It's Time for Remodelers to Go Green

The future of green remodeling is upon us. Professional remodeling contractors must not miss the opportunity to be part of it. Green Remodeling is the next logical step for the industry. There are many good reasons to go green and few, if any, not to: How do you incorporate green remodeling into your business? First you must learn how to do it.

August 31, 2007
Sidebars:
Carl Seville

Carl Seville
Advisory Board Columnist

The future of green remodeling is upon us. Professional remodeling contractors must not miss the opportunity to be part of it.

Green Remodeling is the next logical step for the industry. There are many good reasons to go green and few, if any, not to:

  • Differentiation: Now is the time to learn about green remodeling and become a leader, allowing you to separate yourself from your competition. This opportunity will not last forever.
  • Doing the right thing: In many ways, green remodeling is the right thing to do. There have been major advances in building science, the foundation of green remodeling. When you use renovation according to these basic principles, your projects are more efficient and more durable, and they provide a healthier environment for your clients to live. Not working this way is simply doing it wrong.
  • Customer satisfaction: The evidence is there: homeowners who live in green homes are healthier, more comfortable and have lower energy bills. Green companies have higher customer satisfaction, leading to better referrals and more profitable businesses. An Atlanta homeowner says that prior to moving into her house — renovated to EarthCraft standards — she used to purchase tissues in boxes of 12, but in the first five months in the house she had not bought any, as her allergies had all but disappeared.
  • Improve your reputation: Studies have shown that consumers equate green with high quality. Just as you may associate your business with high-quality windows, plumbing fixtures or paint manufacturers to bolster your image, making green part of your corporate image will raise your standing in the eyes of your customers.
  • Meeting and creating demand: In some markets, the demand for green remodeling is very strong, and there are few if any professionals available to meet the need. Other markets are developing more slowly. There are opportunities to take advantage of them. If the demand is there, learn how to meet it. If it isn't, figure out how to create the demand and you can be the leader.

How do you incorporate green remodeling into your business? First you must learn how to do it. NARI's green remodeling training and certification programs are an excellent place to start. NAHB offers a green building course that includes remodeling training, as well as its annual green building conference. There are a number of state and local green building programs that have remodeling components.

Start by incorporating as many green building principles as you can in your work until you understand them and they become your standard operating procedure. Continue to add more until your projects are as green as they can be. Market your expertise through your advertising and public relations work. You may be surprised at how quickly you will be an expert in the field, bringing you more, and better, projects.

Green Remodeling is our industry's, as well as our country's, future. Don't miss the chance to be part of it. You will find it rewarding, both personally and professionally.

 

Carl Seville

Born: Aug. 3, 1957
Company: Seville Consulting
Location: Decatur, Ga.
Greatest Industry Involvement: Served on board of directors of Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and Atlanta Chapter of NARI. Currently on Green Building Subcommittee and Green Building Education Curriculum Committee of NAHB; NARI's Green Education Sub-Committee. Served as Chairman of Development Committee for Earthcraft House Renovation program during 2001–2002.
Most Important Issue Facing the Industry: Training; particularly in sustainability
I Drive A: Toyota Prius (typically getting 49–50 MPG)
Favorite Drink: Gin and tonic
Favorite Sports Team: My daughter's high school basketball team
What I Wanted to Be When I Grew Up: Architect

About the Author


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