Green remodeling is a design and construction approach with a primary focus on providing the healthiest home possible, maximizing it’s life cycle, while minimizing the structure’s environmental impacts. These impacts include energy, water, and materials consumption, waste generation and harmful emissions, both indoors and out.
Even though the principles that govern green residential remodeling are distributed to all other design and construction projects, more than a few aspects are unique to green remodeling:
o Range of projects – Residential remodeling covers sets from painting a room to refitting a kitchen to gutting a whole house down to the framing and then rebuilding.
o Existing conditions – In new home construction we generally have just your site to consider, but in residential remodeling there are existing conditions that range from room configuration to hazards such as mold, lead, asbestos and home clean out services from companies like Centex Dumpster Rental in Austin.
o Custom work – Whether in design or construction, just about every residential remodeling project is custom, with almost no opportunity for the sorts of economies of scale that occur in production building.
o Professional – client relationship – Remodeling professionals typically have a client and spec remodeling projects are rare. The closer relationship with homeowners requires skills and perspectives not generally needed for new construction projects.
o Occupants – Remodeling professionals must plan and often conduct their work based on the health, safety and schedules of real people. Even if the work requires that your home be vacated, the timing and duration of such a period must be very carefully orchestrated.
o Sequenced or staged projects – Many residential remodeling projects are phased or sequenced projects (“we want to do the bathroom and then the kitchen”), and this can make for challenging orders of operation in both design and construction, often requiring innovation and improvisation by remodeling professionals.
o Integration – A cornerstone of all types of green building is systems integration, and residential remodeling adds a new dimension to this integration: integrating the old or existing with the new.
These unique facets of residential remodeling mean that a best-practices guide, rather than a rating program, is appropriate. This program and approach to green residential remodeling has been developed through a partnership between the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC).