Energy Guide LabelThe EnergyGuide label gives you two important pieces of information you can use to compare different brands and models when shopping for a new appliance:
Estimated energy consumption on a scale showing a range for similar models

Estimated yearly operating cost based on the national average cost of electricity

The Primrose at Landfall built in Wilmington, NC by custom home builder and remodeler Mark Johnson Custom Homes was recently recognized as one of the Most Innovative Small Residential projects in the country. The honor was presented as part of the ICF Builder Awards, an international competition designed to showcase the advantages of building with Insulated Concrete Forms, commonly called ICFs. ICFs are hollow foam blocks which are stacked and then filled with steel-reinforced concrete. The finished structure combines the strength of concrete with the insulating properties of foam, which stays in place to insulate and protect the walls. This construction method can reduce energy bills by up to 70 percent, block exterior noise, and is extremely disaster resistant. As an additional benefit, it is one of the most popular ways to “build green” costing between 5 to 10 percent more than regular frame construction.

The Primrose at Landfall was named First Runner-Up in the Small Residential division. The presentation, witnessed by hundreds of construction professionals associated with the industry, took place last month at the World of Concrete trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The ICF Builder Awards are given annually to projects that demonstrate outstanding innovation, quality, and craftsmanship in ICF construction. “The variety and scale of projects being built with ICFs is truly astounding,” said Clark Ricks, editor of ICF Builder magazine and organizer of the competition. “It’s time these outstanding projects received industry-wide recognition, and we feel privileged to take a leading role in that.”

For more information about the ICF Builder Awards, go to

Wilmington, NC Green builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes understands the importance of recycling and would like to share the following information about recycling paper, courtesy of

  • Every ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees compared to paper made from virgin materials.
  • Instead of using a new piece of paper for rough work, turn over a used copy and write on the other side.
  • Junk mail is more than an annoyance. It clogs landfills as well as your mailbox, and costs millions of trees and tax dollars every year.
  • 5.6 million tons of catalogs and other direct mail advertisements end up in U.S. landfills annually.
  • The average U.S. household receives unsolicited junk mail equal to 1.5 trees each year—That’s more than 100 million trees for all households combined.
  • 44 percent of junk mail is thrown away unopened, but only half that much junk mail (33 percent) is recycled.
  • Americans pay $370 million annually to dispose of junk mail that doesn’t get recycled.
  • On average, Americans spend 8 months opening junk mail in the course of their lives.
  • Start by registering with the Mail Preference Service of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). It won’t guarantee you a life free of junk mail, but it can help.
  • You can also go to, which can enable you to remove your name from lists that mortgage, credit card and insurance companies use to mail you offers and solicitations.
  • One option is to use the Stop the Junk Mail Kit developed by the Consumer Research Institute.
  • The website provides further guidelines for reducing junk mail and other intrusions, from unwanted e-mail (Spam) to telemarketing.
  • Pay your bills online! Eliminate your paper trail as well as the energy used to transport paper bills.
  • Go digital. If only 10 million people in the US change Mon-Fri newspapers to online, we could save almost 50,000 trees each year!
  • Manufacturing products from recycled materials requires substantially less energy and natural resources than products from virgin materials.
  • You may think that a lot of paper gets recycled, but according to the National Recycling Coalition, Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 13-foot-high wall of paper from New York to Seattle.
  • Do your part – recycle!

Green Up Your Valentine's Day

February 8th, 2010



Pender County, NC new home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to wish all of our reader’s a Happy Valentine’s Day and share this very informative article courtesy of NC GreenPower that gives Green gift suggestions for this special day.

Flowers, cards, candy? GREEN up your Valentine’s Day with these ideas that both your significant other and the environment will appreciate!

