Four Steps to a Smart Green Remodel

PrintWant to incorporate green components into your remodel? Here are four steps to get you started.

Step 1: Get an energy audit

The beauty of this relatively inexpensive battery of scientific tests is that it will pinpoint and measure a house’s energy deficiencies. A detailed inspection will uncover air leaks, equipment inefficiencies, inadequate insulation and other structural shortcomings that together add up to a drafty, uncomfortable and ultimately wasteful house.

Step 2: Draw up a Plan

Green building is a systems approach, meaning that mechanical and structural parts of the house are considered together. If, for example, a remodeling project includes changes to heating ducts or wiring, is there an impact on the air barrier? A plan anticipates these questions.

Step 3: Set priorities
Setting priorities is one way of making sure genuinely important issues are dealt with first, and lesser problems given the attention they really deserve.

First in line should be repairs to the basic structure of the house, especially those related to weather-tightness and structural stability. Next are improvements that make the house more energy efficient.

Step 4: Dig in

Two things to consider before the work begins are what to do with job site waste, and keeping the work area safe. With some advanced planning, recycling receptacles can be arranged. Some materials will have to be discarded, but keeping that to a minimum will help lower disposal costs while making the project less disruptive to the environment.

Glickman Design Build owner, Russ Glickman is Green Advantage® Certified. A recent study found that projects using Green Advantage® Certified Practitioners achieve greater health and environmental benefits than projects without.