About 10 years ago, I began taking classes at UC Berkeley Extension to complete a certificate program in Sustainable Design. As I to worked my way through the program, I began to wonder if eventually, the terms Sustainable Design, or Green Design would become redundant, because all good design would automatically incorporate sustainability. Well, I must not have been the only one to sense that things were heading in that direction, because it wasn’t long after that, just as I was completing the program, that the school stopped offering that particular certificate.
Increasingly, building codes are being changed that require more water saving and energy saving products than ever before. And, many companies are incorporating sustainable practices into their materials and manufacturing processes.
You may wonder what constitutes a sustainable or “green” design, and how do you incorporate these concepts into your home remodel project? There are actually a lot of different criteria to consider when evaluating the sustainability of a product or process, and the choice as to what you consider to be a top priority is often an individual decision.
Some of these aspects of sustainability are:
• Personal use of resources in your home, such as how much energy or water is used.
• The wise use of resources in the manufacturing of a product.
• The distance that materials have to travel to get to your job-site, affecting the carbon footprint.
• The responsible resourcing of materials, such as sustainably grown wood for floors and cabinets.
• The policies and practices of the companies that manufacture the products that you choose.
• The way that products affect the immediate environment within the home, especially with regard to off-gassing and materials that create poor indoor air quality.
If these are issues that are of concern to you, it can be confusing and overwhelming to do the research and make choices that are best suited to your individual needs and requirements. Let us use our knowledge and expertise to guide and assist you to find the products that you can incorporate into your remodeling project that will help keep your home and planet happy and healthy.