  •  Instead of traditional flowers for Valentine’s day, give a beautiful, long-lasting potted plant from a local garden.
  • Cook a romantic meal using all organic ingredients from local markets.
  • Want to take your date to dinner? Then think about supporting a restaurant that uses locally-grown produce.
  • Around a billion valentines are sent each year globally, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas. Those one billion cards laid end to end would stretch around the world 5 times! That’s a lot of trees. NOT including cards exchanged in classrooms between children, 180 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged in the U.S. alone. So forget traditional paper Valentine’s Day cards! Instead send an e-card that will save paper and get to your Valentine right on time.
  • If you’re really splurging this year and want to get jewelry, find a jeweler who uses conflict-free diamonds, like Brilliant Earth uses Canadian diamonds and recycled gold, which means their sales never support slavery, child labor, or terrorism.
  • Take a green vacation with your loved one – visit our website to purchase carbon offsets for your trip.
  • Send your sweetheart organic fair trade chocolates this V-day.
  • If you want to get a really unique gift, check out Ten Thousand Villages. It’s not only a socially responsible business but also eco-friendly.
  • For a simple $24 tax-deductable donation, you can also give the gift of clean air with an NC GreenPower gift card!
  • Consider natural perfumes. Other fragrances are synthetic and often from toxic petrochemicals from crude oil.
  • Take a trip to your local park, aquarium or zoo. Or better yet, make a donation to the ASPCA or Humane Society.
  • If Valentine’s Day is an important day for you, show a bit of extra love for the environment by carefully considering what you buy.

Courtesy of:

Brunswick County, NC Green home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers an article that was released on January 20, during the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, NV.

Kohler, Marvin Windows and Doors and Whirlpool are three manufacturers ready with new lines of green and sustainable products for today’s new homes, company representatives said today at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

But until lenders and appraisers learn to recognize the value of green innovation and the money it can save new home buyers, there is not enough incentive in the marketplace for large-scale implementation, said Bill Nolan, the Florida home building consultant who moderated the first of three press conferences in commemoration of Green Day at the Builders’ Show.

 Kohler’s water-saving toilets use an average of 39,000 fewer gallons of water per year for a family of four – a lifetime of drinking water for three people, said Shane Judd, senior marketing manager of water conservation for the company. New products will incorporate rainwater reuse and gray water – using the water draining from the shower stall to fill the washing machine, for example.

 Marvin emphasizes long-term sustainability rather than first-time costs and also pays close attention to green practices during the production process, said Brett Boyum, director of marketing. Each year, 8,500 tons of shavings and other wood waste are used to heat the company’s manufacturing plant.

 Ed Linder, division director, Whirlpool Corporation, said his company is manufacturing ranges that use 40 percent less energy and appliances that are “smart-grid” ready and is exploring shared-power technologies: for example, using the energy generated from a refrigerator condenser coil to heat the water in the dishwasher.

 For innovation to leap forward, it must be cost-effective, and that can’t happen until the additional first-time costs and long-term savings of most green technologies are appreciated by appraisers and bankers in the underwriting process, Nolan said.

 “We can’t get lenders to appreciate the value of the net costs, and if we can’t get the values recognized, [manufacturers] can’t justify moving these products forward,” he said, noting that NAHB is working to educate appraisers and lenders. “The goal should be long-term energy efficiency.”

Courtesy of:

New Hanover County, NC Green home builder, Mark Johnson Custom Homes enjoys the informative articles on the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Home Guide website. One particular article outlines 15 Green home improvements, each under $500. Below is the list written by Jeanne Huber of This Old House and to read each one in more detail, click here!

  1. Build a clothesline Insulating Hot Water Pipes
  2. Add a tube-type skylight
  3. Put a recirculating pump under the sink
  4. Insulate hot-water pipes
  5. Plant deciduous trees
  6. Install a programmable thermostat
  7. Create a rain garden
  8. Install a smart ceiling fan
  9. Replace can lights
  10. Build a worm bin
  11. Install aerators on faucets         
  12. Clean your refrigerator coils         
  13. Replace weatherstripping         
  14. Reduce light pollution         
  15. Clean green  

Article Courtesy of: Photo Courtesy of: Rob Howard

Above and Beyond EnergyJacksonville, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes encourages all of our readers to understand why energy efficient homes are important to the environment, human health and land resources. When building our Energy Star home in Wilmington, NC we utilized the services of Above and Beyond Energy in Wilmington, NC, a third-party independent company that strives to help homeowners minimize their home’s carbon footprint through improved efficiency and durability.

We’d also like to share a recent article from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Home Guide by Wisconsin Green Building Alliance member Tate Walker in which he outlined the reasons homeowners should be aware of energy efficiencies. Below are the points he addressed and to read the complete article, click here!

