Your home’s kitchen is its heart and soul, working hard to keep your family nourished. How do you build an eco-friendly kitchen? According to Scott Frey of Frey Construction & Home Improvement in Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin, the number of eco-friendly options available for today’s kitchens is impressive. Frey, whose company offers kitchen remodeling in Madison and the surrounding areas, says that the green building movement is taking hold across the country and that more homeowners are opting for eco-friendly materials, construction techniques and appliances when remodeling their homes. Kitchen remodels in particular offer a number of exciting ways to reduce your carbon footprint, conserve energy and help protect our dwindling supplies of natural resources.
What is Green Construction?
Green building or green construction, says Frey, is a philosophy that embraces the use of environmentally responsible materials and techniques to build structures that are resource-efficient. Some key concepts in green construction are the use of sustainable materials, energy efficiency and waste reduction.
Sustainable and Recycled Materials
Choosing environmentally responsible materials for your eco-friendly kitchen, says Frey, is easy. There are a number of products on the market today that look great and are consistent with green building principles. Here are a few popular choices:
- Eco-friendly floors: Bamboo, cork and eucalyptus flooring materials offer a sustainable alternative to hardwoods.
- Countertop options: Some exciting products are available now, including countertops made from recycled aluminum, glass, concrete and even paper. Bamboo and reclaimed wood countertops are also popular.
- Recycled tile: If your new kitchen includes a tile backsplash, consider tiles made from recycled glass.
Energy efficient upgrades are key components of any eco-friendly kitchen. Because the kitchen is a major consumer of energy in any home, changes here can have a big impact on your home’s energy efficiency overall. Choose ENERGY STAR appliances to keep your energy costs down and your carbon footprint to a minimum. You can also choose compact fluorescent lighting to improve efficiency. Consider task lighting for countertops and work areas to reduce your use of overhead lights.
Energy-efficient windows can add beauty and value to your remodeled kitchen while helping to keep your energy bills down. Frey Construction & Home Improvement, says Frey, uses Gorell windows. “They’re the best on the market,” he says, “and they’ve been the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for the past six years.”
Reducing construction waste is a big part of any green building project. This includes reclaiming or recycling as much demolition waste as possible in order to keep it out of landfills. This also includes keeping job site waste to a minimum. According to Frey, his company is at the leading edge of construction waste recycling in the Madison area. “We try to recycle absolutely everything from our job sites,” he says. Recyclable materials from kitchen remodels include cardboard (from packaging), metal plumbing and wires, and wood.
Choosing the Right Contractor
When selecting a contractor for your eco-friendly kitchen remodel, be sure to consider the company’s environmental philosophy. “Simply choosing environmentally friendly materials isn’t enough,” he explains. “Many construction companies simply don’t consider their impact on the environment. If environmental responsibility is important to you, you’ll want to select a company with a similar philosophy to yours.”
Frey Construction & Home Improvement is committed to doing everything possible to protect “the home of all of our homes,” the earth. With an aggressive recycling program and focus on energy efficiency, Frey Construction is a great choice for the environmentally conscious homeowner in Madison. Frey says, “We’re here for the long run; we care about the impact we have… do you?”