If you own a home, you’re likely to have a remodeling story. The good, the bad, the never-quite finished. One thing’s for sure; every remodel is different. Given the depth and breadth of residential remodeling, the USGBC, in collaboration with the American Society of Interior Designers, is formally releasing their REGREEN Residential Remodeling Guidelines today at the INTERIORS 08 conference in New Orleans. Not to be confused with the LEED for Homes rating system (a certification program), REGREEN is a set of remodeling guidelines.
The 182-page document will take some time to sift through, although a draft has been available for some time. A technical committee developed the guidelines, which then went through a public comment period with an opportunity for all interested parties and stakeholders to provide feedback. In the interest of transparency, a 28-page summary of public comments is available at the REGREEN website.
The REGREEN Guidelines build upon the previous good work of Build It Green’s Home Remodeling Green Building Guidelines. REGREEN provides the right mix of identifying the issues, providing suggestions, and demonstrating success through case studies. The document depends heavily on links to additional information for more extensive coverage of techniques, strategies, and materials. It can’t possibly be a ‘product catalog’ of green remodeling products.
To avoid criticisms that green building focuses too much on single product selections (i.e., the ‘I Have Bamboo Floors, I Must Be Green’ mindset), the REGREEN team identifies the inherent challenges of green building as a process. Integrating architects, interior designers, architects, engineers, builders, and trade contractors can be tough.
At the end of the day, green building/remodeling is about how systems or the whole building work together to reduce environmental impacts: energy, water, materials consumption, waste generation, and harmful emissions. Collaboration among USGBC and ASID to help guide remodeling efforts is a great step forward.