Scott McGillivray, who hosts “Income Property” on HGTV and DIY Network, has made significant strides toward eco-friendly building since starting his career. He shared some tips on what green building takes.
In your own opinion, what is the definition of “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 undertaking to make our infrastructure more eco-friendly?
I think buying local is 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 ReStore. Being able to help with a program like that reduces waste and it 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?
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.
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-volatile organic compound paints; lower your energy consumption by sealing windows and doors, and putting your thermostat on a timer; and 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.
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