Is It Green?
Three big quest' ons you should
be asking about "green."
Very rare setting for this beautifully
renovated 3 bedroom colonial in
Birmingham with nearly 1 acre of amazing
views overlooking wooded ravine and
Rouge River. 1st floor master with private
bath. Hardwood floors throughout. Anne
Sacks tile. Kitchen with custom cabinetry
and granite counters. Living room with
fireplace and large window overlooking
ravine. Bluestone patio, landscaped yard
and walking path to river. $599,000
One of Don Paul Young's finest in Bloomfield!
Exquisite contemporary situated on a private
wooded lot. Extensive use of floor-to-ceiling
glass, terrazzo flooring and brick pillars.
Floating staircase, open living room with
two-way fireplace, floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
Updated first floor laundry. Master suite boasts
new bath, dual walk-in closet and terrace.
Finished lower level with theater room. Cedar
roof and copper gutters, aggregate concrete
patio. 4 car garage. $699,000
Understated elegance in this completely
renovated home in Bloomfield Hills.
New kitchen features large butler's
pantry, breakfast area with built-ins
which opens to huge family room with
French doors to terrace and gardens.
Vaulted living room with fireplace.
Paneled library and formal dining room.
First floor master suite with separate
dressing area. 3 car heated garage.
Pied-a-terre in downtown Birmingham!
Custom kitchen with maple cabinetry, granite
countertops and professional stainless steel
appliances. Living room and dining room
include gas fireplace and hardwood cherry
floor throughout. Marble master bath with
steam shower and jacuzzi. Gorgeous finished
lower level includes theater room and full
bath, wet bar and temp controlled 1400-bottle
capacity wine cellar. Private courtyard patio
leads CO 2.5 car garage. $525,000
EXCLUSIVE AFFILIATE OF
INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE
February 3 2011
s consumers and mar-
keters have jumped onto
the trend, its no longer
difficult to outfit your home with
products that are classified as
"green."You now have multiple
choices among products that
claim to be the most environmen-
tally friendly. This can cause some
confusion about which ones are
"Many products are labeled
green, but it's important to know
what green really means. When
selecting green building materi-
als, consider their overall impact
on the environment',' says Mike
McDonald, national green home-
builder. "Select products that are natural
Where do you start in determining
which products provide the best energy
savings and least environmental impact
as you embark on your next home proj-
ect? Begin by asking three questions.
• Where does it come from and what
has gone into producing it?
Did it come from the earth or was it
produced in a factory? Usually, the less
time spent manufacturing the product in
a factory means less energy consumed
in preparing the product for your use, as
the heavy machinery required to manu-
facture materials in a factory setting use
lots of energy.
Look for natural products that are
renewable, growing back quickly and
efficiently, and that use few or no
chemicals or compounds that negatively
affect the environment. Look for North
American wood products that come
from independently certified forests.
• What is the product's true overall
impact on the environment?
Think about the energy that's needed
to manufacture, transport and eventually
dispose of the product. Knowing where
a product comes from is half the battle.
When shopping for building products,
ask the retailer these types of questions.
Native wood products from the United
States or Canada will have travelled a
shorter distance when they make it to
You should also give thought to the
impact of any work you might need to
do with the products once you bring
them home from the store or lumber
yard. "For home improvement projects,
select materials that are durable and
easy to install," says Brian Kelsey star of
HGTV's "Creative Edge:' "Avoid materials
that create toxic dust when cut."
• How long will the material last
and how will it hold up?
A key to conservation is selecting
materials that will hold up for a long
time, as they won't need to be harvested
or manufactured as frequently. This will
save you money in the long run as well.
McDonald and Kelsey recommend
using wood products like Western Red
Cedar for projects because its the most
sustainable choice and it's beautiful,
durable and will outlast other choices.
Naturally resistant to moisture, cedar
products can last longer than alternative
manmade materials like composites.
Cedar can also be restored and reused in
other building projects. Plus, it is biode-
gradable if discarded.
"I use Western Red Cedar for every-
thing," says Kelsey. "Beyond the beauty,
the natural oils in the cedar prevent rot.
So, instead of having to go out and buy
a chemically treated pine for outdoor
projects, I can use cedar and not worry
about the chemicals."
By asking the right questions, you'll be
sure that you are doing your part for the
environment by selecting the building
products with the least impact. Whether
you are building a deck, siding your
house or adding warmth to interiors,
if you select the right material, you'll
ensure that your projects will look good
For more information on sustainable
wood products, visit wwwwrcla.org . Li
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