"Green Homes Projects in a Down Economy"

"Brad Liljequist, the project manager overseeing the development of several so-called zero-net energy homes -- that is, super-efficient homes promising to consume less energy than they generate through solar power and other means -- recalled with chagrin a groundbreaking ceremony for a project in Issaquah, Wash., last fall.

It was, Mr. Liljequist said, 'the day the Dow dropped 800 points.'

As the credit freeze tightened its grip on the economy, the market for green construction -- at least in some respects -- remained strong overall, according to the U.S. Green Building Council and insurers of green construction projects.

Just last month, General Electric announced its own plans to develop a portfolio of net-zero energy homes by 2015.

Still, as fewer and fewer banks proved willing to lend money for upfront construction costs, many smaller green builders have been forced to find new ways to see their projects through to completion."

Francesca Lyman reports for Green Inc. in the New York Times August 19, 2009.

Source: NYTimes, 08/21/2009