This year we added a green-remodeling category to the REMODELING Design Awards. We asked three green experts to help define the criteria for the category and to evaluate the entries received.

Though the group did consider design when appraising the entries, more important was how the design lent itself to maximizing renewable products and techniques. We offered three price points in the category: under $100,000; $100,000 to $250,000; and over $250,000.

Criteria for the green category entries:

  • Designed with minimum waste
  • Built to maximize reclaimed and recycled materials
  • Maximizes renewable products and techniques
  • Maximizes energy efficiency
  • Maximizes water efficiency
  • Minimizes use of virgin materials
  • Creates healthy indoor air quality

The jury chose two merit award winners and one honorable mention winner, reserving the grand award for houses that have zero net energy — houses that produce as much energy as they use.

Most entrants used efficient HVAC systems and Energy Star appliances, as well as reclaimed and recycled materials. The jury was looking for innovative and creative solutions to sustainability.

Remodeler Sylvain Cote's award-winning green remodel of an octagonal house.
Sylvain Cote Remodeler Sylvain Cote's award-winning green remodel of an octagonal house.

All but one of the entries were in the over-$250,000 category, and all of the winners were in the over-$250,000 category. One judge acknowledged that it is difficult to provide a good remodel, much less a more complicated green remodel, for less than $100,000.