This seems to be the second most popular question about GreenWerks. As we mentioned about the post on how we are green as a company, we focus on three areas for eco-friendly remodeling.
Energy Efficiency of the home is first. We begin by assessing how we can reduce the consumption of the house. We achieve this through energy audits, blower door tests, better insulating around windows and doors, these fix the envelope of the home. The building envelope refers to the four walls on the outside of the building. These are the barriers to entry for the cold winter air and hot humid air that we have in Chicago. Then we analyze the inside of the home to see how we can increase the efficiency of appliances and the heating and cooling systems. You would be amazed of the difference in a homeâ€™s energy savings by switching to LED lights or CFL light builds if the LED is cost prohibitive.
Health interiors is the second pillar that we use when analyzing a potential project. We look at all the products that will be used in the remodeling project. We want to ensure that the finishes, stains, paints and dyes are toxic free. The top products in a home, that off-gas toxins like formaldehyde and VOCâ€™s is carpet, paint and cabinets. All of these products have healthy alternatives. For paint you can visit GreenMaker Supply (2500 N Pulaski), Colori (2243 W North Ave) and Green Home Chicago (224 N Morgan). They have competitively priced eco-friendly paint. For carpet you have a lot of options for alternatives from most of the major manufactures, they should be available at any carpet supplier. For green cabinets and eco-friendly cabinetry you can visit GreenMaker or Whitney Wood Works (445 N Sacramento).
Sustainability is the third and final pillar we look at when choosing products for a project. We look at how a product is produced, where is comes from, the life cycle of the product and what is it made out of. An example would be bamboo floors, we look at the life of the product which is usually a hundred years or longer, it has a non-toxic finish and is made out of a renewable resource. The product comes from China, which is the only place it can be produced sustainable because in other parts of the world it would be considered an invasive species. You can make the floor a little greener by purchasing a carbon neutral floor. That means that the carbon produced in the production and transportation is off-set by investing in renewable energy and planting trees. This is some of the ways we look at every project GreenWerks works on, want to learn more on how to green your project, give us a call!