Use these tips to make your current home more “Green” friendly! 
  • Greening Your HomeUse light paint colors for your home’s exterior; lighter colors reflect heat better than darker.
  • Insulate your attic, basement and crawl space. About 20% of energy costs come from heat loss in those areas.
  • Plant trees. Evergreen trees on the north side of your house can block winter winds and leafy trees on the south, east and west will provide shade from the summer sun.
  • Install fireplace draft stoppers, attic door covers and dryer vent seals that open only when your dryer is in use. An open damper in a fireplace can increase costs by 30%, and attic doors and dryer vent ducts are notorious energy sieves.
  • Restore porches and awnings. Porches, awnings, and shutters were intended for shade and insulation. To save energy, draw shades on winter nights and summer days.

Courtesy of: preventionnation.org

interactive_goldWilmington, NC builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc was among the winners of the 2009 Communicator Awards that were announced by the International Academy of the Visual Arts in May of 2009.  With thousands of entries received from across the US and around the world, the Communicator Awards is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring the creative excellence for communications professionals. Among the winners are Wilmington, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc with the Award of Excellence for their website. Visit www.communicatorawards.com to view the complete list of winners which includes Nike, Skittles, Johnson & Johnson, Warner Brothers, IBM and John Deere.

The Award of Excellence is the highest honor given to a home builder website. Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc.’s website has previously been awarded the national W3 Award, the North Carolina HBA’s STARS Award and the local Wilmington-Cape Fear HBA’s MAX Award.

The Communicator Awards are judged and overseen by the International Academy of the Visual Arts (IAVA), a 450+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media.  Current IAVA membership represents a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms including:  Condè Nast, Coach, Disney, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Estee Lauder, HBO, Keller Crescent, Monster.com, MTV, Polo Ralph Lauren, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Tribal DDB, Victoria’s Secret, Wired, Yahoo!, and many others.  See www.iavisarts.org for more information or view the Winner’s Gallery.

“The quality, creativity and execution of this year’s work is a true testament to the talents and abilities of communications professionals from around the world.  The entries received reflect an increasingly diversified industry and the work once again sets the bar extremely high,” noted Linda Day, director of the IAVA.  She added, “On behalf of the entire Academy, we are honored to have once again judged the 15th Annual Communicator Awards and we are proud to honor the outstanding communications professionals who continue to push a high standard of excellence.”

Mark Johnson Custom Homes’ website was designed by Provis Media, a full service interactive agency based in Wilmington, NC.

Wilmington, NC Green builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc would like to introduce you to the AquaOne Technologies’ H2ORB, a patented water management system that can help you manage your utility costs and so much more. The H2ORB prevents toilet overflows, detects water loss, and identifies and resolves toilet malfunctions. This “Green” product eliminates excess water use and saves energy and natural resources.

h2orb-fr-el-30-shad_129_150An important fact to understand is that a minimum of 6 billion gallons of water in the U.S. are wasted per day due to leaking toilets. How is this possible? The US Census Bureau states there are over one billion toilets in the U.S., the American Water Works Association states one out of five toilets leak, and the Environmental Protection agency claims 30-500 gallons per day are wasted by small “silent” leaks.

The H2ORB senses toilet overflows or water leaks and an automated shut-off valve intercepts the flow of water to the tank and shuts off the water flow. H2ORB’s audible alarm and clear icons alert the homeowner that a fault has occurred in the system. Its icons then let you know the precise location of the fault and that the water has been shut off before the problem can become a major cost issue.

For more information, visit their site!

When Wilmington, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes decided to build a LEED home in Landfall, they aimed for the highest LEEDS Certification possible. Low or No-VOC products are required to build according to LEED specifications. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) come from carpet, cabinet stains and tile waterproofing but most commonly in paint. Sherwin Williams created GreenSure Harmony paint as their Green alternative. But what makes No-VOC Paint “Green”?

GreenSureFirst we must go into detail what VOCs are and why they are harmful. Typical household paint contains up to 10,000 chemicals, of which 300 are known toxins and 150 have been linked to cancer. Some of the most harmful chemicals found in paint are VOCs.  

VOCs are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that readily vaporize into the air. When they enter the air, they react with other elements to produce ozone, which causes air pollution and a host of health issues including breathing problems, headache, burning, watery eyes and nausea. Some VOCs have also been linked to cancer, as well as kidney and liver damage.

