Before and After Makeover: Eco-Friendly Home
Eco-friendly building materials and appliances turned this small condo into a green home.
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When Tom and Sheryl Stone set out to remodel their 900-square-foot condo, their goal was to make it as green as possible using materials that were recycled, renewable, or sourced from environmentally responsible companies.
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The first renovation they made was removing the wall that separated the living room and kitchen. Removing the wall opened up the condo without changing its footprint.
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Cork flooring was used throughout the space. Cork is a popular option for flooring especially in high-traffic areas because it's water- and mold-resistant. Cork is roughly the same price as wood, but it's a sustainable material. Cork trees regenerate every nine years, while trees such as oak or maple can take 30 years or more.
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Storage was an important factor in this small space. Kristin Lomauro-Boom, the designer, carved out storage wherever she could. Among the more intriguing solutions were drawers that hide within the toe-kicks, and a tall tambour door. She also designed a niche for the TV on the living room side of the island. The table on wheels can also serve as additional counter space.
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The Stones used compact fluorescent lamps in the green glass pendant lights above the island and the track lights throughout the kitchen. The CFLs uses less electricity than standard incandescent bulbs. Although they cost a little more, they last up to 10 times longer and can be installed in most light fixtures.
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Lomauro-Boom redesigned the kitchen using eco-friendly and energy-efficient products. The backsplash tiles are recycled glass. The range is an induction cooktop. The dishwasher and refrigerator are both Energy Star appliances.
Tip: Energy Star appliances are good for the environment and for your checkbook. The appliances cost a little more up front, but the money they save on energy bills in the long run makes up for the initial price difference.
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Induction cooktops utilize high-powered magnetic fields that transform the cookware into its own heat source. The faster cooking time saves energy. This makes them a perfect choice for environmentally conscious households.
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Green, yellow, and blue tiles from Sandhill Industries are made with 100-percent recycled glass that would otherwise have ended up in landfills.
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To conserve water, use a water-saving faucet with a flow rate around 2.2 gallons per minute.
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Quartz surfacing is highly durable and its long life helps reduce waste. DuPont's Zodiaq quartz surfacing is certified by the Greenguard Environmental Institute because it has low volatile organic compound emissions, which helps maintain indoor air quality.
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Lomauro-Boom opened the office/guest room to the main area by cutting a new doorway in an adjacent wall. A new metal sliding door with exposed hardware leads into the area. A large closet in the room became a niche for a desk. She added floating shelves for additional storage.
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Climbing the Walls
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to add a layer of green to a remodeling project is with paint that contains low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are gasses, some of which can be toxic, that are emitted from products such as wall paint, paint stripper, cleaning supplies, and some building materials and furnishings.
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The floor leading into the bathroom is concrete with natural stones. It provides an eco-friendly and nonslip surface in the master bath.
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The bathroom promotes the principles of green design by incorporating natural and recycled materials, such as recycled-glass tile, on the walls.
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