What Does It Mean to Go Green?

| 10/16/2008 11:29:51 AM

As I begin my foray into so-called "green remodeling," I found myself pondering some essential questions, mostly along the lines of "What the heck is everyone talking about?"

With the start of this project, I'm beginning to realize there are some key terms and words that I just don't know enough about. And that, my friends, is no way to begin a big project, especially with a budget of about $15,000, give or take, for this overhaul (minus appliances and furniture). (As you may recall, my family is distinctly unskilled when it comes to DIY construction which is why I feel it's my duty to learn as much as I can about everything else!)

Of course, this all occurred to me today, when everything was torn out of the condo except the drywall. So while it's a bit late for second thoughts, the need for an education has become quite pressing.  

This week, I'm researching new vocabulary terms. First up: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), (from the U.S. Green Building Council, my new best friends.) According to USGBC, if your house is LEED-certified, it's environmentally sound and "a healthy place to live."

I desperately want to be certified.

Our LEED-certified architect and green consultant, Thom of McKinley Associates tells me we can't get LEED certification on our remodel, because we would have to replace the drywall, and even then, it's questionable as to whether the remodel would have to include the entire building of six units. But, he thinks we might be able to get an Energy Star certification if we do the kitchen right.