Most of us have heard the term “green,” but what exactly is green remodeling?
- Remodeling that makes the most effective and efficient use of our natural resources.
- Remodeling for energy efficiency in heating and cooling.
- Remodeling that utilizes the natural heating/cooling properties of groundwater.
- Remodeling that takes advantage of the energy of sunlight.
- Remodeling for cleaner indoor and outdoor air quality.
- Remodeling using sustainable products and materials.
- Remodeling using non-toxic materials.
- Remodeling for the smallest possible carbon footprint.
- Remodeling with recycled materials.
- Remodeling with materials and products that have the lowest embedded energy costs.
- Remodeling to reduce water usage by recycling and water conservation.
Certainly all of the items listed above are relevant and, in some cases, essential to green remodeling. When you get right down to it, there is a dizzying array of ideas and questions about what constitutes green remodeling. The most recent trends lean toward the use of high-tech, specialty building products and systems. But there is also much to be gained by building or remodeling by utilizing proven and simple-to-implement energy-saving techniques such as proper solar orientation for passive heating/cooling benefits or the installation of programmable timers on household electrical devices to reduce power consumption.
The current standard for green building is the LEEDh certification, which is an excellent standard but one that is geared more toward high-end, high-performance homes; whereas, the soon-to-be-released NAHBgreen certification is aimed at every builder regardless of the size or scope of the projects he or she builds. The bottom line, to paraphrase North Carolina’s first Certified Green Professional, Michael Chandler, is that both certification programs are focused on helping to recognize energy efficient and resource-efficient building systems that result in well-maintained homes that are healthier to live in than the status quo, that use fewer materials to build, require less fuel and water to live in, and last longer.
At its most basic level, a green remodeling project could reflect the homeowners’ commitment to using quality materials and energy-efficient building techniques to produce a structure that holds up well over the long term, while keeping construction waste to a minimum.
On the other end of the spectrum would be the project that focuses on landscape enhancement and water conservation by use of native plants, rain gardens, rainwater recycling and greywater reuse systems; utilizes advanced framing techniques; uses only FSC(Forest Stewardship Council)-certified lumber; installs the most energyefficient LowE windows and doors; insulates, seals and conditions the home to Energy- Star standards; utilizes only Energy-Star rated materials, products, and appliances; and certifies the renovation project as a certified green remodeling project in accordance with the NAHBgreen or LEEDh standards.
Most remodeling projects will fall somewhere between the two types mentioned above. Budget is almost always a consideration, as are other factors such as how green the homeowners want their project to be, and the degree of difficulty of “greening” the remodeled portion of the home without “greening” the rest of the home. Space Builders is happy to help you decide which level of green remodeling you want to undertake. We will gladly offer you suggestions to bring your existing home up to—or closer to—green standards. And, we are also willing to work on multi-phased projects that make incremental progress
SPACE BUILDERS, INC. • 112 E. MAIN ST. • CARRBORO, NC • 27510
PHONE: 919-929-7072 • firstname.lastname@example.org