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Winterizing Homes and Businesses for Comfort and Efficiency

The temperatures are getting cooler and we will soon start bundling up and preparing for another Northern Arizona winter.

Will your home and business be prepared, too? Are they operating efficiently and sustainably during the colder months?

Coconino County has been a leader in sustainability initiatives in Northern Arizona for more than a decade. This is a great testament to Coconino County’s Sustainable Building Program (CCSBP), a program that we hope more people will use.

CCSBP helps people find low-cost and/or innovative solutions to their building goals. The program’s mission includes being accessible to anyone who would like to incorporate environmentally preferred methods into their building projects, regardless of the scope of the development or the money dedicated to it.

With the winter season upon us, you should know that CCSBP provides education on the importance of weatherizing homes for maximum comfort and efficiency. This includes basic furnace filter replacement, sealing air leaks and having heating systems checked by professionals for proper function and safety.

Since 2003, more than 7,000 community members have been able to tap the program’s resources to incorporate sustainable development practices into their businesses, homes, commercial buildings and subdivisions. The CCSBP is a voluntary and innovative program that provides free sustainable building consultation, site evaluations and design considerations for any development project within Coconino County. We are currently providing services to over 40 projects.

CCSBP also incorporates sustainable development principles into internal policies, regulations and operations, including land-use planning, zoning and building ordinances. Starting in 2004, the CCSBP has certified more than 160 community projects throughout Northern Arizona, including tribal homes, schools, affordable housing developments, restaurants, fire stations and housing rehabilitation projects. Projects participating in the CCSBP Award Program receive preferred plan review, field inspections and ongoing publicity, and awarded projects receive a custom, sustainably made plaque at the annual Sustainable Building Awards Ceremony.

CCSBP also provides ongoing educational programming on methods and principles of sustainable development, including the annual Sustainable Building Tour that is hosted as part of the Flagstaff Festival of Science. This year, there were over 250 community members who attended the tour and visited eight different houses to learn about sustainable building from homeowners and local building professionals.

The year 2017 has been an exciting and busy for the Sustainable Building Program. We certified 30 new residences and buildings, and oversaw development of new policies for passive solar, straw bale construction and tiny houses. These policies streamline the permitting process for those who are interested in these types of sustainable development.

There are many ways to make buildings more sustainable for a lasting future in Coconino County. The Sustainable Building Program is a resource for residents to make the most out of their new or existing buildings. FBN

By Cynthia Seelhammer

For more information about Coconino County’s Sustainable Building Program, visit coconino.az.gov/sustainablebuilding or call 928-679-8853.


Cynthia Seelhammer is the manager for Coconino County.










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