Green – concerned with or relating to conservation of the world’s natural resources and improvement of the environment.
Remodel – to reconstruct, make over. (from dictionary.com)
From these definitions, Green Remodeling could be summed up as a make-over which takes into account conservation of natural resources and improvement of the environment. A pretty good definition. Remodeling, in and of itself, is inherently “green,” simply by the virtue of re-using an existing structure. “Remodeling is green by nature. The essence of remodeling means extending the useful life of a structure – in other words, recycling your whole house (or most of it).” (From Practical Green Remodeling, by Barry Katz, p. 49.) With over 128 million housing units, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, green remodeling is on the brink of a revolution. If a house has “good bones” – is architecturally sound, has a workable layout and in a desired location – it may be a good candidate for a green remodel. But then what?
ReGreen (from www.ReGreenProgram.org)
The REGREEN program was created through a partnership between the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). REGREEN offers a set of Remodeling Guidelines which address the major elements of a green renovation or remodeling project – from kitchens and baths to deep energy retrofits.
These elements include “the site of the home, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, material and resources, and indoor environmental quality. The guidelines blend product selection, building systems integration and proven technologies into a seamless compilation of green strategies and case studies for the homeowner, builder and design professional.” from the The REGREEN website www.ReGreenProgram.org.
Green Home Remodeling and Renovations with the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS)(tm)
The ICC 700 National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS) provides practices for the design, construction and certification of remodels and renovations (as well as new construction) of single and multi-family homes. It is the only residential green building rating system approved by ANSI, the American National Standards Institute, as an American National Standard.
Any home certified must meet mandatory provisions and include sufficient green building practices in each of the six categories to meet the category minimums for one of the four green certification levels. It also offers home remodelers/builders an affordable process to remodel/renovate green homes that meets their goals, are appropriate for their specific climate, and meet the needs of their particular market and home buyers.
Benefits Of Green Remodeling
Green remodeling is making big headway in the housing market. Because most do not wish to, or cannot afford to build a new, green home from scratch, many are choosing to make improvements to their existing homes with green technologies. This obviously has an impact on both short-term and long-term homeowners and the housing industry as well.
As remodeling contractors are constantly being presented with new, greener, ways to update existing homes, it is important to draw attention to the benefits of green remodeling.
Going green is good for both your health and that of your family. The benefits have been found to be physical and emotional. Making educated design choices can make your home a healthier, more comfortable space, and add to your overall quality of life.
Community is a big part of going green. The impact your home has on your community as a whole, can be greatly reduced by features that are added during remodeling. Some features of a green home can minimize the strain on landfills, water treatment plants, power plants along with other parts of local infrastructure.
Green remodeling reduces the overall impact on our environment and helps to slow depletion. Remember, even the small steps make a big difference.
And to wrap it up…The Financial Payback
It is well documented that energy-efficient home systems can have a very quick impact on your utility bills. This is due to most efficient appliances using up to 50 percent less energy than older, more wasteful models. But it is also important to take into account that efficient and durable materials last longer and cost less to maintain over their lifetimes.
Green remodeling has been shown to increase the resale value of homes. There have been many studies that demonstrate homebuyers are paying attention to the green aspects when shopping for houses. More than 90 percent of home buyers say they are willing to pay more for a home with green components because they realize the extra value they offer.
Also, a big THANKS to our speakers Kay Hagan, Patty Maher, and Brad Roell for the education at the event Green Remodeling and Interiors -A Cure for the Common House.