As paint dries, these harmful VOCs are released into the air at high levels. Indoor VOC levels are routinely 10 times higher than outdoor levels and up to 1,000 times higher immediately after painting. Although VOC levels are highest during and soon after painting, they continue seeping out for several years. In fact, only 50 percent of the VOCs may be released in the first year.

Armed with this information, consumers have begun to demand safer alternatives. Low-VOC and No-VOC paints, which are now widely available and sold by most major paint manufacturers, have become the Green solution.

Courtesy of: ­Horton, Jennifer.  “How Low-VOC Paint Works.”  09 July 2008.  HowStuffWorks.com. <http://home.howstuffworks.com/low-voc-paint.htm> 13 May 2009.
harmony paint

farmers-market-photoWrightsville Beach home builder, Mark Johnson Custom Homes, encourages our locals to take advantage of the first-ever Wrightsville Beach Farmers Market! Buying from these local farmers and businesses is just another simple way you can “Go Green.” By supporting the local production of goods, your products create less stress on the environment, as these goods are brought to you via limited transportation.

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On June 22, 2009, local farmers and businesses were able to showcase their goods at the first Farmers Market in front of the Wrightsville Beach Post Office on Old Causeway Drive. Wrightsville Beach has been anticipating the opportunity to support local businesses for some time, and products from local organic gardens will also be available to the health-conscious customer. The market will be open Mondays from 8:00am-1:00pm.

Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc is proud to use an environmentally smart option in their Green home in the Landfall Community in Wilmington, NC.

Mohawk Carpet leads innovation in sustainable flooring with SmartStrand® carpet with DuPont™ Sorona® renewably sourced polymer. In a partnership with DuPont, this carpet exclusively offers fiber made with Bio-PDO™ (the key Sorona® ingredient), which is produced from corn sugar.

By utilizing this new ingredient, 37 percent of Sorona® is being made from renewable resources. This marks the first time that a luxuriously soft carpet offers durability and stain protection, while also making less of an environmental impact.

Mohawk-Spring-2009-Ad-1-Sm

DuPont™ Sorona® plays a major role in the worldwide objective of a renewable economy and represents a new frontier in sustainability. This carpet is environmentally smart because:

– The production of Sorona® polymer requires 30 percent less energy than the production of an equal amount of nylon.

– Greenhouse gas emissions from the production of Sorona® are 63 percent lower than nylon manufacturing.

– This energy reduction results in approximately one gallon of gasoline saved per every seven square yards of carpet.

The superior stain resistance of SmartStrand® carpet is engineered into the fiber and will never wear or wash off, meaning consumers will never need to retreat the carpet with stain protectors after steam cleaning.

And this engineered-in stain resistance reaches new levels of protection, allowing tough stains such as mustard, red wine, and cherry Kool-Aid® to be removed simply with warm water and a mild detergent, or with Mohawk FloorCare™ Essentials. The fiber even resists discoloration from bleach.

For more information, visit their site.

Courtesy of: MohawkFlooring.com

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released the LEED regional credits as part of LEED 2009, the new version of the LEED Green Building Rating System. These LEED credits encourage that specific regional environmental priorities be addressed when it comes to the design, construction and operations of buildings in different geographic locations.

“Because environmental priorities differ among various regions of the country—the challenges in the southeast differ from those in the northwest, for example—regionally specific credits give LEED a way to directly respond to diverse, regionally grounded issues,” says Brendan Owens, vice president of technical development, USGBC. “The inclusion of these regional LEED credits is the Council’s first step toward addressing regional environmental issues.”

With the help of USGBC’s regional councils, chapters and affiliates, credits addressing six specific environmental issues within a region were identified from among the existing LEED credits. In LEED 2009, LEED projects will be able to earn “bonus points” for implementing green building strategies that address the important environmental issues facing their region. A project can be awarded as many as four extra points, with one point each for achieving up to four of the six priority credits.

LEED 2009 is one of the three major components that make up LEED Version 3, the next version of the LEED green building certification program, which launched April 27, 2009. The changes to the LEED rating system reflect the rapid advancements in building science and technology and provides incentives for strategies that have greater positive impacts on energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reductions, among other priorities.

