabinet Renovations, which offers a unique alternative to kitchen refacing.Rather than replacing cabinet doors and drawers, as in typical cabinet refacing, Cabinet Renovations has a unique service that restores cabinets using all existing cabinetry, rather than discarding doors and drawer faces, thus minimizing waste sent to landfills.

Appliances are another way home and condo owners are opting to go green in the kitchen and bath, and many of these will be on display at Seattle Home Show 2.For the kitchen, Viking will be showcasing its line of green pro-style appliances, including ovens that offer 90 percent plus energy efficiency and can cook up to 80 percent faster than traditional ovens.Tankless hot water heaters – also known as “hot water on demand” – have been gaining in popularity in recent years due to their ability to create a virtually endless supply of hot water in the home.They are becoming greener now too with the introduction of the world’s first Energy Star rated tankless hot water heater.This new hot water heater will be on display by Noritz.

Building materials

The market for environmentally friendly and green building materials has grown substantially over the years, and these will be in evidence at Seattle Home Show 2 2008.However, determining what building materials meet this qualification is not always easy, say Seattle Home Show 2 exhibitors.“When we consider products to carry we look intently at three very important factors,” says Susanna Shultz of ecohaus, a leading provider of sustainable building materials in the Northwest and an exhibitor at Seattle Home Show 2.“First, we look at how the product impacts the environment, both where it comes from and how it can be disposed of,” she says.“Second, we look at how the components of the product impact the health of the people that work and live with it; and third, how the process of manufacturing or harvesting the product supports the community that it comes from.”

There are a variety of companies exhibiting green building materials at this year’s Seattle Home Show 2.ecohaus will be displaying a full range of products for the building professional and do-it-your-selfer alike, including a new line of no-VOC paints for the home.Other providers include Bamboo Hardwoods, which will feature its line of sustainable hardwoods for interior and exterior use.

Energy

With energy prices soaring, home heating is another area where consumers can go green.

According to Seattle Home Show 2 exhibitors, solar energy continues to gain in popularity among Northwesterners.While the typical purchase of residential solar energy systems is for the single family home, there is beginning to be more interest among townhome owners as well, says Reeves Clippard of A&R Solar an exhibitor at Seattle Home Show 2, which will be showcasing its line of residential solar energy systems. Before making the decision to purchase a solar energy system, Clippard advises homeowners look at what they can do to their homes first to make them more energy efficient.“The less energy you have to consume, the less you have to produce.”This includes items such insulation and weatherproofing.Most solar panels in Seattle go on the roof, “so consider the age of your roof and the orientation of your house,” he says.“Does the sun actually hit your roof?”

According to Seattle Home Show 2 exhibitors, using wood and pellet stoves as an alternative energy source can also reduce heating bills – by as much as up to 50 percent, according to some industry statistics.Today’s stoves are easily capable of heating an entire home, and some options include a back-up battery to keep hot air circulating during a power outage.Examples of some of the latest products in these areas can be seen at Clearwater Spas & Stoves and Sundance Energy, among others.

New Products

Home theater and home automation continue to be a growing trend, and a number of new products in this area will be on display.Making its Northwest debut at Seattle Home Show 2 is a new video box that provides on-demand movies.Consumers have instant access to more than 6,000 titles, which they download directly from the Internet.Also making its Northwest debut at Seattle Home Show 2 is a new self-contained, multi-function home theater system that allows homeowners to transform any room in the home into a state-of-the-art home cinema.The new system comes complete with a 100-inch screen.For home and condo dwellers who want to minimize the look of a TV screen in a room, there’s a new flat screen TV in a frame that features a picture that rolls up or down with the push of a button.All three products are being showcased in the Architectronics booth.

Seminars and Cooking Demonstrations

Once again Seattle Home 2 is featuring free daily seminars on the Concourse Level.Seminars provide a wide range of topics relating to home design and improvement.In addition, show visitors can meet their favorite local chefs at daily cooking demonstrations, presented by Viking and Crossroads Appliance, as well as taste a variety of wines at the nearby wine tasting area, presented by GrandView on the Lake.

Parking

Parking for Seattle Home Show 2 will include the Qwest Field Event Center parking lot, Qwest Field North Lot, Safeco Field parking garage and the Union Station garage as well as other area lots.Show visitors with four or more people in a vehicle can park free in any Seattle Home Show 2 designated lot.

About Seattle Home Show 2

Seattle Home Show 2 runs October 16 – 19, 2008 at the Qwest Field Event Center.Show hours are 10 AM to 6 PM Thursday, 10 AM to 8:30 PM Friday and Saturday, and 10 AM to 6 PM on Sunday.Admission prices are $9.00 for adults, $6.00 for seniors (60+) and $3.00 for juniors (ages 7 – 15).Visa and MasterCard accepted.E-Tickets may be purchased at the Seattle Home Show website at www.SeattleHomeShow.com.Paid attendees can return a second day for free through Seattle Home Show 2’s “Too Much to See?Come Back for Free!™” program.Visitors simply register as they leave the show.ID is required.For more information, visit www.seattlehomeshow.com.