Georgia Magazine - May 2010 - (Page 23)

Go greento bottom from top Energy-efficient upgrades that save money and offer tax credits BY MORGAN ZENNER BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE REMODELING INDUSTRY Y ou’ve decided to take the green path for your next home improvement project. These days, the word “green” is everywhere, but homeowners really need to know: What exactly does it mean to go green? AFTER NARI Contractor of the Year (CotY) 2009 award winner— Entire House $250,000BEFORE $500,000 category. This St. Petersburg, Fla., home took full advantage of a plentiful resource, the sun. TriplePoint Construction LLC helped them install a 90-percent recycled metal roof to reflect the heat from the sun and make use of the natural Florida sunshine by inserting windows throughout to reduce electrical usage. According to Building Design & Construction magazine’s White Paper Survey, “55 percent (of building industry professionals) said they had trouble sourcing green products, and out of those, 81 percent said ‘green’ was not always clearly defined.” Why all the confusion? At one time, green products were considered anything manufactured with at least 30 percent recycled material, but now, several other factors determine sustainability. Every material has energy output; the question is how much and what type. Currently, green products are ranked by their Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which takes into consideration manufacturing practices, installation, use and eventual disposal. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the government has cast a bright light on improving a home’s energy efficiency. By lowering energy use, homeowners preserve existing May 2010 resources and practice sustainability. With all of these factors, going green is not as clear-cut as homeowners may have thought. So here are several items to keep in mind before beginning a green investment of your own. Sustainable surfaces Surfaces in your home include countertops in kitchens and bathrooms and flooring. You cannot talk about going green in this area without talking about VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. VOCs are a hot topic when it comes to green because according to the U.S. mental Protection Agency (EPA), compounds are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids and include a variety of chemicals that can have adverse health effects. Just because you choose the greener option doesn’t mean you have to throw out other considerations in surface choice—such as style, functionality, durability and, in the case of kitchens, food safety and heat resistance. Marble, slate, granite and stone are natural surface options that do not release VOCs. For homeowners with a modern, industrial streak, concrete has made its debut as a sustainable surface that 23 JOECICAK / ISTOCKPHOTO.COM http://www.ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - May 2010

Georgia Magazine - May 2010
Table of Contents
Picture This?
Georgia News
Special Energy Report
A Glass Act
Go Green from Top to Bottom
Around Georgia
My Georgia
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks
Recipes from Mom
Georgia Cooks Contest
Cookbook of the Month

Georgia Magazine - May 2010