feature story There is no limit to the efforts they will go to educate themselves, researching new products and attending conferences domestically and internationally. Last year, they traveled to Antarctica to experience and learn more about climate control. This hands-on approach has served their clients well as they discover affordable, proven building alternatives. As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and Florida Green Building Coalition, Balda Development & Construction are leaders in the “green” construction movement. The latest USGBC statistics say humans spend nearly 90 percent of their time in a building. This is important to Balda Development especially since buildings are responsible for 39 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions; 70 percent of its electricity consumption; and 15 trillion gallons of water consumption.
Rick Balda, co-owner and president of Balda Development & Construction in front of their green luxury waterfront home.
Why Go Green?
Development&Construction Creating Environments that are Environmentally Conscious
lorida Governor Charlie Christ recently signed legislation mandating energy consumption of new homes be reduced by 20 percent in 2010 and 50 percent in 2019. This had many builders scrambling. Not Balda Development & Construction. Their homes not only meet the new criteria they exceed the 2019 standards by incorporating innovation and new technology. “Our mission is to beautify Brevard County, while also conserving the natural resources of our community for generations to come,” says President Rick Balda. And it’s that energy efficiency niche that gets Balda Development noticed. Owners Rick and Aimee Balda don’t mind the attention and the growing interest in “doing what’s best and right, for today and for tomorrow.” 54]JULY2010 spacecoastbusiness.com
[ B y I n g r i d K . M a t t a ] Photography by Cathy Heinz
Rick and Aimee Balda both have strong engineering backgrounds which shape their approach, as they work to combine aesthetic appeal with energy efficiency and environmental consciousness. Throughout their successful careers they have consistently worked on leading edge technology. Rick, an electrical engineer from Purdue University, was heavily involved in the implementation of telemedicine, while Aimee was a pioneer in Voice Over IP technology. They brought this innovative approach to designing and building their homes, soon discovering their hobby was really their true passion. Real estate development soon became their full-time career. Their combined talents make an incredible team, with Rick as a contractor and Aimee as an interior designer and LEED AP. Together they create beautiful spaces, while being able to interpret and execute the desires of their clients.
Balda Development heralds the green approach for several reasons: cost savings; added value; health; beauty & comfort; ecological benefit; and reduction of construction waste. COST SAVINGS: High R-value insulation, efficient water heaters, modern lighting and the use of natural day lighting techniques help lower monthly energy costs. Select efficient and durable building materials because they don’t have to be replaced as often. While initial construction costs may be slightly higher, the long-term savings are significant. ADDED VALUE: Statistics show that 96 percent of homebuyers look for an energy efficient home, but 80 percent of the available homes don’t meet those expectations. Building and even remodeling with the environment and efficiency in mind helps considerably, both in quicker sales and increased selling price per square foot. HEALTH: Poor air quality is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of greatest health risks. Balda Development supports using low-toxic materials such as lowVOC paint and improved ventilation techniques to prevent mold, allergens and low air quality. BEAUTY & COMFORT: Balda Development maintains that natural materials, high quality (efficient) lighting and effective design details “make for pleasing spaces… Your home can be a refuge from the hectic, and sometimes polluted, world outside,” says Aimee Balda. ECOLOGICAL BENEFIT: By choosing environmentallyresponsible products, Balda Development maintains that consumers can protect forests, wildlife and air and water quality by minimizing waste, recycling and being more resource efficient. Topsoil, water use, and porous paving can do much to improve the look and efficiency of a landscape. Water use can be minimized by planting drought tolerant plants and integrating few lawn areas; and when it comes to a driveway, porous paving can be used to allow rainwater to seep into the ground instead of running off. REDUCING CONSTRUCTION WASTE: Balda Development incorporates a jobsite recycling plan and recycles as much of the scrap building materials as possible as well as
Rick and Aimee Balda, owners of Balda Development & Construction
Solar panels, which provide heat for this home, blend seamlessly into roof design.
Development & Construction presents their luxury waterfront home with energy efficient building features not normally found in this market, including solar roof panels, insulated concrete forms, Low E impact resistant windows and doors, dual flush toilets, tankless hot water heaters, and low VOC paint. The bonus: greater comfort, lower energy bills, reduced outside noise, and lasting durability. incorporating many materials that contain recycled content or have been salvaged, thus helping reduce the amount of material destined for swollen landfills. As a leading expert in Brevard County for custom built, sustainable green homes and commercial buildings, Balda Development & Construction prides itself in “doing the right thing for its customers, the environment and for the next generation,” said Rick and Aimee Balda. u spacecoastbusiness.com JULY2010[55