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Ramping Up Green


We at T.W. Ellis Design/Build feel honored that our president, Tim Ellis, was chosen to speak at the 2015 International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas in February. This year IBS brought together 55,237 building industry professionals from around the world for education, inspiration, and networking opportunities. Tim appeared alongside presenters Troy Johns, Jamie Hager and Hayley King on the educational session titled, “Making Your Business Sustainable with High Performance Building”.

Tim’s portion of the session dealt with “Ramping Up Green” — explaining to remodelers how they can move from doing standard remodeling projects to completing Certified Green remodeling projects. From his own experience as a Master Certified Green Professional (Master CGP), Tim has found that remodelers who make this move up will be more in demand, since this will differentiate them from the competition.

During his presentation Tim pointed out that the first step for remodelers who want to build Certified Green projects is to look at their existing construction practices and see how they align with practices for Green certification. Tim took this same step in order to began this process for his company. As a professional remodeler, Tim already was following practices that aligned with Green certification, so all that was necessary was a slight adjustment here and there for him to get T.W. Ellis Design/Build projects certified.

Many homeowners search for remodelers who are capable of building green. They appreciate the many benefits of having their projects built to Green standards, especially when they realize that costs for that have come down in the past five years. Some of the benefits include home environments that are more comfortable and healthy, as well as a finished product that is durable and efficient. Another benefit is that if you want to sell your house, typically your Green certified house will sell ahead of the house down the street that is not certified. And here in our state of Maryland, you can actually get some tax breaks on your project if it meets a certain level of the Green standard.

Remodelers in general should advise their clients to select Green products for their home, since these choices can help them save on their energy and water bills. The remodelers should do the research and let their clients know that there is less difference in pricing today between home improvement products that are compliant with Certified Green standards and those that are not. Five years ago, manufacturers would always put a surcharge on Green products, but since these products are now purchased in larger volumes, that has changed. Tim always asks our plumbing, HVAC, electrician and painting contractors to show him only products that are Green compliant. For example, he wants all our clients’ faucets and shower heads to be low-flow and WaterSense, and all the toilets to be low-flow and dual-flush. Recently, he went to our painting contractor and asked for only low or no-VOC paints to be used on a project and since the contractor is buying such large quantities of that kind of paint there was no surcharge!

Remodelers who are building to the Certified Green standard have great opportunities to attract new business in areas they have not previously worked. An example would be a military residential project where the government stipulates it will only hire a remodeler who is knowledgeable about Green practices.

Be sure to contact us to find out how your next project can be Certified Green.

Pictured below is a basement project which was first ever to be built by the 2012 ICC 700 Green Building Standards for Remodeling Basements. The kitchen is the 1st National Green Building Standard certified green kitchen remodeling project in the country.

1st Certified Green Kitchen Remodel

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