March 1, 2013

Green Construction - NOT JUST A COLOR

“Shades of green” is the color of the year for 2013. But the “green” addressed in this column is the idea of an earth friendly approach to your construction project. As a consumer, you have choices to make when it comes to your stance on green materials or vendors to use when building or renovating.

ASK ANGELA ~ by Angela Goodall

Click to downloadMATERIALS WITH RECYCLED CONTENT: Many manufacturers are offering material options that contain a certain percentage of recycled content. Carpeting, countertops, flooring are just a few. There is typically information directly from your local resource or supplier as to whether the recycled content is pre or post- consumer and the overall percentage the product contained.

EARTH FRIENDLY CHEMICAL MAKEUP: Water based finishes, formaldehyde free are buzz words in the construction industry. These materials are being promoted as less toxic to your air quality with off gassing being a minimum. These products were originally developed geared towards the hypoallergenic consumer, concerned about the air quality in their home.

CARBON FOOT PRINT: The amount of carbon dioxide emitted in 1 year based on distance traveled. Using local products not only strengthens the economy in your own community, but can be a very green approach to your project. If this is an option you would like to investigate further, ask where all of the materials being used to construct are being shipped from, so it is not just the end product that has the small carbon foot print.

SUSTAINABILITY: My personal favorite. As a professional, I am working every day to design environments that are ascetically pleasing to my clients, but always advising them on the quality level of their materials. Purchasing products that are built to last will be one of the largest long term affects to our environment. Construction debris can quickly fill a dumpster, so the longer you have materials installed in your home, the less damaging to your pocket book and ultimately the environment.

REUSE AND REPURPOSE: Certainly a current trend, but one that can often lead to a very unique, creative approach to design. I recently completed a remodel that incorporated the metal cabinets original to their kitchen circa 1950. We replaced the tops with Corian and built new cabinetry around their refrigerator and range. The end result is a very cute, unique kitchen that fits the home’s landscape perfectly.

I do believe that every little bit helps, but what you choose for your approach to being environmentally friendly is personal.


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