Under the FAQs for LEED for Homes is a question on whether the US Green Building Council has a LEED program for remodeling. The response is that they are “in active consideration.” It seems they’ve done more than just consider. Last month at the Interiors 08 conference in New Orleans, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) unveiled REGREEN, a joint program with the USGBC to provide guidelines for remodeling green. REGREEN will target residential designers, construction professionals, and homeowners. Though the USGBC was involved in its creation, REGREEN will be vastly different than LEED. Instead of assigning a point value to each green product or practice, REGREEN will be used more as a resource of what remodelers have done in the past to make homes more energy efficient, healthy, and sustainable.
Through the use of REGREEN case studies, interior designers can find how to make their current project more green. ASID does point out that the case studies are not to be used as a list of what materials and practices a designer should use, but rather a guideline of what has been used in the past. These case studies, along with a green product checklist and public comments, will provide interior designers with plenty of resources and strategies to tackle their own green remodel.
Though the case studies were done before the creation of REGREEN, it is clear that they were influenced by LEED for Homes. They tackle all of the areas of green, including energy and water conservation, interior air quality, and sustainable materials. Four of the case studies were done in California. The rest were from areas as diverse as Colorado, Texas, New York, Michigan, Georgia, and Florida.
Included in the program are in-depth strategies on, to name a few, how to “ensure durability,” “manage noise,” “employ universal design,” “design to support connection with nature,” “minimize site disturbance,” “make use of trees and landscaping to reduce cooling loads,” “landscape to minimize chemical use,” “provide rainwater collection system,” and “install on-demand hot water recirculation systems.” A read through the manual will show that the program offers specific answers to many green remodeling questions while leaving designers free to use the best materials for their remodel.
If you have some experience with REGREEN, please leave your own thoughts. I’m interested in some feedback on the program.