Tuesday, May 27, 2008

High end 'green' kitchen

The Journal's 'green' writer has created an entertaining and informative article about doing her high end kitchen renovation (free WSJ Digg link) that was as energy efficient and sustainable as possible. The key points were to use sustainable wood for the cabinets and flooring, to use concrete for the countertops, and to use LEDs for the lighting.

Time for an eco-reality check. Despite all the green hype, building an environmentally correct kitchen can be a lot of hard work. Unless you hire a green-educated architect or general contractor, some serious homeowner hands-on is still required. During my journey, I pored over sheets of bamboo plywood in Brooklyn, N.Y., hunted down energy-saving accent lights in Illinois by Web and phone, and spent one frigid afternoon cleaning spilled cellulous insulation off the lawn. I also interviewed five cabinet dealers before finding one who would meet my eco-specs. "This is an industry that hasn't changed a lot, aside from air-conditioning, in the last 100 years," says Michelle Moore, a senior vice president with the not-for-profit U.S. Green Building Council. "It takes courage on the part of initial homeowners to step into the waters."
The renovation cost over $80,000. Those Journal writers must make good scratch. The article sites a study that says certified green homes sold for an 11% premium, which could make the cost worth it.

You can find more about green buildings at the U.S. Green Building Council.