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1999 Annual Report

The Scottsdale Green Building Program promotes sustainability in the home building arena through environmental sensitivity in site use, building materials, energy, water, indoor air quality, and solid waste. The program goals are to reduce the environmental impact of building, achieve both short and long-term savings in energy, water and other natural resources, and encourage a healthier indoor environment. It provides an alternative to homebuyers for sustainable living and the long-term advantages of owning an environmentally sound home.

The City of Scottsdale Green Building Program was initiated in February of 1998 and rates homes in the categories of site, energy, building materials, indoor air quality, water, and solid waste. A Green Building Checklist is used to gather a minimum of 63 points, choosing from numerous options. The program is strictly voluntary and uses incentives to entice builder participation.

The Green Building Program is voluntary and open to all builders and developers whose projects meet the city’s green building criteria. Besides the program marketing advantages, the city offers expedited plan review and project consultation on all green building projects.

We would like to thank the members and volunteers of Scottsdale’s Green Building Program Committee for their guidance and valuable contributions. Members and volunteers of the committee are as follows:

Tom Hahn, Sol Source/ASU Sandra Dominguez, Orcutt Winslow
William Heller, Heller Construction Darren Haenny, Wolf Environmental
Denny Miller, Omni Block, Inc. Dee Jaye Lockwood, New West Lending
Richard Scott, First USA Richard Polito, Maricopa Co., Envir. Services
Mark Stoltzmann, Golden Flame Marieke Reijalt, The EnTire Project
Beverly Westgaard, ADEQ Connie Sloan, Sloan Homes
Richard Zimmerman, AZ Sunshine Publishers Frances Smith, Southwest Gas Corp
Chuck Burke, ADEQ Pollution Prevention Stephen Vedral, Frog’s Leap Design Group
Ellen Crean, Pure Environment Consulting Ray Zorz, Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce

Collaboration and Public Relations                                                        
There has been a plethora of activity in the state of Arizona over the past year involving energy related and environmentally responsible building. All of these activities reflect Scottsdale’s effort to promote green building on a local and regional basis. Every month there was at least one green building presentation made in a public forum or to a professional association meeting.

Following is a list of collaborations and public related activities:

  • On February 24, Scottsdale’s green building presentation on "Reducing the Environmental Impact of Building" was made at Scottsdale Community College as part of the Sonoran Sustainable Resources Institute lecture series.
  • On March 9, Scottsdale’s green building program was the featured presentation for the International Right-Of-Way Association at their luncheon meeting in Phoenix.
  • On April 5, Scottsdale’s green building presentation was made at the Institute for Retired Professionals lunch program at the Rio Salado Community College in Phoenix.
  • Scottsdale Green Building staff and committee members attended the National Green Building Conference sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders in Denver from April 8-10. Many valuable contacts were made, including the featured speaker for Scottsdale’s June green building workshop.
  • On May 4, Scottsdale’s program was presented as part of a "municipal green building policies" workshop at the National Marketplace for the Environment conference held at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.
  • On May 27, Anthony Floyd, Green Building Manager and Tom Hahn of Sol Source Architecture were the featured speakers at the local AIA Chapter Dinner Program in Phoenix. The focus of the presentation was sustainability and green architecture.
  • Green Building Workshop was conducted on June 17 at el Pedregal Festival Marketplace conference center in north Scottsdale (see next section for full description of workshop).
  • On July 14, Scottsdale’s green building program participated as an exhibitor in the Realtor’s Expo ’99 at the Radisson Resort in Scottsdale. The event proved to be an excellent opportunity to expose green building to over 800 Realtors in attendance. Many new contacts were established with attendees and fellow exhibitors.
  • Also in July, a lunch meeting was held with members from ‘Friends of Flagstaff’s Future’ (FFF) to discuss efforts in developing a green building program in northern Arizona. Recently, an NAU professor expressed interest in starting a program in Flagstaff as well.
  • On August 17, a green building presentation was made at the offices of AZ Best Real Estate in Scottsdale. Over 40 real estate professionals were in attendance.
  • Michael Frerking, of Living Systems Architecture & Construction in Prescott, made arrangements to have Anthony Floyd visit Prescott on August 26 to discuss Scottsdale’s green building efforts. The visit included a lunch meeting with Prescott City officials, builders and designers, and an evening presentation at the Satisfied Mind Bookstore. In addition, Scottsdale premiered its new green building exhibit in the bookstore. The exhibit ran through September 5th.

