Going Green With Your Remodeling Project

Thinking about cleaning up your trash you got it covered by waste disposal Sydney. Are you thinking about doing a littleĀ do-it-yourself remodeling? The home remodeling project can be a fun and satisfying experience. You can test or enhance your handyman skills, try out those new tools, or go buy more tools. You can show off your creative and mechanical skills as well as your superior planning ability. The completed project stands as a monument to your handyman abilities. Nothing is a fulfilling and satisfying as a well done remodeling project done by your own hands.

There is another perk for that remodeling project- saving the planet. Yes, you can be a “green” remodeler.

What exactly does “green” mean? Well, there are many websites and resources that provide information on this subject. In general the “green” remodeler will be making choices that affect the following:

  • Water Consumption
  • Energy Consumption
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Material Life Cycle
  • Project Waste

Water Consumption: The average household uses 11 gallons of water per day. There are many opportunities for reducing water consumption with our indoor remodeling choices.

  • High Efficient Products. If you are planning on buying new appliances or replacing older fixtures, many products today are available with significantly lower water consumption rates. Dishwashers, washing machines and toilets all have lower water consumption versions. It is not uncommon to see 30% reduction in water consumption with these products.
  •  Buy a Dishwasher: Studies show that using a dishwasher efficiently will use less water than hand washing.
  • Plumbing Fixtures: Replace showerheads and faucets with low flow fixtures. You will save water and not even notice the difference.
  • Repairing Leaks: A dripping faucet or leaking toilet can waste 100’s of gallons of water; most of these repairs are very simple and inexpensive.

Energy consumption: Residential Energy Consumption costs close to 300 billion dollars per year in the United States. According to the Energy Information Administration total residential energy consumption breaks down as follows:

  • Heating/Space heating – 29%
  • Air Conditioning – 15%
  • Water Heaters – 16%
  • Refrigerators -7%
  • Other Appliances and Lighting -33%

When doing remodeling, one often is purchasing new appliances or even heating and cooling systems. General recommendations for green remodeling include:

  • Purchase Energy Star Rated Products: Energy Star is a joint program between the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Products such as HVAC systems, appliances and lighting that achieve an Energy Star Label have superior energy efficiency. Just replacing your incandescent lights with compact fluorescent light bulbs will save 75% on your lighting energy. Not to mention that they last 10 times longer.
  • Use sunlight for natural lighting and heating: If your remodeling allows, consider designs and layouts that take advantage of natural sunlight for energy use. Then use Energy-efficient windows, doors, and skylights to help lower a home’s heating, cooling, and lighting costs.
  • Improve Insulation: Higher R value insulation in the attic and walls, more energy efficient windows and doors, as well as good old fashion caulking and sealing can reduce energy consumption while improving the comfort of your home
  • Advanced Lighting and Environmental control systems: Use systems that can be programmed to change the temperature settings to minimize energy use. Include motion sensors tied to dimmable lighting controls in your new lighting systems. Ensure that low or non-use rooms consume minimal heating or air conditioning energy.
  • Turn Down Your Water Heater: Many homes still have the water temperature set at 140 F to 150 F. This temperature is certainly not needed for hygiene and with your purchase of more energy efficient appliances; you should be able to get along very nicely at 125 degrees F.

Indoor Air Quality:  Paints, sealants and adhesives emit volatiles during application and curing and air borne residues can linger long after the project is over. Use zero- or low-volatile organic compound (VOC) products to improve your indoor air quality.

Any areas of your home that have moisture are havens for mold; mold is toxic and should be removed by qualified professionals. Make sure you are eliminating sources of moisture penetration and removing water damaged materials as part of your remodeling.

Materials: There are many choices for the remodeler who wishes to use “green” materials. General criteria for green building materials are:

  • Recyclable? – Can the material be torn down and reused for another project?
  • Long Lasting? – Does the material last longer than the typical materials. (Ideally it should last forever).
  • Are they made from recycled materials?
  • Was the manufacturing process environmentally friendly? Was minimum energy used and environmental waste minimized? Were locally available materials used?
  • Is the packaging recyclable or biodegradable?

Answers to the above questions are not always easy for the average do-it-yourselfer to get. Here are some ideas for your material planning.

  • Check out “green material” websites and stores: There are a number of companies that are now specializing in green building materials. Even if you don’tt buy directly from them, you can do a little research and get plenty ideas on what you could use for your project.
  • Check out the products website: There are a number of materials that may not have official green ratings or certifications. For instance, manufactured stone or faux stone products do not currently have a green rating, but still may be environmentally friendly. Go to the company’s website and check out their environmental policies.
  • Wood: use wood materials that have the FSC certification. This means that the wood was processed and manufactured in a sustainable fashion. Wood meeting these criteria will have the FSC logo stamped on it.
  • Paints:  Many paints are reconstituted from recycled paints. Also, consider cleaning instead of re-painting.
  • Long Lasting Products: Check out the expected life of the product, sometimes for a modest cost increase you can purchase a product that lasts substantially longer. The ideal green material should last a lifetime. Purchasing products that will need to be replaced in 5 years is NOT green thinking.

Project Waste Generated:  One of the environmental consequences of any building project is waste generated by the construction process. Using materials where the waste is recyclable or biodegradable is helpful, but careful planning and project management can significantly reduce the waste generated. Can excess materials be returned? Should that last can of paint be a pint instead of a gallon? Are you planning and measuring carefully to ensure that you are not over purchasing?

Why go Green? If you are wondering if you really want to go green on your remodeling project, please consider the following:

  • We all need to be responsible stewards of the precious resources on this planet. If every one of the 150 million households in the US just made a few changes, the overall all impact on energy and environment could be colossal. Global warming is a fact and our natural resources are limited.
  • Lower Energy Costs: The average home owner is spending nearly $2000.00 per year on energy. It is not unreasonable to save 15% to 30% of your total cost with just modest improvements. In addition, future legislation from an environmentally friendly congress may increase taxes based on energy use, so your potential liability for living in an energy wasting home could increase.
  •  Home Value: Statistics are starting to indicate that green homes have a higher re-sale value. The “greeness” of your home may be an important consideration for the next buyer; this attribute will probably increase in importance over the next decade.
  • Tax Savings: The economic stimulus package has included a lot of federal tax incentives for energy saving expenditures. Qualified products could generate tax credits of up to 30% of the product cost. See Energystar.gov for product lists and estimated tax savings.

Hopefully, with spending just a little more time in research and planning, you can have the lifestyle enhancing benefits of from your remodeling project, plus now have the satisfaction of taking a small step in making your home greener.

If you want more information on green building, go to usgbc.org and learn more about the LEED -Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design- green building project rating system.

TriLite Stone Company has been in the manufactured stone industry since 1990. Len Przybylski purchased the company in 1996 and since has built the brand into a leading supplier throughout the US and Canada. TriLite continues to commit itself to producing the highest quality faux stone panels on the market, by providing its signature offering of multiple base colors that is fully integrated throughout the stone. This is a significant commitment to quality as compared to other manufacturing companies, and provides the customer with an end product that can withstand the test of time.

In addition, the manufacturing facility and process utilizes as much “green” as possible, from heating/curing sources of renewable fuels, to utilizing as much recycled material as possible to limit landfill usage.

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