The other components of LEED v3 include a faster, smarter and easier to use LEED Online, the tool for managing the LEED registration and certification process; and a new building certification model administered by the Green Building Certification Institute through a network of internationally recognized independent ISO-accredited certification bodies. To learn more about LEED v3 and to download a region-by-region list of priority credits, visit www.usgbc.org/leed2009.

Wilmington, NC custom builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc. has taken into account the Southeastern North Carolina regional aspects in their registered LEED home in the gated community of Landfall Country Club. MJCH hopes to continue to build new homes in Wilmington, NC of this caliber and to attain the highest LEED certification as possible.

Courtesy of: ContractMagazine.com

Wrightsville Beach, N.C. has become a popular place to live and vacation because of its residential atmosphere, ideal climate, convenient location, and near absence of crime.  The town occupies a beautiful barrier island that stretches four miles along North Carolina’s southeastern coast as well as an interior island named Harbor Island.  

With an average 212 days of sunshine, summer temperatures in the 80s and winter temperatures in the 50s, it is no surprise that visitors seek vacation on the island year-round.  Wrightsville Beach is known as much more than simply a “summer beach town,” due in part to the numerous fine shopping and dining that attracts locals and visitors throughout the year.  

It is no surprise the primary attraction to Wrightsville Beach is the beach itself.  Most cannot resist the soft white sand and crystal blue ocean.  The town draws thousands of surfers, boaters, kayakers and fisherman throughout the warmer months.  When visiting Wrightsville beach, one quickly learns the town has an appeal beyond the beach. 

As the weather becomes cooler, many still continue to walk, jog or run the “loop”, which is a circular scenic 2.45 mile path which takes exercisers around the Public Park and scenic marshes.  Many living in Wrightsville Beach custom homes can easily access the “loop” simply by walking out their front door.   

Countless activities and festivals—including the popular annual Flotilla—are planned each month within the Town of Wrightsville Beach as well as within nearby Wilmington.  Residents are also able to take advantage of all the amenities, such as the charming historic riverfront district, cultural offerings and medical facilities, which Wilmington has to offer.   

Located within New Hanover County, Wrightsville Beach has its own police and fire departments.  Young children living on the island can attend Wrightsville Beach Elementary School, and then continue on to other top-rated schools in the New Hanover County Public School System or select among the numerous private schools in the area.  The University of North Carolina Wilmington is located just 5 miles away, for those wishing to apply to receive a degree or those who would enjoy simply enrolling in a class or two for fun.  Ranked as one of the top public regional undergraduate universities in the South by US News and World Report, the university also offers year-round cultural and athletic events.   

For those interested in history, the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History features exhibits showcasing the changes on the island over the past 100 years.  Find information about the train used in 1902 to transport visitors onto the island for summer or weekend vacations.  A train ride from Wilmington new homes in downtown Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach lasted 30 minutes.  Today, those living in Wilmington new homes can simply hop in their car and drive less than 15 miles to the beach.  Wrightsville Beach is also conveniently located off Interstate 40, allowing for easy day-trips to the Raleigh area.

Wrightsville Beach is well known for the beauty of its houses, which many consider prime examples of contemporary beach architecture.  When taking a peaceful evening stroll down the street, one will walk past a variety of homes—from cottages dating back to the late 1800s to the new Wrightsville Beach custom homes. 

Mark Johnson Custom Homes, a Wrightsville Beach custom builder, provides the perfect solution for those who want to build their dream home in Wrightsville Beach.  The company thrives on its simple, straightforward building process, which allows homebuyers to enjoy the experience of building a home for their family. 

When building Wrightsville Beach custom homes with Mark Johnson Custom Homes, everyone works hard to ensure the new homes are built to the owner’s specifications and design selections.  The Wrightsville Beach custom builderassigns each homebuyer a Project Manager and Designer to assist with the decision process.   Clients are encouraged to attend a Builder Meeting, where they are able to review the contract with the Builder. 

During the construction phase of the Wrightsville Beach custom homes, homebuyers will receive a User ID and Password to access information on the Web regarding the building of their Mark Johnson Custom Home.  The Wrightsville Beach custom builder updates the online Client Progress Portal site each week with progress photos and a construction schedule, allowing homebuyers to review the status of their dream home from any computer. 

Founded in Wilmington, N.C., Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc. is a licensed unlimited builder by the State of North Carolina.  Mark Johnson Custom Homes is recognized for delivering high-quality custom Wilmington new homes and Wrightsville Beach custom homes.