Green Remodeling and Green Remodeling Products
Green Remodeling Products are one of the hottest topics in remodeling. It is also one of the most hotly debated as to what truly is a Green product. There are many different opinions as to what constitutes a green product.
The problem, particularly with products, is how to evaluate the different elements of sourcing, production, sustainability, and shipping for each product, and how that compares to others in it’s field.
Green Professionals and Buildings are relatively simple in comparison given a set of parameters set up by the industry and government.
NARI: Who is a Green Remodeling Pro?
According to NARI, (excerpt from their website), A remodeling professional who considers sustainability; one who maximizes nature’s resources in efficient and responsible manners, in both the conduct of their business and in their remodeling projects.
NARI Code of Ethics: Each member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) pledges to observe high standards of honesty, integrity and responsibility in the conduct of business:
- By promoting in good faith only those products and services which are known to be functionally and economically sound, and which are known to be consistent with objective standards of health and safety.
- By making all advertising and sales promotion factually accurate, avoiding those practices which tend to mislead or deceive the customer.
- By writing all contracts and warranties such that they comply with federal, state, and local laws.
- By promptly acknowledging and taking appropriate action on all customer complaints.
- By refraining from any act intended to restrain trade or suppress competition.
- By attaining and retaining insurance as required by federal, state, and local authorities.
- By attaining and retaining licensing and/or registration as required by federal, state, and local authorities.
Green Remodeling Products
This is the tough part of being Green to figure out. I have heard and read so much about many of these products, and frankly the more informed I become, the less I want to know. Manufacturing, production, shipping of products we consume is highly complex. I have yet to come across a product I would consider truly Green in the truest hippie mother earth-day eco-friendly unless you grow it and make it yourself. It appears to me the mass-production cycle leaves a big carbon footprint one way or other either in chemicals or energy. The small vendor that may be able to stay Green simply gets outpriced.
So where does that leave us. For me, it’s a matter of choices. What do I want to support, and what products do I feel better about? A lot of this just takes a minute to think about or research. My favorite question is about Bamboo flooring. Everyone believes it to be priced very inexpensively. That’s because you see the ad price for the %#$% stuff.
So let’s take a close look at Bamboo flooring. We will assume we are looking at a better grade that is equivalent to real hardwood. By the way, we all realize Bamboo is not wood, right? Granted, it can be harder than some hardwoods. But, advertising has us believe that it is absolutely purely Eco-friendly.
Looking a little closer at what we consider the top ranking qualifiers:
Flooring – Bamboo Good Stuff
- No VOC Finish
- Sustainable plantation
Not so Good Stuff
- Not wood
- Pressed with resin
- Shipping costs & energy consumption from China
- Same price as real wood
- Generally reserved for contemporary spaces
Hardwood Flooring – Good Stuff
- No VOC Finish
- Sustainable forestry
- solid material – wood
Not So Good Stuff
- Limited variety of American woods to avoid shipping
So for me personally and as a Designer, I go with the wood every time. I just prefer the warmth and textures of wood for design.