From Grey to Green
What does going from grey to green mean?
Going green is no longer a new concept. Actually green buildings and green homes are quite popular. Even though our economy has slowed down the green revolution from evolving as quickly as it could have in a healthy economy, people are still moving forward and greening their homes whether building new or remodeling. Homeowners are discovering the value in the quality, comfort, health benefits, and pay back they receive for their green investments.
Today people are more environmentally aware and are proactively taking responsibility for their health and they want a better quality of life for their families. Living, working, and going to school in green environments makes a significant difference in your daily comfort level. Green buildings help people to become more productive because they are breathing healthier air and the furniture and finishes are not off-gassing and causing slight headaches, breathing problems or eyes to burn. Until you have experienced living, working or visiting a green building it’s really difficult to totally understand the difference they deliver. Healthy living spaces and schools are extremely important for our children and their future.
We can no longer live the way we have in the past. With the price of gas continuing to increase, people are starting to drive a little less, buy more fuel-efficient cars and/or are moving closer to transit and neighborhood amenities, so they don’t have to travel so far to get a quart of milk or go to work. Living closer to daily amenities reduces stress from road traffic and allows additional time to be productive or to relax.
As we all are aware, our water supply in the U.S. is becoming scarcer and the price soon will become more expensive. In the near future you will see your water and sewer bills go up and city supplied potable water restricted. This is why water-efficiency is so important right now. Installing more efficient water using features in the home, such as U.S. EPA WaterSense dual-flush toilets, low-flow lavatory faucets, and shower heads will save both money and water. Installing water-efficient appliances such as dishwashers and clothes washers with an EPA WaterSense certification is a must. When improving your outdoor landscape it’s best to use native and locally adapted plants that require less water to thrive.
Conventional fossil-based generation of electricity releases carbon dioxide (CO2), which contributes to global climate change. Homes have a lifespan of 50 to 100 years, during which they continually consume energy and produce CO2 emissions. Plus, the U.S. population and economy are projected to grow significantly over the coming decades, increasing the need for new homes. Building green homes is one of the best strategies for meeting the challenge.
Many people today understand the importance of healthy indoor air quality particularly if they have children who have allergies or asthma problems. A healthy ventilation system and tight building envelop are the norm in green building. A tightly sealed home improves comfort and indoor air quality, as long as nontoxic surface materials and furnishings are used. Besides using less energy, energy-efficient heating and air systems improve the overall atmosphere of a home and save money. Correct window placement and type also lessen the load on heating and cooling systems.
The green revolution has truly gained momentum. Traditional methods used to build and operate our homes contribute to smog, acid rain, and global warming. Green building is less harmful to our environment and the people occupying those spaces. Our homes are our sanctuaries and they are the one place we can go to feel safe and rejuvenate from the world.
Lynn has more than 25 years interior design experience working in architecture and interior design firms nationally and internationally producing Corporate, Commercial, Civic, Hospitality and Prestigious Residential projects for Fortune 500 and celebrity clients, architects and builders. Through her in-depth experience she has developed the design ability to see potential in all spaces, and to create innovative, customized design solutions that meet the highest standards of efficiency, quality and sophistication. She has been a long-time professional advocate for sustainable and environmentally conscious design. Lynn is the principal of her firm LHD located in Stamford, CT.
Lynn is a LEED Accredited Professional with a specialization in interior design and construction (LEED AP ID+ C), certified by the National Council for Interior Design (NCIDQ), and a Connecticut State Registered Interior Designer (RID). She is a professional member of International Interior Designers Association (IIDA) and the U.S. and CT Green Building Council (CTGBC and USGBC). Lynn works with all green programs focusing on Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Awareness and Education.
Lynn Hoffman, Principal
IIDA, RID, LEED AP ID+C