As green building specialists, we meet many homeowners who want to remodel their homes sustainably using green materials. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can give your home an updated look while maintaining your commitment to protect the environment. Here are five green remodeling ideas to give you inspiration for your next project.
Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Reclaimed wood is not only sustainable, but also durable and versatile, making it an excellent option for new flooring. For a truly green floor, we recommend making sure any adhesive backing is free of formaldehyde and other harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
For another sustainable flooring option, you may also consider renewable cork flooring like we installed in this Maryland home. Cork flooring offers a look similar to wood, but is somewhat softer, making it easier on joints.
Recycled countertops utilize a variety of old materials, including porcelain from tiles, sinks, and toilets; glass from windows, containers, and glassware; and mirrors from dwellings, buildings, and factories.
One recycled countertop option that is especially popular among DC area homeowners is terrazzo. Terrazzo countertops are made from chips of recycled glass cast into a concrete slab and are known for their durability and limitless color options.
Energy Efficient LED Lighting
For a simple upgrade that can make a major difference anywhere in the home, consider energy efficient LED lighting. We often install beautiful recessed LED lighting during home remodels because LED lighting offers impressive energy savings and contributes to lower electricity bills — not to mention enhances the overall beauty of your home. Remember, you have to upgrade the wall switches when you move to a lower voltage solution for dimming.
Direct Vent Fireplace
Many homeowners who are planning a living room remodel love the idea of a wood burning fireplace, but are wary of the environmental effects of having one. Wood burning fireplaces, after all, are inefficient and produce pollutants that irritate lungs.
A direct vent fireplace (which vents directly to the outside through either natural drafting or a mechanical fan assist) offers the added comfort of a fireplace, without the negative environmental effects of a wood burning fireplace. It uses outside air for combustion and converts up to 80% of the fuel it burns into usable heat.
Energy Efficient Patio Doors
When a home remodel involves installation of new patio doors, it pays to go with doors that feature low-E tempered glass for added efficiency. Low-E glass is treated to suppress heat flow, keeping valuable heat indoors during the winter and blocking out heat during the summer. This helps lower home energy consumption, keeping your utility bills down year-round.
Considering a remodel for your own home in the Rockville, MD or greater DC area? Whether you want to update your kitchen for better functionality or build an addition onto your home, we’re here to help. The specialists at ecobeco can bring your dreams to life using creative designs, high quality materials, and innovative building techniques.