On August 27, a visit was made with the Green Builder Program of Colorado and their showcase of green homes. The metro Denver area’s 1999 Parade of Green Homes drew over 300,000 people. The visit proved to be invaluable. Communications with similar programs and efforts around the country has been extremely beneficial in improving Scottsdale’s program.

  • Thanks to Peggy Carpenter, the city’s Government Relations Coordinator the new green building exhibit was on display on September 8 in Oro Valley, where Anthony Floyd and Stephen Reed attended the Arizona League of Arizona Cities and Towns conference. This was a great opportunity to expose green building to over 500 delegates representing various cities and towns from around the state. To help spread the word, Green Building promotional key chains were distributed at the event. As one result, the City of Sierra Vista has requested further information in organizing a green building program for their city.
  • For several months, KFNX 1100 AM - Renaissance Radio presented a radio talk show on ‘Architecture and Design in the Valley’ on Saturdays from 5-6pm. Lou Werner hosted the ‘no holds barred’ discussion and question/answer segment about ‘building’ a better life in the desert environment through good design. The series continued in the tradition of "Building Blocks," which ran previously on the same station and was hosted by Rick Solberg, a valley architect. Anthony Floyd and architect Tom Hahn discussed Green Building on the September 11th airing.
  • Fran Smith of Southwest Gas invited the Scottsdale Green Building Program staff to share their booth at the Fall Home Show to help get the word out on green building. Fran is a committee volunteer and avid supporter of the Green Building Program. The show took place at Phoenix Civic Plaza from September 17-19.
  • From October 13-15, the Green Building Program participated in the Hot Topic - Cool Solutions conference in Tucson. A presentation was made on Scottsdale’s green building initiative. The theme of this regional conference was "Generating Sustainable Communities".
  • Scottsdale’s Green Building Program was the featured luncheon presentation at the Sustainable Products Training Workshop held in Phoenix on October 25.
  • Scottsdale participated in a workshop on green building materials at the Recycle & Compost’99 conference in Mesa on October 28.
  • Also on October 28, a lunch presentation was made on Scottsdale’s Green Building Program at the Pinnacle Peak Rotary Club in north Scottsdale.
  • Green Building Outlook 2000 event was held on November 6 at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts (see following section for full description of event).
  • The first annual Green Home Tour was held on November 7 in Scottsdale (see following section for full description of tour).
  • The Green Building Program was featured at the state Energy Management Conference held in Tucson from November 17-18. Scottsdale received the Governor’s Award for Energy Efficiency under the local government award category.

The Home Builders Association of Central Arizona has shown an interest in adopting a Green Building Program. The city has met with Association representatives on several occasions to discuss Green Building rating criteria. Several challenges have been identified. Both parties are committed towards broadening opportunities for green building throughout the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. A home builder’s workshop has been planned for the 1st quarter of 2000.

Green Building Workshop                                                                       
On June 17, the City of Scottsdale Green Building Program and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality hosted a Green Building Workshop at el Pedregal Festival Marketplace in north Scottsdale. The workshop drew 162 attendees representing builders, architects, material/product suppliers, and agencies such as the Home Builders Association and the Scottsdale Association of Realtors, some traveling from as far as Flagstaff and Tucson.

