THE TOP 5 MYTHS about green renovation

Myth #1 : Green home renovation projects have to be highly specialized and “hard-core,” like geothermal heating, grey water collection, etc…

Reality : By simply choosing low VOC paint, changing your windows for high efficiency ones, or replacing your taps for a low water consumption type, you are already contributing to the betterment of the environment. There are many small, easy ways to make your home renovation project green.

Myth #2 : Green products are not as high-quality or reliable as standard products.

Reality : Environmentally responsible products are equivalent in quality or even superior to existing “mainstream” products.

Myth #3 : Green products are much more expensive than standard ones.

Reality : There are two types of cost involved in home renovation: labor and materials. Labor generally remains the same, whether it’s a green renovation or not. And most green materials are the same price as their traditional counterparts. In a few cases, some are 10-15% more expensive. But in general, this small price premium is recouped in energy savings and an increase in the value of your home.

Myth #4 : Home renovations aren’t really a big source of environmental damage, so it’s not really worth the trouble of doing a green project.

Reality : Nothing could be further from the truth. According to the Quebec Association of Home Builders, the construction industry is responsible for 20% of primary energy consumption. It’s the origin of 20 to 25% of waste going to landfill. And it’s responsible for 5 to 12% of water consumption. These are significant numbers. Every effort to bring them down will help. And besides, we make it easy, so there’s no extra trouble involved.

Myth #5 : Wood is wood – what’s the difference?

Reality : Not all wood is alike. To make sure that your wood comes from responsibly harvested trees, look for certification from the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) or The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Sustainable Forest Management Standard. (Not only do these certifications protect the environment, they also ensure that the rights of Aboriginal Peoples are respected.)
Or consider using bamboo. According to a 2007 Guide to Green Renovations article in The Gazette (Montreal), bamboo “is a fast growing grass that matures in as little as seven years, grows anywhere without fertilizers or pesticides and releases 35 per cent of oxygen back into the air.” Plus, it’s beautiful!


Get some ideas (and get inspired!) as you look through photos of past projects.

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