Wilmington home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share an interesting article, courtesy of environmentalleader.com, about the Empire State Building being awarded LEED Gold Certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally-recognized green building certification system that was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in March 2000. LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

The Empire State Building has been awarded LEED Gold for Existing Buildings certification.

It is the tallest and almost certainly the best-known building in the U.S. to receive the award, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, the company that managed the retrofit.

Johnson Controls and Jones Lang LaSalle conducted the retrofit, and say the $20 million project is guaranteed to reduce the building’s energy consumption by more than 38 percent and should save $4.4 million in energy costs annually. The improvements also reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 105,000 metric tons over 15 years.

In January 2011, the Empire State Building Company agreed to buy wind-based carbon offsets totaling 55 million kWh per year from Green Mountain Energy, making the Empire State Building carbon-neutral.

In March, the window technology used in the retrofitting of the building went on sale for commercial use. The iWindow is a thin material frame which is installed on the inside of existing windows. This then improves the thermal performance of single pane aluminum systems.

Article Courtesy of:  environmentalleader.com

Green Home GuideAs a Green home builder, Mark Johnson Custom Homes understands the importance of utilizing eco-friendly options for your home. When we built our Energy Star Certified home in the Landfall community in Wilmington, NC, we worked with the U.S. Green Building Council to ensure it would also be LEED Certified Platinum, the highest certification level attainable from the USGBC. The U.S. Green Building Council also publishes the Green Home Guide, an online resource for homeowners looking to build, remodel or retrofit their home with “Green” options in mind. And because this is such an invaluable resource, we’d like to share an article from the Green Home Guide’s article entitled “Take Steps toward a Poison-Free, Natural Lawn”. Below are just a few easy tips to ensure your lawn is Green-friendly and to read the complete article, simply click here!

Altering when and how you water your lawn is one of the easiest adjustments one can make to maintain a healthy, eco-friendly home. Watering between 5-10:00am is best and if you use an irrigation controller and the water is not soaking in, adjust your controller to water twice a day in shorter periods.

Proper maintenance of your irrigation system will also help save you time and money. Check for leaks in the system at least once a month during the dry season to ensure leaks will not waste water. Also add an automatic shut-off for days when it rains. And in lieu of spraying herbicides to kill weeds, hand pull them or dig them out.

Courtesy of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Home Guide

The Mother Nature Network reported earlier this month on what may become North Carolina’s first LEED Platinum Certified public facility. The North Carolina Botanical Garden is a 900-acre garden in Chapel Hill, NC that has been using the same facility since it was founded in 1971. With a $12.5 million eco-friendly makeover and the help of Raleigh, NC-based architect Frank Harmon, the facility will hopefully attain the LEED Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Pender County, NC green home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes fully understands the USGBC’s format for LEED Platinum Certification, as we built what is only the second LEED Platinum home in North Carolina. Below is an excerpt on the article from Mother Nature Network, and to read more about North Carolina’s latest Green undertaking, click here!

“The garden, which is part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has had numerous successes in its quest to be a leader in the sustainability movement. It was one of the founding institutions for the Center for Plant Conservation, took an active role in writing state laws that led to the North Carolina Plant Conservation Program and holds the honor of being the first garden in North America to establish an exotic pest plant policy. The garden has also set a goal to reduce the collection of native plants from the wild, propagating them from seed instead.

Planning for the project began in 2006. The ambitious design plans called for all aspects of the building from the materials to the energy sources to be as eco-friendly as possible. Raleigh-based architect Frank Harmon designed the building to meet the garden’s goal of achieving LEED Platinum status.

‘If we achieve LEED Platinum status, we’ll be the first public building in North Carolina to reach that rating,’ [Executive Director Peter] White says.

The list of green architectural features certainly appears impressive enough to allow the garden to reach its goal. The 31,000 square-foot facility comprises three buildings for offices, classrooms and exhibit space.”

St. James Plantation, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes is featured in the October/November 2009 issue of Concrete Homes Magazine! The highlighted Green home in Wilmington, NC, which was framed using LOGIX Insulating Concrete Forms, is only the second LEED Platinum Home in North Carolina. (LEED Platinum is the highest attainable certification for Green-built homes from the U.S. Green Building Council.)

Below is an excerpt and to read the complete article, click here or pick up a copy of the latest issue on newsstands now!

“Up to 50 percent of LOGIX blocks, by weight, are made from recycled materials, and the ICF product produces minimal waste, which can then be fully recycled. LOGIX foam panels are made from 10 percent recycled expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam. LOGIX webs, which hold rebar within the form, are made of 100 percent recycled polypropylene.

Building with the LOGIX ICF delivered the first 26 LEED points by itself.

[Kevin] Johnson said the exterior walls are a foot thick: 6 inches of concrete sandwiched by 2 3/4 inches of LOGIX foam panels on each side, providing an R-50 insulation standard.   

The 114 cubic yards of concrete used to fill the ICFs was provided by Hughes Ready Mixed Co. in Wilmington, and was a 30 percent fly ash mix.

‘If I were building a home for myself, I certainly would build it with ICFs, especially in this coastal region where we know we are going to get hurricanes and other storms.'”


Liz Whiteman
Operations Manager
Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc

Wilmington, NC November 17, 2009 — The Concrete Producer and Concrete Construction magazines selected projects in eight categories for its Second Annual GreenSite Awards. All winning projects best exemplify the concrete production industry’s contribution to sustainable construction. Among the award winners were Southeastern NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes for The Primrose at Landfall, their Energy Star and LEED Platinum Certified home in Wilmington, NC. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects are overseen by the U.S. Green Building Council and the LEED Platinum Certification is the highest attainable certification.