This was Scottsdale’s fourth workshop since the program’s inception in February of 1998 John Kurowski, of Kurowski Development Co., Littleton, Colorado, gave the keynote presentation on "Mainstreaming Green". John is the former president of the Metro Denver Home Builders Association and co-author of the Metro Denver Green Builder Program. Mr. Kurowski’s message portrayed the environmental and marketing potential of building green as evidenced in Denver’s program, which in two years has generated over 3,000 "green built" homes ranging in price from 125,000 to over a million dollars. More and more, developers, builders and homebuyers are beginning to realize the benefits of green building. Mr. Kurowski challenged the Arizona home building community to tap into the environmental building niche to achieve the level of success that has been realized in Metro Denver, and other cities across the country.

The workshop also featured a lecture on various building systems, followed by a panel discussion involving builders, designers, and realtors who have accepted the green building challenge. They discussed the benefits of environmentally responsible building with regard to design, materials, construction, cost, performance, and marketing.

The workshop was made possible through the support of ADEQ and the participation of 32 exhibitors focusing on environmental building products. Following the workshop, attendees had the opportunity to enjoy an open air concert, held in the beautiful courtyard at el Pedregal Festival Marketplace, as guests of The Scottsdale Association of Realtors and the following builders in the program:

  • Classic Stellar Homes

  • The Edwards Design Group Golden Vista Homes

  • Heller Construction Sloan Homes Solar Green Builders

  • Tierra Building Group, Inc. Tom Norris Homes Wolf Environmental, Inc.

The workshop has exposed green building to a wider audience and attests to the tremendous amount of local and national interest in green building. There is discussion among several public and private entities about developing the Green Building Program into a regional effort, generating an even greater awareness for a healthier, more sustainable environmental future.

Green Building Outlook 2000                                                                   
On Saturday, November 6, the city hosted Green Building Outlook 2000. The purpose of this event was to raise the level of awareness of the general public on the sensitivity of our Sonoran Desert environment and the benefits associated with environmentally responsible building. A special morning workshop was held for builders and designers on diagnostic testing for healthy and energy efficient homes. This workshop was moderated by APS and featured a panel of mechanical contractors and diagnostic testing companies. The main program featured a keynote presentation by Dean John Meunier from ASU College of Architecture & Environmental Design and Frank Henry, Architect.

The event also featured green building projects that have effectively integrated energy/resource efficient design principles and exhibitors with environmentally responsible building products. Projects were presented by Wolf Environmental, Heller Construction, Edwards Design Group, Sloan Homes, Golden Vista Homes, and Classic Stellar Homes. Over 40 exhibitors displayed numerous environmentally responsible materials and products.

Green Building Home Tour                                                                       
Scottsdale Green Building Program's first annual tour of Green Built Homes was held on Nov. 7 and turned out to be a great success. Despite numerous high-attendance events running concurrently on the day of the tour, as many as 100 people were estimated at most of the homes. The tour was promoted in conjunction with the Green Building Outlook 2000 event held the previous day at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. The tour showcased nine homes in various stages of construction, and included construction systems using wood, insulated masonry, ICF's, steel and strawbale. Home types ranged from production models to highly custom "spec homes" offered on the market. Builders enjoyed the opportunity to present their projects and market their interest in green building to the general public. In light of the interest and positive comments expressed, we plan to have a bigger and better tour next year.

Participating Builders and Inventory of Green Building Projects             
By the end of 1999 there were 55 homes enrolled in the Scottsdale Green Building Program. The homes range in style and design from traditional to contemporary, and exhibit a wide range of building materials and strategies. The following builders are active participants in the program:

Classic Stellar Homes
Sloan Homes
Dallas D. Schmidt Development Tierra Building Company
The Edwards Design Group Tom Norris Homes
Golden Vista
VIP Homes
Heller Construction
Wolf Environmental
Pulte Homes

Following is an inventory of builder construction activity during 1999:

