Editor’s Note:NFTwas invited to visit the HGTV Green Home 2009 last month, before the June 5 close of entries in the 2009 HGTV Green Home Giveaway.
Located in Tradition, Fla., in the Core Communities’ master planned development, the HGTV Green Home 2009 has received Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification and earned the Indoor airPLUS label from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Interest in green homes and furnishing products continues to grow, as is shown by the millions of entries received in the HGTV Green Home 2009 contest, with the home itself the grand prize, valued at $750,000. (Last year, 21 million people entered to win the first HGTV Green Home, located in Bluffton, S.C.)
The house was built in about six months. All furnishings are made of natural material products such as fallen wood, reclaimed metal pieces and other recycled materials. Low or no voc paints are also featured in the home. Light bulbs are all compact fluorescents. All of the flooring products in the home are from Shaw Floors, including 14 different SKU’s.
Along with offering the latest green benefits and features, one of the goals of the house is simply to offer a beautiful home, said Jack Thomasson, HGTV house planner. Thomasson wanted to have the home viewers think: I like the architectural and design, I like everything about it, and then, on top of that, the house is green. “A lot of people, when they think green, think extreme and outrageous, spaceship-like houses. It doesn’t have to be that way. Green homes can be comfortable, inviting and stylish,” Thomasson added.
“The architecture of the house is very interesting,” he said. “It has definite angles. From the outside, you can see those. Those angles are less apparent when you are inside the house, except when you are laying the floor. We decided to address those angles, to run the flooring perfectly in the main hallway and continuing on.” Another interesting item in the home is the use of solar tubes that combine the use of natural light in the day and CFC lights in the evening, he noted.
Here’s a brief walk through of the home:
Upon entering the front door Shaw’s Matrix ceramic tile, containing up to 40 percent recycled post-industrial content, is showcased on the floor, creating a texture of paint on canvas, or ink washed over finely woven linen.
Moving into the step-down living room area, the home features Shaw’s Wild Frontier engineered hickory hardwood from its Epic Legends Collection. The 5” wide plank product utilizes 50 percent recycled content, and includes the company’s Envirocore technology.
Additionally, the house includes Perfectly Suited bound carpet, featuring the company’s premium Anso nylon fiber with recycled content and virtual weave tufting. All Anso nylon products can be recycled in the company’s Evergreen plant in Augusta, Ga.
Featured in the clearstory is Shaw’s Canyon West 8” wide recycled hardwood plank with a hand-scraped surface texture on the ceiling.
The kitchen uses Energy-Star appliances, CaesarStone quartz countertops, and stainless steel appliances. The focal point in the kitchen is the glass mosaic tile installed on the walls, which can be recycled if redecorating is desired.
In the dining area, the Perfectly Suited bound rug made of Anso nylon includes a striated two-toned visual, and is laid over the hardwood flooring.
Outside in the patio area, Shaw’s Southerland, a two-toned black and tan style, provides durable and weather-resistant carpet.
Solar panels are discreetly placed on the roofline to capture the sun’s rays and power the home. A computer system in the laundry area tracks electric consumption versus electric collection. The solar panels generate about 40% of the home’s energy needs.
According to Thomasson, sponsors for the home, including Shaw, go through a long vetting process “because our audience of 100 million households looks to us for guidance. Shaw’s commitment to green has been remarkable,” he added.
“We are proud to be the sole flooring sponsor of this HGTV Green Home,” said Reggie Newton, Shaw’s vp residential marketing. “As individuals and as corporations, in order to make good decisions and consistently make the right decision, you’ve got to stand for something. You need to put your stake in the ground and say: This is why I’m here, this is what I do and this is why I’m doing it.”
“We have three pillars that support the platform for the Shaw Green Edge, the company’s commitment to sustainability,” Newton added. “The three pillars are: commitment to operational and environmental excellence; commitment to introducing innovative products and services; and commitment to corporate government and social responsibility.”
“When you combine sustainable, innovative products with sustainable, innovative application the result is inspiration,” Newton explained.
“They really have a community following on these green homes. The consumers compare online what they saw last year to this year’s home. They are anxious to talk about the next one. It is very addictive. The sweepstakes viral spread is real,” she noted.
“Click-throughs from HGTV.com are enormous,” added Newton. “The traffic generated by the national ads in the consumer print publications carrying them to shawfloors.com is amazing.”
According to Todd Calloway, Shaw interactive marketing manager, consumers who view the Green Home website often move on to Shawfloors.com. Compared to 2008, Shawfloors.com during the Green Home giveaway has seen a 21% increase in traffic. “The power of that is they are targeted consumers,” said Calloway. Additionally, Shaw’s Spring is Green promotion has drawn 37% more traffic than last year, he noted.
Consumers are printing a special online $200 savings coupon at the site at a 209% increase versus 2008, with coupon redemptions showing a 1600% increase over last year, Calloway added. The average consumer purchase using the coupon is $3,400 with total sales of $6 million dollars (as of June 3, 2009), he said. Two thousand retailers participated in the program ending June 30.
“It is a very young project that is going on here,” said Young. “The relationship is developing. They (HGTV) are learning; we (Shaw) are learning how to tie it to the retail community and get more exposure. Our dealers have gotten so connected to HGTV because if someone in their house watches it, they are engaged with it. It is something they are comfortable talking about with the consumer when they come in. They can automatically connect without leading a conversation.”
“It is a very proud moment when you walk up to a home and it openly has Shaw Floors,” said Young. “And we are with other major national brands [in the Green Home].”
Along with Shaw, the HGTV Green Home Giveaway 2009 involves sponsorship from General Motors Corp.; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; Kohler Co.; S.C. Johnson & Son Inc.; CaesarStone US; The Sherwin-Williams Co. and Huhtamaki Food Service Inc.
A new Shaw program, the three-month Fall Flooring Event set for Sept. 1 – Nov. 30, will continue the HGTV theme along with consumer advertising. The event will expand to a broader group of retailers, with participating dealers included on the company’s dealer locator page, Shaw said.