Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 30 seconds
Green Remodeling means that we inject sensible practices and materials into our remodeling process.
To accomplish this, we picked the 4 pillars of Green that suit our style of remodeling. These are:
- ENERGY EFFICIENCY
- INDOOR AIR QUALITY
- RESOURCE CONSERVATION
- WATER CONSERVATION
Everything we do from design to our material selections, is bounced off of these pillars to make sure that we operate within these Green Remodeling parameters. We encourage our clients to do the same.
If I were a spec. home builder, I would have ultimate control control over this, but I choose not to go that route.
How green is Levco? I believe we attract clients who want to make good decisions that are sensible and add to the value and enjoyment of their homes, That being said, they tend to be a working class group to whom money is an issue. For starters, we have picked the city of Boise to work in so we are not traveling all over the valley, We even try to focus our attention on the historic districts that are all clustered near the river and foot hills.
I have been able to sell the wisdom of high efficiency windows, high efficiency formaldehyde free, insulation, spray foam insulation, renewable flooring, Low VOC paints, high efficiency toilets, low water use shower heads, thicker walls, whole house fans, CFL and LED lighting, solar tubes and skylights, sustainable flooring, and reclaimed materials.
I have used several types of water re-circulating pumps, and hydronic radiant heat, I insulate the hell out of everything, and I employ green building techniques that use less materials, I always specify engineered lumber rather than dimensional for the big boards, and we have our building materials delivered to the job site from our local lumberyard. Naturally, we also recycle our construction debris.
I have consulted experts and have done research on the building science of vapor barriers and have developed our own process for walls that makes sense to me and the building department.
I have convinced some to reconsider tankless water heaters, a seemingly green item for several reasons. Other than saving space, and providing an endless supply of hot water, I can’t see how they conserve energy or water. They are expensive, and the payback is not within a reasonable length of time.
We limit our trips to the landfill by always looking for opportunities to donate to the local Second Chance, or the ReStore our local repurposing centers, sharing our excess building materials for school projects and our neighbors, and finally by increasing our trips to the Western Recycling ( a place, like cheers, where everybody knows my name.)
What does the future hold for Levco and Green Remodeling?
I see a gradual but steady shift to having the requirements for building permits head in a more energy efficient direction. I am starting to see a shift in people wanting cement siding and stucco as well as longer lasting roofing choices, too. I read about manufacturing facilities becoming more conscious about their processes and actually being awarded for their efforts. I have seen the bar being raised for energy efficient appliances and water restrictive devices. California seems to be leading the way. Lately, I have seen much more emphasis upon marketing more sustainable materials.
What I would like to see is more use of renewable energy! Yes, I can’t wait to use PV and SWH in my first project. I am anxious to use SIP panel construction and ICF foundation forms as well as install my first Nest thermostat. To show my commitment to the Green Movement, I am continuing to remain a life long learner by becoming certified in Green Remodeling through my affiliation with NARI.