It’s Not Easy Building Green

March 3, 2009 at 4:39 am (healing, Memoirs, Rebuilding) (, , )

It’s Not Easy Building Green


After the trauma of the fire, and after assessing the extensive damage to the house, we decided to save the structure of the front and façade of the house, and rebuild the rest, (since most of it was gone anyway). We received what we believe was a fair amount from our insurance company to rebuild our home. We wanted to build where our hearts and minds were – as “Green” as possible.

We were very lucky to be able to work with a wonderful contractor who had worked with many of these great new building materials.

We would have loved to have had the funds to build a solar-powered house using totally sustainable materials. Instead we did some research and did what we could afford.

The first step was getting to know what materials were out there. A friend recommended a visit to Amicus Green Building center. It’s a great place to see and touch samples, and the staff is friendly and very knowledgeable. However, Amicus is pricey, so we ended up writing down the names of the materials and products we liked, and then going on line to find cheaper prices.

I believe that the prices of all these materials and products will come down when the demand for them goes up. I’d love to walk into a Home Depot some day and see sustainable and domestically manufactured materials everywhere. To their credit, they have started an Eco-Options product line.

In the mean time, here’s what we were able to do:

Insulation made from denim scraps

High efficiency toilets

Low VOC interior paint

Solar tube lighting

Solar attic fan

Bamboo flooring

Energy Star appliances

Water Filtration (No more bottled water)

Refurbished clawfoot bath tub

Silestone kitchen counters



I also recommend these Great Green sites:

http://www.thegreenguide.com/

http://www.greenbuilder.com/

http://green.yahoo.com/blog/greenpicks/103/getting-credit-for-going-green.html

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