How can I achieve green remodeling?
- Design, build, and remodel homes using renewable resources and products that are energy efficient and save money such as engineered lumber (OSB, microllams, paralams, LSL's, TGI's). These structural components (the framing of the home) are stronger and virtually perfectly “plumb and square” - reducing the need for labor and material intensive shimming and adjusting when dry walling, tiling, etc). These building products are a renewable resource (saving our forests - which generate oxygen by converting harmful carbon dioxide and preserves wildlife and ecosystem habitants). These products allow us to make much longer and wider sections of wood vs. cutting down old growth trees (old, very large trees) as these products are "assembled" and "manufactured" from small wood pieces. These products also take advantage of more of the tree and there is significantly less waste (saving more trees and landfill space). What could be better? A stronger framing material that decreases the overall cost to build and remodel the home and helps to reduce global warming! Now that’s building green!
- Install lighting and Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning (HVAC) components that provide comfort, pleases and saves both money and energy. Saving energy reduces the need to generate more electricity which uses more petroleum.The use of more petroleum releases millions of tons of pollutants into our air that is harmful to our health, destroys the ozone layer and participates in increasing global warming.
- Install energy efficient windows that allow refreshing sunlight in while keeping the heat and cold out. Energy efficient windows save money all year long.
- Tankless hot water heaters can save up to 70% when compared to tank type hot water heaters. Placing these on a recirculation system can also save a significant amount of water.
- Formaldehyde free insulation that does not off-gas harmful chemicals into our homes and destroys the ozone layer (increasing global warming).
- Drywall and tile underlayments that use recycled newspaper.
- Paints and finishes that are low or free of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) that produce harmful off-gasses into our homes and destroys the ozone layer (increasing global warming).
- Cabinets and finish woodwork that use a combination of melamine and natural hardwoods - saving the hardwood forests. Hardwood trees like oak, maple, cherry, mahogany, etc. take many, many decades (50 to 100 years) to grow to a size that makes them feasible to harvest and use to make cabinets, crown and base board moldings, doors, furniture, etc.
- Paint grade baseboards, crown, and door casings using finger join wood and Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF). Finger joint uses sections of "waste wood" that are joined together to make a very strong and usable section of material. MDF is essentially sawdust and glue that can be made to almost any length and molded into virtually any shape. Now saw dust does not go the dump and be buried . . . it's made into beautiful base boards, crown molding, wainscot, chair rails, etc!
- Wood that is removed from your home when remodeling can sometimes be re-used in the new construction.
- Wood that is removed or becomes scrap during a remodel is recycled back into mulch. When used around plants and shrubs, this mulch saves water by helping to keep the soil moist. This reduces the need for frequent watering.
- Copper wiring for electricity is a combination of new copper and recycled copper. Recycled copper comes from previously remodeled kitchens, bathrooms, etc. In similar fashion, copper water pipes and water heaters that are removed to remodel homes are also recycled back into both new copper wire and new copper water pipe. This reduces the need to mine more copper and reduces the energy to make the copper. Here too, reducing pollutants that are released into the atmosphere that damage our health, water supplies and increase global warming.
- Carpet using recycled fibers and fabrics and vegetable based dyes - reducing Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and polluted water being sent back into our rivers and oceans. Recycled carpet is not only being used to manufacture new carpet but for engine fan shrouds, air cleaners, plastic lumber, carpet cushion and resilient flooring.
As you can see, remodeling and building green is not weird, expensive, or a passing fad. On the contrary . . . It saves you money and the environment. The International Code Council (ICC), the organization primarily responsible for maintaining and enhancing the building codes, is scheduled to issue the first set of green building codes in 2007. This means that all remodeling and building will be required to conform to green remodeling and building standards.
Green remodeling and building is something we all must do. The world’s natural resources can no longer support the removal, extraction, and manufacturing required to support its growing population. In similar fashion, science has learned that materials previously thought to be safe in our homes and work places such as lead, asbestos, ventilation systems, paints, varnishes, VOC’s, and mold were causing serious long term health issues and destroying our environment to include global warming.
All of us at THE REMODELING DEPOT truly care about you and your family. That’s why we are committed to remodeling and building using products that are friendlier to both you and the environment. This saves you money and helps to provide a world for our children that will be safe, healthful, enjoyable, and beautiful.