DESIGN L A B
What Makes Green — Green?
By Michael Menn AIA, CGR, CAPS
rchitects and designers hurdle we face in educating our
A across the country are
finding at least some
clients. Most often, people hear
green and think there is a premium
“greener” pastures despite the low- attached. This is the first myth
est consumer confidence in several we as remodelers need to dismiss.
decades. To be successful in an There are products at every level
increasingly competitive world, that a good designer or remodeler
remodeling professionals should can recommend. It is this knowl-
have a basic understanding of all edge, knowing how green your cli-
things green — including their ent is willing to go and marrying it
clients’ desires for sustainable solu- with their budget that will set you
tions and durable designs that are apart from your competition.
budget conscious. However, before you can
Many of the remodelers I talked educate your client, you need to
with said the fear of making major be educated. Whether a client is As I have probed further into a larger economic benefit (always
purchases has kept many of their focused on energy-saving appli- sustainability, several factors have being conscious of costs) for our
clients from making a final decision ances, water conservation or the come to the forefront. I now consid- clients.
on whether to start the design or impact of their design on the health er that a home’s total environment/ There are a lot of terms that are
building process. of the people that will inhabit the carbon footprint must demonstrate thrown around when you hear peo-
Dispelling misconceptions space, a sustainable design should a complete and thorough life cycle ple discuss green. Over the next few
about sustainability is the major be your focus. This can be market- assessment. This includes the five articles I will try and break these
ed from many angles. The urgency stages of a building product: mate- down into the simplest common
presented by the enormous amount
of press green has created will force
you to take smaller more deliberate
steps throughout the entire process, We need to be always searching for
from your initial interview through
design and finally throug