“We are proud to have constructed such a beautiful yet environmentally conscious home and are thrilled about the savings the homeowner will enjoy for years to come,” said Kevin Johnson, Vice President of Business Development. “In five or ten years these energy efficiencies will be standard construction practices, but for the time being, we are thrilled to be viewed as pioneers in our industry”.

Visit www.MarkJohnsonCustomHomes.com for more information on Mark Johnson Custom Homes and The Primrose at Landfall. Visit www.theconcreteproducer.com and www.concreteconstruction.net for information on the award winners and a slide show on each winning project.

About Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc

Mark Johnson Custom Homes is a family owned small business, licensed unlimited builder that focuses on new residential custom home construction. We have excelled in custom home building, multi-family construction, concrete construction, LEED for Homes Platinum, energy efficient/sustainable remodels and renovations. We have been recognized nationally and locally for our craftsmanship, safety and “Green” initiatives.

We pride ourselves on excellent customer service, and 100% of our past clients eagerly refer us to friends and family because we ensure that every client has:

  • A Professional and Courteous Staff
  • Web-Based Tools That Keep Them “In the Know”
  • Detailed Plans That Eliminates Timely and Costly Mistakes
  • A Knowledgeable Team of Trusted Trade Partners and Associates
  • The Use of the Latest Technologies Available

MJ infront of ICF'sSt. James Plantation, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share a recent article from EzineArticles.com with tips on choosing a General Contractor. Mark Johnson Custom Homes is a family owned small business, licensed unlimited builder that focuses on new residential custom home construction. We have excelled in custom home building, multi-family construction, concrete construction, LEED for Homes Platinum, energy efficient/sustainable remodels and renovations.  

Below is an excerpt and to read the complete article, click here!

“One of worst mistakes that homeowners could make in their home building or home remodeling projects is to choose and hire general contractors based on how low they offered their bids for a particular project. Hiring a contractor or a home builder with the lowest bid does not guarantee that you will get a high level of quality, an efficient construction schedule, good materials and even security. 

Although cost-effectiveness is an important aspect in any home remodeling project and would be an important and vital factor in the selection process for general contractors, it is not your only or sole basis for selection. There are other considerations to make that involve checking out the company and getting guarantees of their work. This should be your basic process whether you plan to build or renovate a home in Boston, Massachusetts or anywhere else around the nation.”

stjamesplantationSt. James Plantation Builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes is excited to share that the community has broken ground on a future LEED Certified Clubhouse, The Reserve Club. As a Green home builder, we are familiar with the LEED Certification process, as we have recently completed a LEED Platinum home in Wilmington, NC. The Platinum rating is the highest attainable certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

St. James Plantation members celebrated the event on October 14, 2009, which included custom club fittings from The Reserve Club golf professionals, a sidewalk sale and a 30-foot putting contest. The 24,000 square foot clubhouse will boast private dining areas, wine room, screened dining porch and a cozy bar.



St. James Plantation is the number one-selling community in the coastal Carolinas and we encourage you to tour their website! For more information on what will be the first LEED Certified Clubhouse in Southeastern North Carolina, click here!

Mark Johnson Custom Homes invites local Wilmington, NC government officials to learn about sustainable building techniques

IMGP3632_r02 (Small)Brunswick County, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes was recently featured in the Greater Wilmington Business Journal highlighting an open house for their Energy Star Home in Wilmington, NC. Local Wilmington, NC government officials were invited to learn more about sustainable energy and Green technologies in hopes to generate the building of more Green homes in New Hanover County. Below is an excerpt from the article by Alison Satake and Valerie Carr, and to read the complete article, click here!

“After attaining the highest LEED ranking for Green building, the new Birkdale home in Landfall may set a precedent for more Green building incentives.

…Local representatives from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, the Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, and New Hanover County commissioners [were] invited to the new home to hear how incentives, such as a rebate on permits for Green homes, could spur Green building in the area.

In June, the state legislature passed Senate Bill 52, which allows all North Carolina cities and counties to develop incentives for buildings that reduce energy consumption. Wilmington and the surrounding counties met last week to discuss preliminarily what would work here.”

logo_colorWhen St. James Plantation, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes built their LEED Platinum home in Wilmington, NC, they learned the LEED for Homes system first-hand. Developed and run by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED for Homes is a Green home rating system that ensures homes are designed and built to be energy and resource efficient as well as healthy for its occupants. (LEED Platinum is the highest attainable certification for a home under the LEED for Homes program.)

LEED for Homes is a detail oriented program and we would like to share this informative “Frequently Asked Questions” brochure from the U.S. Green Building Council. It answers everything from “What is a Green home?”, “How will the quality of LEED Homes be assured?” and “How can my organization be a LEED for Homes Provider?”

In a previous blog post, Jacksonville, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes introduced our readers to The Energy Detective and explained its role in tracking the energy efficiencies of our LEED Platinum home in Landfall in Wilmington, NC. Now information technology giant Google has signed up with Energy Inc, the maker of The Energy Detective, to make tracking the energy usage of your home even easier. Below is an excerpt from a recent article on BusinessGreen.com and to read the complete article, click here. To get The Energy Detective installed in your own home in Southeastern North Carolina, contact Electronics 2 You, Coastal Carolina’s finest home audio establishment, at (910) 397-0953 or visit their website!

“Aimed at consumers, the TED 5000 home energy usage monitoring device uses a gateway device that connects and stores energy usage data from a residential electrical panel. This data can then be beamed wirelessly to a display that can be carried around by the user, providing individuals with a constant reminder of how much energy they are using.

The system can also connect to a network, so that its data is also transmissible to Google’s servers. Google PowerMeter can then display a residence’s energy usage using a chronological chart, while also rating the house against other residences, so that users can tell how well they are doing compared to the average PowerMeter user.”

TED in Kitchen