ORLANDO, FL …
There’s a misconception among many consumers that buying “green” refers strictly to products made of natural materials. While that’s part of the equation, there’s much more to it. Like appliances and lighting that last longer and use less power to run, and plumbing that requires less water. At DirectBuy of Orlando, members not only have the opportunity to purchase the full spectrum of green products under one roof, but they also can save some “green” by paying manufacturer-direct prices.
Some of the “green” products available to DirectBuy members include:
● Faucets and plumbing fixtures that offer low consumption
● Natural cork flooring and underlayments
● Flooring made of renewable, natural bamboo
● Energy Star-rated lighting and ceiling fans
● Energy Star compliant kitchen appliances, washers, and dryers
● Cabinets treated with low-voc, LEED-compliant stains
● Bedroom, dining room, and living furniture manufactured by members of the Sustainable Furniture Council; many of these pieces are made from natural fibres, use eco-friendly foam, and contain organic, halogen-free fire retardants.
“Consumers are always being encouraged to make ‘greener’ purchases, but there’s no real road map as to where to make these purchases and whether or not what they do buy is green,” said Brian Cohen, owner of DirectBuy of Orlando. “The green products our members can buy through DirectBuy have been rated by recognized ‘green’ authorities like Energy Star, LEED, or the Sustainable Furniture Council, so you know the green purchase you’re making is part of the solution.”
In addition to making greener products available, DirectBuy of Orlando has also hosted green building workshops. During these sessions, members learn about the different green construction methods and products available. One Orlando area couple, Barry and Susan Sitkoff, utilized the knowledge they gained from the workshop, along with the expertise of DirectBuy’s product specialists, to build their “dream green home.”
Here are some of the green items that went into the Sitkoff’s green home:
Walls – Constructed with an insulated concrete form (ICF) containing three inches of foam on the outside, three inches of foam on the inside, and a solid three-inch concrete core. Building with ICFs can save homeowners up to 50 percent on energy costs. The benefits of ICFs include reduced noise transmission, resistance to mold and mildew growth, and up to a four-hour fire resistive rating. ICFs can also be built to any seismic or hurricane storm standard.
Attic – A closed cell foam was installed on the roof deck, while an AC feed and return were installed in the attic without roof vents to prevent energy loss and allow the Sitkoffs to use their attic as living space – something that is virtually unheard of in Florida.
Windows – Double-pane, Low E (the E stands for emissivity) windows were installed throughout the house. Double-pane windows (not to be confused with double-hung windows) have two panes of glass, and can reduce heat loss by 50 percent or more. In addition, the Low E glass used minimizes the impact of direct sunlight by reflecting heat back to its source. The Sitkoffs further reduced the impact of direct sunlight by designing their home with north- and south-facing patios.
Garage Door – A steel-back insulated garage door with R-15 insulation was used to provide excellent thermal performance. R-15 high density insulation consists of more fibers per square inch, resulting in a higher R-value per square inch in less space than standard insulation products.
Toilets and Faucets – The Sitkoffs installed low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets that should reduce water usage by 50 percent.
Water Heater – A gas on-demand water heater was installed instead of a typical hot water heater that continuously heats the water in the tank. A tankless hot water heater, like the one installed, can reduce energy usage while still providing hot water by simply turning on the tap.
Appliances – Their gourmet kitchen was equipped with all Energy Star-rated appliances, including a 48-inch dual fuel (electric oven gas) range with a six-burner top and a warming drawer to keep food at the perfect temperature while using less power.
Lighting – All of the lights have dimmers or Eco-bulbs. Eco-bulbs have the following benefits:
- High power factor that results in less distortion on the electricity network
- Last up to twice as long as other energy-saving bulbs
- Reduce green house gas emissions
- 15,000 hour life – the equivalent of either 14 standard bulbs or three average energy-saving bulbs.
- Recyclable packaging
- Very low amalgam content used in production
Flooring – Carpeting with recycled content was installed, as well as natural stone (travertine floors and bathroom tile with granite countertops for the kitchens and bathrooms). Natural stone flooring and tile are sustainable choices that will last many lifetimes.
The Sitkoffs completed their green home in June of 2009 and since moving in, have spent $100-$150 less a month on their electrical bills than their neighbors with the same size home.
“We might have spent a little more to build green but in the long-run, we will save substantially,” said Barry Sitkoff.
Since 2005, DirectBuy of Orlando South has helped consumers enjoy enormous savings on home furnishings, home improvement items, entertainment and outdoor products, flooring, and accessories, by providing an avenue to purchase directly from manufacturers and their authorized suppliers. Conveniently located at 502 Sunport Lane, Suite 400 in Orlando, DirectBuy Club offers consumers a comfortable setting where they finally have the financial control of buying direct.
“We all know we should be making greener purchases, particularly when it comes to products we use in our everyday lives like lighting and appliances,” said Cohen. “By making all these green options available at DirectBuy, we give our members the choice to save money and valuable natural resources.”
About DirectBuy Club
For more than 39 years, DirectBuy Club has been showing thousands of consumers unparalleled ways to save as they shop for virtually everything for in and around their homes – from furnishings, home improvement and flooring, to entertainment and outdoor products, accessories, and much, much more. With more than 150 locations in North America, DirectBuy Club offers its members access to more than 700 brand-name manufacturers or their authorized suppliers in the U.S. and more than 500 brand-name manufacturers or their authorized suppliers in Canada.
Consumers interested in seeing DirectBuy Club’s savings, service, and selection up close may obtain a Visitor’s Pass to attend an Open House by visiting directbuy.com or directbuycares.com.