  • Two homes incorporate straw bale construction: Kevin Edwards, Edwards Design Group home was the first strawbale home constructed in Scottsdale. It was completed and occupied in September, 1999. The southwest design features a sub-slab plenum, cooling tower, and incorporates recycled materials throughout the home. Wolf Environmental constructed Scottsdale's first strawbale "spec" home and was completed around the end of the year.
  • Two builders are used the Rastra ICF system, both of which have unique interior partition systems. Sloan Homes used Rastra for all exterior walls and some interior walls. The remaining interior walls and roof structure is light-gage steel framing. Heller Construction's multi-level custom home @ Troon North boasts a radius-based floor plan and uses Rastra for both wall and floor framing. All interior walls are also built with an ICF system.
  • Golden Vista Homes constructed the first green "infill" project in the program. Located in an established residential neighborhood, the home features the Omni Block insulated wall system and are aiming for a completed cost of $67/sf.
  • Tierra Builders completed a custom home at Candlewood Estates. Omni Block is also used in this home which will be the first in the program to incorporate the use of photovoltaic panels for electricity.
  • Classic Stellar Homes continued in 1999 to be the builder with the largest number of homes in the program with 24 homes either completed or under various phases of construction. The company also started work on a complete "healthy home" project for a client with "multiple chemically sensitivity" (MCS).
  • Tom Norris Homes completed his first home in the program. The energy efficient wood frame home has a unique feature: a pool and spa in the front yard.
  • VIP Homes, the second production builder in the program, completed their first two model homes at Legend Trail. VIP is a participant in the Engineered for Life Program.
  • Dallas D. Schmidt Development entered their first project in the program during the Fall of the year.
  • By November, Pulte Homes joined the program and will be involving the remaining phases of their Winfield Subdivision.

Building Systems and Program Research                                                

Marketing, program criteria, and builder incentives continue to be the main focus in the further development of the Scottsdale Green Building Program. Communications with similar programs and efforts around the country has been extremely beneficial in improving Scottsdale’s program. A visit with the Green Builder Program of Colorado and their showcase of green homes proved to be invaluable. Colorado has engaged in a highly visible marketing campaign directed at the general consumer and home buying public, and has acquired major funding for advertising their program. The metro Denver area’s Parade of Green Homes was expected to draw over 700,000 people in a period of 4 weeks.

Staff attended numerous product demonstrations and presentations sponsored by trade/design associations and vendors. Some of the demonstrations and presentations included structural insulated panels (SIP), metal stud construction, insulated concrete forms (ICF), roofing materials, insulation, building performance methodologies, construction material recycling, and other building trends related to environmentally responsible building. The collected information and resources has proven to be a valuable asset in the building review and inspection process.

In addition, at least two research papers were completed by ASU graduate students on Scottsdale’s Green Building Program as part of graduate course work in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.


In February, Stephen Reed was hired as the program’s first green building inspector. As far as we know, this position is the first of it’s kind in the state of Arizona. We worked with the city’s Inspection Services Department in securing funding for this contract position. The position started as part-time and in September was approved to become a full-time contract position. The Inspection Services Division has been very supportive and open to exploring opportunities that green building could offer in adding value to inspection services and the citizens of Scottsdale.

Green building inspections ensures that approved green building plans are built in accordance with the green building checklist. A green building inspection checklist has been developed to coincide with a four-part inspection sequence. The green building inspector is also involved with the plan review process and qualifying projects into the program.

Without inspections, the Green Building Program has no real substance. It is only with inspections that we are able to follow through with the best intentions and ensure that green buildings are more than plans on paper. It is through inspections that we can achieve a level of accountability and begin to measure effectiveness of the program.

As a consumer-driven program, we have engaged in an on-going marketing effort to bring the program to the attention of the construction industry and home buying public through educational programs, builder incentives, and media coverage.

We produced the following promotional material:

    • New Brochure
    • Newsletter (Fall ’99)
    • Reformatted and updated green building web site
    • Selected bibliography of environmental building books
    • Green building exhibit
    • Green building key chains
    • Abbreviated tri-fold green building checklist
    • Green building rating worksheet
    • Construction job site signs (24" by 36")
    • Directory of participating builders with company profiles
    • Directory of Architects and Designers
    • Homeowner’s manual with descriptions of green options
    • Press releases

Articles have appeared in local and national publications, including the Scottsdale Tribune, Arizona Republic, Environmental Building News, Desert Dweller News (AZ VisionWeavers), The Arizona Environment (ADEQ), The HBACA News Builder (Home Builders Assoc. of Central AZ), local AIA newsletter, Phoenix Business Journal, Arizona Foothills and Natural Home Magazines.

