Reducing the Carbon Footprint of a Remodeling Project

Last month we attended the BuildingEnergy Boston Conference at the Westin Waterfront hotel. Attended by builders, remodelers, and energy experts, the focus of the conference is to learn and share new ideas and research on sustainable, “green” building and high-performance building. In other words – it’s a conference about everything we believe in here at steveworks.

Moisture resistant wood fiberboard is very sustainable insulation and weather-resistive-barrier-in-one, for exterior walls under rain screens.

Sustainable remodeling has always been our priority at steveworks and is what sets us apart from other remodelers in our area. We are always exploring new ways to approach our projects. For example, we have an insulation project coming up. Foam insulation is widely used to keep homes warm and sealed from the elements, however a lot of  energy is expended to produce the foam, plus the petroleum and other chemicals used, especially the “blowing agents,” are very carbon footprint intensive.

As a result, we’re now looking at this insulation project from a new perspective. We’ve found that, by switching to a wood-based product, we can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the overall project while still effectively and efficiently insulating the homeowners’ house. We are also using recycled foamboard sheets which were recovered from a demolished building. Yes, it’s still foam, but the carbon footprint to make it is negligible since it’s recycled and “counts” for the original use.  And we’re keeping it out of the landfill.

Overall, we want to keep several goals in mind when we approach a project:

  • Create a beautifully remodeled space for the family to enjoy.
  • Use energy-efficient products and building techniques that will keep the homeowner’s energy bills as low as possible.
  • Ensure that the PROCESS and materials used have as limited an impact on our environment as possible.

Speaking of materials…we always recommend products that are more human/pet/earth-friendly. For example, we suggest using natural flooring products like wood or even linoleum (which is a linseed oil-based product) instead of vinyl. And, getting back to insulation, we recommend using cellulose insulation (which is made of shredded newsprint or cotton), or wood-based insulation, instead of foam or fiberglass.

Many homeowners want to be more environmentally friendly as they proceed with their remodel, and steveworks is here to make the best recommendations for each unique project!

Interested in learning more? We found that these books were really insightful: Bruce King’s The New Carbon Architecture and Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, edited by Paul Hawken.