What are the environmental costs of energy waste in U.S. homes?
Can you scale the big picture down to the homeowner’s perspective?
What are the health benefits of more energy-efficient homes?
What are some of your favorite innovations or design ideas for energy efficiency?
What got you interested in green remodeling?

July 8, 2009

Alternative Energy:  Technology of Today Fueling the Jobs of Tomorrow

           Every citizen of this country has felt the squeeze of higher energy costs.  Whether it’s increasing utility rates or gas prices, American families and businesses consistently rank energy costs as a top concern.  Our nation relies heavily on fossil fuels including petroleum, natural gas, and coal.  It is vitally important to our national security and our economic security that we continue to look at expanding domestic production of these traditional energy resources, while also look to the future of cleaner, greener, American-made alternative energy sources.  Southeastern North Carolina has such promise to be on the cutting-edge of these energy alternatives that I am hosting a summit on alternative energy to highlight what the future may hold.

            This event, called Alternative Energy Summit:  The Technology of Today Fueling the Jobs of Tomorrow!, features preeminent speakers in the fields of marine spatial planning, alternative fuels, bioenergy research, energy efficiency, worker training, and alternative electricity generation.  The Summit will be held on Monday, July 20th at 9:00 a.m. at the Burney Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

            The first panel will help answer the question, “How can we tap into our ocean resources?”  The waters off our beautiful coast contain significant power that may be able to be harnessed and turned into energy.  Dr. Sandra Whitehouse of the Ocean Conservancy and Dr. James Leutze of the North Carolina Senate Advisory Committee on Offshore Energy Exploration will focus on the possibility of harnessing the immense wave energy generated by our oceans.  They will also look at how we can site various energy facilities, such as windmills, offshore energy platforms, and pipelines in a way that maximizes energy efficiency while minimizing impacts to the environment and local communities.  Dr. Steve Eitelman of UNCW will discuss the University’s ongoing research into algae as a feedstock for vehicles fuels.

            The second panel will focus discussion around the question, “Can biofuels reinvigorate the economy of North Carolina?”  Mr. Steven Burke of the Biofuels Center of North Carolina will discuss the Center’s efforts to cultivate and fund alternative energy research at its campus near Raleigh.  Many companies throughout the state are looking into biofuels development, and the Biofuels Center can provide the resources and technical assistance to make these projects a reality.  Dr. Siva Mandjiny of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke will discuss the research project that the University is undertaking regarding readily-available agricultural waste as feedstock for conversion into vehicle fuels.  This process could provide extra value to farmers while creating an affordable way to make alternative fuels. Mr. Gary Nealy of Southeastern Community College will discuss efforts to train workers in the field of biotechnology to service the growing industry.  The average annual wage of U.S. bioscience workers was $71,000 in 2006, more than $29,000 greater than the average private-sector annual wage.

            The third and final panel will look at the question, “Can the southeast generate significant renewable electricity?”  There are concerns that the resource-deficient southeast cannot meet aggressive goals for alternative electricity generation.  Mr. Larry Shirley of the North Carolina State Energy Office will discuss the state’s efforts to increase wind and solar generation while also pursuing a strong energy efficiency program.  Conservation can significantly help reduce electricity bills and reduce our consumption of energy sources.  Mr. Chip Leavitt of Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation will be discussing the efforts and challenges of local utilities to generate more energy from clean sources.

            Alternative energy development has great promise here in North Carolina and across the country.  Some day in the not-so-distant future, we may see local electricity plants burning agricultural, solid, municipal, and animal waste for nearby communities at an affordable rate supporting many jobs.  Investments made today in research, development, and deployment will bring us to that day.  Join us on July 20th as we prepare for the future!

logo_colorThe featured article below highlights how “Built Green” homes are growing in value over time, whereas their uncertified counterparts are not. “Built Green” includes homes that have been certified with the United States Green Building Council. This also includes Wilmington, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes’ new Landfall Country Club LEED registered home. The ICF-built, 2,770 square foot home is expected to increase in value in the same way as the homes in Seattle. The Wilmington, NC Green home is also an Energy Star rated home, and according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, home values increasing are only one of the benefits of a green built home.

To read the complete article, click here.  

For more information on the Landfall Green home in Wilmington, NC, visit our Progress Portal and enter the Username “51” and Password “2009”.

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.


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.

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