Reader Panel: What Does Green Mean to Your Company?

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Most remodelers identify their companies as 'moderately green.' Find out more about what that means.

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Green means something different to everyone, so when we asked the Remodeling Reader Panel how they define the concept, we got hundreds of different responses. There were however, themes among the responses, ranging from energy efficiency to on-site recycling. Here are some of the definitions of green gathered from Reader Panelists (responses kept anonymous).

Q: How does your company define “green building.”

Green’s Just a Color

  • “Expensive and not necessary.”
  • “For the most part, it’s a joke. The cost far exceeds the benefit, and most people talk green until they see the price.”
  • “A waste of money perpetuated by global warming alarmists.”
  • “Not yet ready for primetime; a gimmick!”
  • “Wasteful and unnecessary. No market for it here, whatsoever.”

Focus on Energy

  • “Using energy-efficient building practices, providing energy-reducing and energy-management equipment and processes for our clients.”
  • “A combination of design and materials in a building that provide/promote energy conservation.”
  • “Green building practices have helped our company learn and implement better construction practices that will make our projects more energy efficient and reduce our footprint on the environment.”

Back to Nature

  • “A green building is one that uses natural resources to the fullest extent possible to heat, cool, illuminate, etc.”
  • “Helping our clients with preserving natural resources while considering rising energy costs and health issues.”
  • “By designing and implementing the use of natural resources in the construction industry as much as possible. Also, by recycling all waste produced by our activity.”
  • “Green building employs many sustainable attributes to get full measure of savings and contributes less to the already stressed environment. Saving on energy and natural resources not only makes sense, but ultimately saves money.”

Going Local

  • “If I can get all my materials in a 500-mile radius, I consider that green.”
  • “More energy efficient, with more natural and local materials for lower embodied energy.”

Balanced Budget

  • “A holistic approach to building that prescribes the best systematic approach to an energy-efficient, healthy environment and sustainable building practices, balanced against the project budget.”
  • “Being able to balance energy efficiency and environmental concerns within the customer’s budget.”
  • “Affordable, energy efficient, and environmentally compatible.”

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

  • “We all need better homes, not  bigger ones. We look at homes from every possible angle to see if we can fix the existing floorplan, without expanding.”
  • “Green building, to us, is part of our mission statement. Not only do we try to incorporate the best green practices in our construction, but we also recycle paper, plastic, cardboard, steel, and aluminum at our office.”
  • “Minimum waste, using recycled building products as much as possible, and recycling waste building materials.”
  • “Reuse, recycle, and encourage these in new products and those who design them.”
  • “Planning and designing projects that are green from the beginning. Recycling materials by reuse on site or on future projects, and recycling materials that can be disposed of in a locally, recyclable way.”
  • “Using products that use resources as economically as possible, with minimum waste, toxicity, or other adverse impacts on the environment.”
  • “Designing for energy conservation and reducing waste in the construction process.”

Turnkey Programs

  • “We look at green building from a holistic approach, taking into consideration all aspects including site selection and solar orientation; water use; life-cycle of materials; recycled and reclaimed characteristics; low- or no-VOC in all adhesives and paints; no added urea-formaldehyde in wood products; low- or no-petro-chemical products where possible; tight envelope; high ratings on the HVAC systems; jobsite recycling; attention to lowering water usage.”
  • “We call it “Responsible Remodeling.” It includes everything from how we manage our office, how we deconstruct a site, recycling onsite, both materials and packaging (including soda and water bottles), etc. We only use FSC lumber, and offer our clients tighter and more energy-efficient renovations.”
  • “Considering materials, methods, and management decisions to reduce the overall negative environmental impact.”
  • “Learning new ways to remodel, while reusing, recycling, and retraining trade partners and homeowners to build with our environment in mind.”