Good for You, Good for the Earth
They look like luxuries, but these details also save energy, water and waste:
- Heated floor tiles in bath: Warmth here lets you turn down your whole-house thermostat with less discomfort
- Kitchen filtered-water source: No more plastic bottles-and easy to use.
- Mixing valve on shower for precise temperatures: Less water wasted as you check temperature (and check again)
- Light dimmers and motion sensors: Balanced lighting when and where you need it, with less electricity use
- Bamboo, recycled paper, recycled glass tile, local concrete: These and many more sustainable, highly durable materials give you enormous diversity in looks and styles
- Kitchen hot water dispenser: Less water down the drain while waiting for water to heat up; less energy wasted in heat dissipation from pipes
- Bath exhaust fans: Add comfort, subtract water escape through humidity
- Low VOC paints: Long-term indoor air quality improvement, overall environmental improvement-plus the best new colors
What's New About Green?
Green building and environmental sensitivity have become watchwords in the design + build industry, as homeowners and companies alike look for ways to become more efficient and more conscientious.
Building on Past Experience
At CARNEMARK, we do green a little differently. For starters, it's been part of our company's mission and design from our beginning more than 20 years ago. Our company founder trained in environmental design and worked on alternative-energy homes in California. Our team has also tapped into the long-term expertise of European, where energy-saving and environmentally sensitive practices are commonplace.
But the bottom line for us is that good design usually ends up being green design, too. CARNEMARK's approach to designing and building relies on systems that work. Saving energy, time and money works. Reducing waste and mistakes works. Improving the flow, the comfort, the quality of life—that's what we're working for. And sustainability flows naturally into all these goals.
What's Happening Today
Take a look at the "luxuries" listed here, and you'll discover some of the ways green building works. But there's more to environmental stewardship than these details. In pursuing good design, we have found many other ways to integrate caring for the earth and for our clients.
For instance, it's often useful in remodeling to use deconstruction—a process of sorting, salvaging, recycling and reusing materials—rather than demolition. Deconstruction takes longer, and it's a more intensive process. But tax breaks and other advantages can often more than offset the disadvantages.
Our commitment extends even to the way we run our business—using technology to minimize costly trips back and forth and even the use of too much paper.
Your Home, Your Future
With the rise in popularity of environmentally conscious products, many are now questioning how effective many of these measures truly are. Is it simply "greenwashing," paying lip service, following a trend? These are good questions. For us, "going green" must enhance every project, not add to the hassles of remodeling. And if the effort to be environmentally correct causes more waste and damage than it corrects? Sorry, but that's not green building at all.
That's where CARNEMARK's experience comes in. We've already made it through the early adopter stage. We're aware of the pitfalls and the potentials, the small adjustments that have big effects and the big gestures that might not make a lot of difference. We've stayed in front of the changes in the green building field, and we know how to judge what's going to bring long-term value to your home.
Add that to our conviction that every project is different, our commitment to accountability and the quality of everyone on our team, and you get green building that's as good for you as it is for the earth.
What better way than to achieve sustainability than to design a house where you can live forever?