(Originally published in the February 2013 issue of the Nova Scotia Business Journal - "Going Green" ad feature)
“Going green” is no longer a catch phrase in today’s world. Over the past decade, the residential construction industry has found itself increasingly recognizing green building capabilities as not only being a good idea, but an integral part of building.
Consumers are making conscious efforts to identify what building materials and systems are healthier, more energy efficient, and economically sensible in today’s economy. In short, homeowners are looking at their choices over the long-term and as more of an investment. Consumers are becoming smarter and more aware, driving the demand for green building products.
Halifax “green builder” Whitestone Developments has incorporated a green approach into its everyday practices. As an R-2000 and Ener-Guide builder, Whitestone is licensed to build qualified, high-efficiency homes inspected by Natural Resources Canada (Office of Energy Efficiency, Housing Division). These programs assure builders meet strict performance guidelines, employ environmentally sound principles, and participate in ongoing training programs.
Whitestone owners Tamara Barker Watson and Andrew Watson believe it is a combination of “the little things” that help make the overall construction a greener build: “We take a client centric approach and have developed a process that we call ‘Build Smart’™. Using this process we employ a building strategy where we are not only environmentally friendly with energy efficiency in mind, but we also take into account the individual wants and needs of our clients living in the homes. From using spray foam insulation to installing drain water heat recovery systems and making our homes solar ready, we do whatever we can to ensure that every build is a green build for now and the future. It’s just the right thing to do.”
A Builder’s “Green” Guide:
• Using materials that are available locally can promote environmental sustainability. It not only saves money, but also reduces the energy needed and pollution produced getting the product to the site. Working with suppliers who have similar values of environmental stewardship also reinforces the “green” commitment.
• Selecting low toxicity finishes and coatings can cut down on the amount of volatile organic compounds on the build.
• Choosing smart design, procurement, and installation can help reduce waste. Materials that do become waste should be sorted and recycled or disposed of in a safe, responsible manner.