The process of renovating or remodeling an existing house is inherently green by its very nature and one could make the argument that it is actually greener than new construction.
Green remodeling takes a whole house approach to the project and considers how all the parts work together to make a more efficient, durable, healthy and long lasting house. The goal of green new construction is the same but the process for remodeling is a bit more difficult because old and new must somehow be integrated.
Green remodeling involves more than just “remuddling” or adding onto an older house. It is a way of building that evaluates the impact of the proposed changes on the house over the long term. For example, is a high efficiency boiler really cost effective if the structure of the house continues to leak air to the outside? Does upgraded insulation and air sealing improve indoor air quality when there is no way of venting moisture and stale air from the house?
While it typically requires more fore-thought and planning than new construction there are benefits. To name just a few;
- Deconstruction, rather than demolition, saves materials and reduces unnecessary waste.
- Reclaiming, or salvaging, existing materials rather than replacing them with new is resource efficient.
- Remodeling is the process of upgrading rather than replacing and rebuilding rather than building new.
- Savings can be realized by not buying new materials or building a new structure.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that 25% of all carbon dioxide emissions in the United States result from the construction and operation of new single family houses. We can change this statistic by renovating and remodeling in a way that is sustainable, responsible and healthy. Green remodeling can be simple or it can be complex depending on your budget or just how green you want to be.Posted in: The Latest