Home Improvement – Green Design for Remodeling Projects

Homeowners are going green and saving money with energy-conserving solutions and practical eco-friendly home products. Examples include energy-efficient appliances and furniture made from rapidly renewable resources, wall coverings made from 100 percent post- and pre-consumer waste paper, and water-saving shower heads.

Green design is an important element for homeowners to keep in mind as they consider a remodeling project. Green design reduces the impact on the environment and saves resources, and promotes a healthy lifestyle free of toxic materials and allergies. The increasing availability of new technology, innovative products and efficient materials is making it easier to achieve a green home.

Following are a few ideas for homeowners looking to incorporate green products and materials into their homes:

Appliances. Choose high-efficiency water heaters, low-flow toilets and shower heads, faucet aerators, energy- and water-efficient appliances. Also consider bulk-product dispensers for body care products.

Flooring. Reuse existing flooring and sub flooring when possible. For new floors, look at flooring made from natural or rapidly renewable materials. To refinish wood floors, use safe processes with green and safe materials. Don’t use carpeting in high moisture areas or where spills could occur. Consider area rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpeting.

Lighting. Supplement natural light with efficient electric lighting like compact fluorescent bulbs.

Paint. Use low or zero volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, finishes, adhesives, grouts, caulking and sealants.

Furnishings. Choose cabinetry and other furnishings made from recycled or reclaimed materials. Select compact furniture that incorporates storage. Consider reused, salvaged or antique furniture.

Water usage. Conserve water usage and set water heater temperatures no higher than necessary.

Green design is about improving your home and ensuring a better tomorrow for yourself, your family and your world. When remodeling your home, make it smart and sustainable to improve your quality of life for years to come.