I've started showing the finished house and I seem to get the same question, "what makes this kitchen green?" I decided to highlight the features here as it may help guide others as they choose which elements to incorporate in their renovation projects.
In short, creating a green kitchen is all about: energy efficiency, non-toxicity/healthy environment, responsibility, and livability.
This renovated kitchen incorporates all of those features in the following ways:
All appliances are top energy-star rated. The environment makes best use of HVAC efficiency and insulation that is present throughout the house. It was tested for leakage and great care was given to reduce waste.
Windows are Marvin’s Integrity, energy efficient line.
Non-Toxicity and Healthy Living.
All paints, finishes and adhesives were mostly non-toxic. That includes the paints (Yolo, Benjamin Moore Aura, and American Pride). The Alder cabinetry was stained with non-toxic water-based stain from Unaxol (see last post).
That comes from having a size-appropriate space where the concept of “smaller is more beautiful,” comes to life.
All of the wood is FSC compliant, which means that it was harvested in an ecologically responsible manner. The white maple floors are pre-engineered from EcoTimber. www.ecotimber.com
The glass backsplash is from Artistic Tiles www.artistictile.com which prides itself on being socially and ecologically responsible in the production of its materials.
The countertops are French limestone and were “reject material” from another job. Part of being responsible is to reuse, recycle and re-craft current materials whenever possible. The breakfast countertop is a “reuse” of tabletop that was re-fabricated and now has a new purpose as a small desk and breakfast countertop.
Separating the open kitchen floorplan from the great room is a glass material that again is considered ecologically friendly, from 3-Form, www.3-form.com. The product is called pineapple weave and is recycled glass and natural materials sandwiched together in an usual and appealing way.
The pantry countertop, from Eurostone (www.eurostonecountertops.com), is a composite material that is made up of the fragments of granite that fall to the floor and are thrown away. This product collects that refuse and crafts it into a luxurious “granite-like” material.
Water demand is met by a Nortiz tankless water heater and an on-demand hot water generator at the faucets from www.chilipepperapp.com. Both save water and cost the homeowner less to operate.
Being green does not mean giving up livability. This kitchen and baker’s pantry were designed to meet all the needs of cooking, entertaining, and living. Great care was given to mapping out all of the various functions and then providing the necessary space and materials to fulfill on those expectations. In doing so, use of space was carefully considered and only materials were used that would have minimum impact on our environment.