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.
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.
Our 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.
Castle often works with and highly recommends these materials with eco-friendly benefits:
Marmoleum is made from natural ingredients like linseed oil, rosin and limestone, and raw materials that are either abundantly available or rapidly renewable (with annual crops or grow back schemes). Thanks to these natural ingredients the floor looks and feels natural and is one of the most sustainable flooring choices. Manufactured in European factories running on green electricity, Marmoleum is treated with Topshield2, a two layer acrylic water based finish, that avoids scratching, staining and soiling, and takes care of easy cleaning and excellent appearance retention of the floor over time. Marmoleum is available in full sheets or modular tiles that come in various sizes. For more information, please visit the manufacturer website: https://www.forbo.com/flooring/en-us/products/residential-products/cgnra1
GreenClaimed® Cork Flooring (produced by Cali Cork) is manufactured from reclaimed material from the cork wine bottling industry and is an amazing alternative to traditional hardwood or tile flooring. If you have ever opened a bottle of wine, then you have probably noticed that the cork top has some unique physical properties which translate into an amazingly quiet, comfortable, and durable floor. Made from 42.8% recycled content and at 7/16″ thick, Cali Cork is also a great temperature insulator, giving you even more value. Easy maintenance too… simply vacuum and mop. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://www.calibamboo.com/cork-flooring.html
APC Cork is one of the top North American distributors of cork flooring, offering a variety of floating floors, residential and commercial glue down tiles, cork underlayments and flooring accessories. APC Cork floors are eco-friendly as the company 1) only purchases cork from forests managed in a responsible way and refuse to purchase cork from endangered forests 2) makes sure that the suppliers are in compliance with ALL local laws and are supplying legally and sustainably purchased cork. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://www.apccork.com/
Natural Cork (manufactured by USFloors) is enjoying a resurgence in popularity today. Many people think of cork as a relatively new and possibly unreliable option particularly as a surface flooring material. And yet, there are examples of Natural Cork floors in public buildings that were installed over 100-years ago and are still in use today. The Library of Congress in Washington, DC is one excellent case. USFloors’ commitment is to provide consumers and specifiers with beautiful and durable floors at a good value, while minimizing our impact on the environment and enhancing and improving it whenever possible. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://www.usfloorsllc.com/display-category/natural-cork-5/
Masland Carpets and Rugs was founded in Pennsylvania in 1866 and still today boasts of its heritage as the leading carpet manufacturer in the United States. Since 1866, Masland has insisted that its carpets and rugs maintain the highest quality. The tradition of manufacturing quality products has been practiced for 150 years and continues to be practiced today. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://www.maslandcarpets.com/
Earthweave’s Wool Carpet manufacturing technique is exactly what makes Bio-Floor™ the only truly nontoxic, all natural carpet made in North America. The Bio-Floor™ line is used extensively by those suffering from chemical sensitivity as well as those that are concerned about the home environment. We have gone to great lengths to design a product that meets the demands of these clients yet sacrifices nothing in the way of styling, comfort and durability. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://earthweave.com/
Nature’s Carpet products are, as the name implies, carpets made from nature. Our line of carpets has been tailored to accommodate the consumer who wishes to make a flooring purchase decision with consideration to its environmental impact, but does not wish to sacrifice quality and style in doing so. Nature’s Carpet successfully strikes this balance, offering over 60 styles and colors of 100% wool carpets. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://naturescarpet.com/
Godfrey Hirst Wool Carpet is made from New Zealand Wool. Sustainable, Renewable, biodegradable and energy efficient by reducing heating and cooling by preventing heat loss and heat rising through floors. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://www.godfreyhirst.com/na/carpet
Crushed Walnut Shell
Nuxite is made from crushed walnut shells suspended in a zero VOC resin binder. Walnut shells are a sustainably grown and renewable byproduct of annual walnut food crop harvests which impart their characteristics of high density, low absorption, and light weight to Nuxite. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://rustbrothers.com/sustainable-surfaces/nuxite/
Wood from the Hood was born from a simple idea: Reclaim discarded trees from urban neighborhoods to create beautiful, high-quality wood products. Wood From the Hood produces high quality lumber and custom wood products recycled from the Twin Cities urban forest. You can support environmentally sensitive building and remodeling with Wood From The Hood by finding unique ways to keep trees “alive” in your neighborhood.
Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://woodfromthehood.com/
PaperStone®’s non-porous surface provides a lifetime of stain resistance and it absorbs virtually no water. Surface cuts or marks may be sanded or rubbed out with an abrasive pad and treated with PaperStone® Finish. PaperStone® is one of the few architectural solid surface materials certified to FSC® standards by the Rainforest Alliance. Accordingly, PaperStone® plays a role in enabling a project to acquire LEED points toward certification.Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://www.paperstoneproducts.com/
Cambria is pure, natural quartz, one of the hardest and most common minerals on Earth. Some of Cambria’s designs have the natural look and feel of granite, marble and other quarried stones, but feature superior performance because of its strength and durability. It is nonporous and will not absorb food and liquids like granite does. And best of all, it is maintenance-free. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://www.cambriausa.com/
Dakota Surfaces recycled glass is mostly glass types that cannot otherwise be recycled, and would go directly to a landfill. Most of the glass used at Dakota Surfaces is processed in house and is acquired from local sources. These countertops end up being about 80 to 85% recycled material. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://dakotasurfaces.com/
Element Surfaces is made of 80-85% recycled glass and zero VOC binder. Maintenance free and no sealing required, it comes in custom colors via made-to-order slabs. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://rustbrothers.com/sustainable-surfaces/element-surfaces/
Kohler products are water savings and made-in-USA. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://www.us.kohler.com
StonePeak products are “green” because they are made with 100% natural minerals, including quartz, clay, kaolin, feldspar, silica, natural coloring agents.
They are also green because of what is not there: no sealants, no waxes, no epoxies or man-made binders, no artificial coloring agents. They have no artificial component that would release volatile organic compound (VOCs) into a building environment through off gassing. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://www.stonepeakceramics.com/
Clay Squared to Infinity are handcrafted right here in Minnesota. They contain no VOC’s (Volatile organic compounds), are non-toxic and made from 15% recycled content. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://www.claysquared.com/
Mercury Mosaics Mercury Mosaics is a group of artisans dedicated to creating environments full of character. Our tiles are hand-crafted to tell a story—your story—through color, texture, pattern, and depth. We design unforgettable, picturesque backdrops that pop with vibrancy and life. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: https://mercurymosaics.com/
VELUX, the world leader in high quality, energy efficient skylights and roof windows, puts to excellent use our most abundant natural resource – light from above – by developing, manufacturing and marketing environmentally friendly products that provide and control daylight and fresh air in buildings. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://www.veluxusa.com/
Richlin Window and Door has been successfully manufacturing windows since 1951 using the highest quality materials, state-of-the-art equipment, and backed by a solid warranty. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://richlinwindow.com/
Solatubes bring beautiful, natural light into your home with their innovative tubular daylighting technologies. Convert dark spaces into places you love. Learn more at the manufacturer’s website: http://www.solatube.com/residential
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.