Our green building mailing list grew to over 400 individuals and organizations. Seven mass mailings were completed involving workshop notices, newsletter, special lectures and green building updates. In addition, we have received over 250 phone inquires and mailed out over 100 green building packets.

The Green Building Web Site (www.ci.scottsdale.az.us.az/greenbuilding) has been updated with a new reformat. The site contains most of the printed program material, including program enrollment, rating criteria, green building resource links, and a directory of builders and designers.

Sonoran Solar Lecture Series                                                                  
On December 9, 1998, the Arizona Solar Energy Association (ASEA) and the Green Building Program kicked off the first in a series of solar lectures and presentations at Scottsdale’s Urban Design Studio. The lectures were held during the evenings on the second Wednesday of every month through November 10, 1999 at Scottsdale’s Redevelopment & Urban Design Studio.

The goal of the lecture series was to educate the general public and design community about the benefits of solar in a variety of passive and active applications. The series presented a variety of topics involving solar and renewable energy utilization including design approaches, available and developing technologies, and social/environmental choices that impact Arizona and its citizens. The presentations demonstrated how solar energy is being used to generate electricity, heat water, power appliances, as well as heat, cool, and light our buildings.

By promoting solar, we are supporting the Green Building Program’s effort to promote environmentally responsible and low impact building in our Sonoran Desert region. The lectures have revealed the following facts about Scottsdale’s solar history:

    • Bennie Gonzales’s vernacular architectural approach (late 60’s to early 70’s) for Scottsdale City Hall, Library and Center for the Arts was a passive solar solution to Scottsdale’s Sonoran desert climate
    • World’s first swimming pool circulating pump powered by photovoltaic panel was installed in 1980 in Scottsdale
    • Arizona’s first solar cook off was held in Scottsdale in 1981
    • World’s first integrated solar powered yard light was installed in Scottsdale in the mid 80’s
    • One of the world’s first solar powered evaporative cooler was built in Scottsdale in the mid 80’s
    • Arizona’s three photovoltaic distributors (factory direct) are located in Scottsdale

Passive Solar Heating Approved for New International Building Code            

  • In September, Anthony Floyd, former building official and current Green Building Manager, succeeded in getting a building code amendment approved at the first Joint Conference of Building Officials in St. Louis. Based on his proposal, the 2000 International Building Code (IBC) will now recognize "passive solar heating" as able to satisfy the 68 degree F heating requirement for buildings. Joining Anthony to speak in support of the code proposal was David Eisenberg of the Development Center for Appropriate Technology (DCAT), Jeff Wiechman of the National Renewal Energy Laboratory (NREL), and an architect representing the American Institute of Architects (AIA). There was expected opposition. However, after public testimony, the membership voted unanimously in favor of the proposal. The change will appear in the first edition of the International Building Code in early 2000.
  • Section 1203.1 of the 2000 IBC will know read "equipment and/or passive systems" for the purposes of meeting the space heating requirements. This will make it easier to use passive solar heat gain to help satisfy heat load requirements. Mechanical equipment will be able to be down sized and in certain climates serve only as back up. There will no longer be a mandate to satisfy heating requirements only by mechanical means. Anthony’s code proposal was based on historical data which proves that passive solar designed buildings can use less than 50% of the energy used by "typical" buildings for maintaining comfort. Passive solar buildings saves energy, conserves natural resources, and reduces the overall environmental impact of buildings.
  • Anthony will make a similar code change submittal for the International Residential Code during the next code cycle. He is also working with the Development Center for Appropriate Technology (DCAT) on other issues related to building codes in the context of sustainability. While in St. Louis, they had an opportunity to be guests along with a building official from Pasadena, California on a local radio talk show to discuss building construction and codes in the context of sustainability and green building.

