CASTLE AWARDED FIRST CERTIFIED HOME IN MINNESOTA GREENSTAR PILOT PROGRAM
ABOUT MINNESOTA GREENSTAR-CERTIFIED GREEN HOMES AND REMODELING
Minnesota GreenStar-Certified Green Homes and Remodeling has developed a regionally appropriate green building standard that embraces our unique climate concerns, building codes and material, energy, and natural resources. Fundamental to the program is the objective, third-party verification system that assures consumers that the new home or remodeling project performs as promised. The standard will be supported by a mandatory education program for builders and remodelers, as well as general education and promotion to consumers. With this robust standard as our vehicle, it is our aim to bring homebuyers and homeowners a verified standard that will allow them the opportunity to choose more efficient, healthy, and environmentally-sensitive design and construction practices for their new or remodeled home.
CASTLE’S COMMITMENT TO GREEN REMODELING
Castle Building & Remodeling, Inc. believes strongly in sustainability and green remodeling. Many of the practices that Castle has employed for years, such as salvaging doors and millwork, investing in the best insulation and windows, using a refuse removal service that sorts debris, and encouraging the use of materials and products that do not deplete the natural resources of the Earth have made the transition to remodeling green a minor change for Castle.
Castle tries to incorporate the green movement into all of our daily activities by doing little things like using materials that are durable and long lasting, concentrating our jobs geographically (close in to the city) to avoid long commutes, and recycling everything possible.
ABOUT THE NATURAL BUILT HOME STORE
The Natural Built Home Store is the area’s leading retailer of eco-friendly building materials. The company’s mission is to make green building products readily accessible to homeowners, contractors, architects, and interior designers. We strive to keep these high quality products affordable so sustainable practices can easily be adopted. We are staffed with interior designers and through a partnership with our sister company, Castle Building & Remodeling can complete any size of remodeling project.
Each product found at The Natural Built Home Store must pass through a strict quality and values criteria, focusing on: Health, Sustainability, Resource/Energy Conservation, Durability, and Location of Product. We are proud to feature earth friendly cabinets, countertops, flooring, hardware, paint/stain/finishes, and insulation made right in the USA. Stop by The Natural Built Home Store showroom to see these beautiful products in person.
What are “Green” Materials?
Products themselves are not “green” but certain products have attributes that make them a more ecological choice over a conventional product, including:
- The type of material used
- The waste generated during the production and transportation
- The overall life expectancy of a product.
The NBH store team works hard to spread the green building message through local expos, the Eco-Experience at the Minnesota State Fair and by speaking to community organizations and businesses. We continue to encourage the use of products that are sustainable for our planet, safe for our health and beautiful for our homes.
OUR MINNESOTA GREENSTAR CERTIFIED PROJECTS
PROJECT #1 COMPLETED 2012
This St. Louis Park couple came to Castle Building & Remodeling needing to expand their attic space in anticipation of a new arrival. They knew they wanted to use sustainable and locally sourced materials, convert the household mechanicals to energy efficient systems, and conserve on recycling materials wherever possible. Castle Building & Remodeling designed a unique shed dormer that gave these homeowners nearly 800 sq. ft. of newly finished space, including two bedrooms, a full bathroom and an office/nursery area.
Some of the key elements of this project that qualified it for green certification were:
- High efficiency heating and cooling systems
- A tankless water heating system
- Energy Star rated lighting fixtures
- Low flow plumbing fixtures
- Advanced framing techniques that conserved on lumber usage
- Engineered headers and beams to maximize the use of forest products
- High efficiency windows
- Advanced insulation techniques to increase R-values and eliminate air leakage
- No recessed fixtures penetrating unconditioned attic space
- Lifetime warrantied steel shingles
- Bituminous roofing over entire low pitch roof areas
- Fiber cement siding & wood composite exterior trim materials
- Low VOC paints and finishes
- Recycled framing and roofing materials salvaged for the existing house
- A Waste Management Plan to deal with all refuse
- Rain barrels to collect water runoff from the roof and to be used to water the yard
PROJECT #2 COMPLETED 2007
This project involved a great deal of planning, preparation, and creative design. The scope of the project called for opening up a load-bearing wall, removing the front hallway, and creating a larger gathering space for the entire family to enjoy. A steel beam was used in place of the removed load-bearing wall, opening up the kitchen into the new casual dining room.
The final design included space that would serve for informal dining at the raised island & dining table, an organization/desk area, a small boot bench/mud area, and provisions for the future installation of a laundry on the main floor.
The next step was the careful selection of earth-friendly and health-conscious products. Using green building guidelines and the resources of trade partners, the homeowners were able to build “green” and to fill their home with both healthy alternatives and a stylish kitchen. Some of the green design features include the following:
A blower door test to confirm that the home is tight and allows less than .35 air exchanges per hour. Also ensured that the house is not too tight and that the mechanicals back draft.
- Gasketing and weather-stripping of existing doors
- Reclaimed lumber was used for interior wall framing
- All millwork and doors were salvaged for reinstallation
- The laundry chute was saved and re-installed in a new location
- A new low-flow toilet was installed in the 1/2 bath
- The walls were insulated with formaldehyde-free insulation
- Recycled paper-content sheetrock was installed on the walls and ceiling
- New Cambria (low-petroleum) and reclaimed birch butcher-block countertops were installed
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs were installed in the home
- Where compact fluorescents were not installed, dimmer switches were installed to allow for reduced consumption
- Energy Star appliances were used
- A high-efficiency hot water heater was installed and power-vented
- Low-flow aerators were added to all existing faucets
- Pex water supply lines were used
- A handmade tile backsplash was installed
- Recycled content bathroom floor tile was used
- A double wall oven and separate cooktop will be used
- A recycling center was installed for the homeowners’ use
- Hardwood floors were saved and toothed-in to avoid filling landfills
- Water-based stain, which is less toxic, was used on the floors
- Low-VOC paint was used on the walls and ceiling
- Segregated clean-up site and recycling center was on site
- Sponsor of Roseville Home Show
With the use of “green” building practices and design, the project has become a dream come true for these urban homeowners.