Eco-friendly strategies for residential rehabbing
Rehabilitating a building can increase its value, appeal, and comfort. Through thoughtful planning, a green rehabilitation project can additionally result in a more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and affordable space — both in the short term and for years to come.
In this section, we’ll help you with your next green rehabilitation project in the following areas:
- Incorporate renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal power
- Improve water efficiency
- Improve energy efficiency
- Improve indoor air quality
- Reduce waste, pollution, and environmental degradation
What Makes a Rehab Project Green?
Many different terms are tossed around when talking about renovating residential structures. Here are a few definitions that can help ensure that you, your contractors, and your clients are on the same page.
- Remodel. The practice of updating and refreshing a home or building. This can range from simply repainting and replacing carpeting or wood flooring, to more extensive work such as replacing kitchen cabinets and appliances, or adding a new room. Typically the original use of the home or building does not change.
- Rehab. To rehab an existing run-down home or building is to return it to a useful capacity. Rehab work will typically be more extensive than a simple remodel. It will generally include replacement of some or all of the building mechanical or electrical systems, structural repair, roofing, and so on. In many cases, rehab work can be done without completely gutting the building first.
- Gut Rehab. This is a major restoration of an old house or other building, in which you strip out all interior finishes back to the foundation, framing studs, and rafters. In some cases, interior non –load-bearing walls are removed completely or relocated. Load-bearing walls may be modified. All mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are replaced, along with interior drywall or plaster, flooring and finishes, trim, windows and doors, exterior siding, and the roof. The rehabbed building may be returned to its original function (such as a home), or it may take on a new function (such as a public space or business).
- Green Rehab. A green rehab uses processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life cycle, from the initial deconstruction through redesign, construction, operation, maintenance, and future renovation and deconstruction.
- Restoration. To put back to an original state or condition. This work is typically performed on structures of historical significance and entails detailed research of the original floor plans, materials, and construction techniques used to make the home or building