Intelligently Green: An Educated Approach to Sustainable Energy and Cost Savings in Home Building, Design and Living

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Matt Lederer, of Mahogany Builders, Helps Homeowners Make *Intelligently Green* Decisions in Remodeling and Building their Home

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Bamboo has become synonymous with Green Flooring. But the carbon footprint can outweigh the sustainability of bamboo. Often it's harvested in Asia by slave labor, shipped across the world, & trucked across the U.S. using refined oil.

August 3, 2010 -- “Green” is in vogue. However, there is no standard for the term. “Green” is tossed around as casually as “Luxury” and ”Exclusive,” terms that are so overused, that they have all but lost their meaning. Standards for the term Green are Hazy at best.

Builder/remodeler Matt Lederer, Chicago based builder/remodeler and owner of Mahogany Builders said clients clients want to incorporate a “Green” element into their remodel, however, they don’t want to spend extra money. According to Lederer, even his very wealthy clients. “People want to help save the planet, but they are financially prudent. We suggest buying energy saving appliances, or solar powered ventilation units, which are affordable, and SAVE money over time, even if there is a premium upfront.”

Lederer said, Intelligently Green products should include several of these key traits; reduced toxicity, reusability, energy efficiency, responsible packaging, intelligent design, responsible manufacturing techniques, and reduction of personal environmental hazards.

S.A.F.E. highlights the four elements in purchasing an Intelligently Green product.

  •     S Social and Sustainable (Ethical labor practices. Sustainable production/transport methods)
  •     A Affordable (Financially viable for Homeowners, Potential Tax Incentive)
  •     F Family Safe (Health benefits outweigh the standard alternative)
  •     E Environment and Energy (Energy savings that translate to reduced pollution and footprint)

"Bamboo has become synonymous with Green Flooring. But the carbon footprint can outweigh the sustainability of bamboo. Often it's harvested in Asia by slave labor, shipped across the world, & trucked across the U.S. using refined oil. ” If bamboo is in your plans, Lederer said to look for the Forestry Stewardship Council which signifies the bamboo source is sustainably harvested and without VOCs and formaldehyde.

Take advantage of the Energy Star Tax Credit. Energy Tax Credit before it expires December 31, 2010 and use Energy Star Calculator to figure which product makes the most sense for them. “Homeowners can get 30% off any individual qualified purchase.

Water Heaters are among the top two largest energy culprits in a home. Typical tank- based hot water heater keeps 50 gallons of water warm constantly but tankless heaters are on an “on-demand” hot water source. Water heaters have a sheet-metal exterior that is recyclable and can translate to cash at a recycling plant.

Mahogany Builders makes no claims to be an all Green business and Matt Lederer does not live a completely green lifestyle. Nobody is perfect. “We area work in progress but we still have a lot of work to do.” Lederer said. “Green intentions are a great thing, but articulate those intentions wisely. Ask tough questions.” Stay tuned at Mahogany Builder’s website, http://www.mahoganybuiilders.com and http://www.IntelligentlyGreen.com.

Mahogany Builders

Matt Lederer, owner of Mahogany Builders, has been remodeling homes in the Chicago area for the past eight years. Mahogany Builders specializes in kitchens, bathrooms, custom cabinetry, shelving and storage units, fireplaces, lighting among other specialties. In drafting estimates, MB conducts a thorough analysis of a project including the effort and cost to complete specific tasks within each trade. Lederer focuses on managing labor and materials and keeps clients up to date with progress reports each week. Mahogany Builders includes a team of 15 designers, tradesmen, managers, and builders. Matt can be contacted via email at Matt(at)MahoganyBuilders(dot)com, or at 773-755-0055. Amy Solomon can be reached at, Amy (at) SolomonPR (dot) com, 917-693-5339.

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