Scottsdale Insulation Inspections                                                              
As of September 13, inspections for the proper amount and installation of insulation are now mandatory in the City of Scottsdale. City building inspectors will ensure minimum requirements for insulation values have been met through visual and written verification. Once the frame inspection is complete, an "O.K. to insulate" will be issued. After insulation installation and prior to interior finishing, another inspection will be performed. At the final inspection ceiling insulation will be verified and a Certificate of Installation shall be provided by the insulation contractor which will remain on file with the Scottsdale records office and available to any interested parties.

Solar Option for Pulte Homes                                                                    
Sun Systems, Inc. was recently approved by the City of Scottsdale to offer domestic hot water solar systems as an option for homes at Pulte Homes, Sierra Foothills subdivision. This is an important step towards sustainable building practices by making use our underutilized solar resources. Sun Systems is located in the Scottsdale Airpark and specializes in solar systems for domestic hot water and pool heating. They also offer pool covers as an effective water conservation measure. For further information, call 480-998-5858.

Performance Goals                                                                                   
Performance goals and targets are critical to measuring the effectiveness of the Green Building Program. To this end, we have started to develop a performance mechanism involving energy, water, construction debris, indoor air quality and low impact building materials. We plan to continue to work with Scottsdale’s Sustainability Indicators project to quantify and measure resource and waste flows associated with buildings in Scottsdale.

We have set the following targets for introducing green buildings into the Scottsdale single family residential market over the next 5 years:

Year Single Family Building Permits Projected Green Building Permits Actual Green Building Permits Percentage of Total Permits
1998 4,011



1999 3,198




2000 3,000 (projected)



2005 2,500 "



Expedited Plan Review                                                                              
In 1988, we had begun to expedite the second review submittal of green building plans as part of the building code compliance review. In 1999, we made arrangements with the building, planning and civil engineering plan review sections of the city to expedite the all submittal reviews of green building plans. It has been cumbersome and time consuming to track the green building plans through the process. However, arrangements have been made to streamline the process with the new green building submittal process. Green building plans are now logged in the computer at the development services submittal counter as "green building" and identified with special color tags for expedited review.

We use this expedited service as an incentive for builders to join the program. Green builders have been able to get their plans through the city review process and obtain building permits in half the time as compared to regular builders. Average turn around time for regular plans has been 4-6 weeks. Our goal is to get green building plans through the process within 2 weeks.

Green Building Program Committee                                                        
The Green Building Program Committee was established in January 1999 under the advisory of the city Environmental Quality Advisory Board. The twelve members of the committee serve by appointment and represent various fields in the environmental building arena. Service on the committee provides an opportunity for private sector individuals to help develop and sustain a pro-active campaign for environmentally responsible building in the Scottsdale housing market. This campaign entails education and promotion of the benefits of green building to homebuyers, builders, and designers.

The following individuals have served as appointed members of the Green Building Program Committee in 1999:

Deborah Coburn, Healthy Housing

Richard Scott, 1st USA

Paul Decker, Decker Homes

Mark Stoltzmann, Golden Flame

Tom Hahn, Sol Source/ASU

Paul Vecchia, Neil/Vecchia & Associates

William Heller, Heller Construction

Beverly Westgaard, ADEQ

Denny Miller, Omni Block, Inc.

Richard Zimmerman, AZ Sunshine Publishers

Bob Morris, John Hall & Associates


Due to the tremendous amount of interest in green building, many other volunteers joined the efforts of the committee and general program activities. The following individuals served as non-appointed members of the committee:

Chuck Burke, ADEQ Pollution Prevention Marieke Reijalt, The EnTire Project
Ellen Crean, Environmental Consultant Connie Sloan, Sloan Homes
Sandra Dominguez, Orcutt Winslow Frances Smith, Southwest Gas Corp.
Darren Haenny, Wolf Environmental Stephen Vedral, Frog’s Leap Design Group
Dee Jaye Lockwood, New West Lending Ray Zorz, Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce
Richard Polito, Maricopa Co., Envir. Services