In your own opinion, what is the definition of a green building?

I think there’s a lot of confusion around the term “green building.” For me it’s about creating safe and sound homes while being as good to the environment as possible. I try to use local products, I reuse and recycle wherever possible and I try to explore new technology and opportunities when I can. For instance, I recently had solar panels installed on my roof and I’m really happy with the results. It’s saving me money while also reducing my home’s environmental impact.

What are some of the most common green construction practices that professionals such as yourself are under taking to make our infrastructure more ecofriendly?

I think that buying local is a huge. Eliminating transit time is great for the environment and it’s also really good for the local economy. Another is reducing trash. I’ve been working with Habitat for Humanity for quite some time and we work hard to donate whatever we can to their ReStores. Being able to help with a program like that reduces waste and helps to build stronger communities. On my sites everything that can be recycled or reused is, and only what’s left over goes to the dump. Since I’ve started in this business we’ve managed to reduce the amount of garbage going to the landfill by a significant amount.

From your own experience, what are the biggest benefits to green building? Not just from an environmental standpoint, but also how does it benefit the owner of the residential/commercial building.

There are the obvious environmental benefits, but I think there are also some great direct benefits to homeowners. For instance, when a home is more water and energy efficient it can save you money on your utility bills. In some cases, you can also get tax credits for green building, which is certainly helpful to people going through renovations. And there are also health benefits to consider. If you can improve the indoor air quality of your home, you can improve your own health and the health of your family. And what’s great is that you can start small. Use no-VOC paints; lower your energy consumption by sealing windows and doors and putting your thermostat on a timer; purchase products made from renewable resources. You don’t have to make major upgrades or spend a fortune to make a difference in your home.