Green For A Reason is an image directory that empowers consumers to easily find environmentally safe, sustainable products and experienced green professionals dedicated to building less toxic homes. We will do so by increasing awareness about the options and opportunities, products and services available for residential homes and growing a sustainable healthy community for families throughout the world.
Green For A Reason exists to help the green building movement. We will do so by promoting green products and professionals with good understanding, authenticity and integrity to their craft and to the environment as a whole by making it a household name.
Hill Country zero-energy contemporary: Driftwood, Texas
“Our desire and far-reaching goal to build an exceedingly-green home was largely driven by my chronic asthma condition, where we were optimistic an environment free of airborne dust and toxins would enable control of my condition without daily doses of an inhaled steroid. Within six months of move-in, I had cast aside the drugs and never looked back—and 3 years on have not had a single asthma symptom.
“The culmination of our clean-slate collaboration with a skilled architect and green builder is an exceedingly healthful dwelling that is at peace with its hillside site while paying homage to classic Texas Hill Country design vernacular. Once inside, our guests are greeted with an open, airy, and contemporary twist, a balance of private versus public spaces, seamless interior-to-exterior livability, and expansive views of the vineyards below and Hill Country vistas beyond.
“But we were intent on pushing the envelope even further, so also achieved certified zero-energy independence through a high-performance building shell, extremely efficient mechanicals, smart-home technology, rooftop solar, and a whole-house rainwater harvesting system. We continue to get rewarded for these design decisions day in, day out: Total utility costs are less than $300 annually (yes, for absolutely everything).”
Tom and Peggy Kolnowski
Architect: Danze & Davis Architects, Austin, Texas
Builder: Native, Austin, Texas
You can read more about smart, sustainable, and zero-energy efficient homes in Digitized House Magazine, a publication for homeowners founded by Tom Kolnowski
Holly Hill Drive, Austin, Texas
Why did I do a green remodel?
"For me it was never a choice to not build a green house. It is true that it is impossible today to work in the design and building industry without paying attention to the fact that green technologies are the way of today and the future. Increased regulations, consumer awareness and the rising cost of energy as well as the cumulative cost to the environment are reasons I give my own clients for choosing to use a program like LEED or a local rating system like the Austin Energy Green Building program. However, for me choosing to do a green remodel was a reflection of what I believe in and a desire to create a healthy home with a low lifecycle cost.
"I am planning to stay here until I cannot and that dictated using durable materials that will not need to be replaced often, recycled materials that came from the careful dismantling of the existing house or from other sources, recyclable materials that will have another life after this house, inert materials that do not off-gas, and local materials that require less inherent energy. I found that these characteristics naturally overlap with green practices. Additionally, I wanted to be mindful of the sun, wind, vegetation and water on the site and redesigned the house to maximize natural light, capture the breezes, help keep water on the site, and protect mature trees.
"The resulting design has been a boon for our family by providing a light and bright, clean air filled home that will allow us to age in place."
Designer: Meeta Morrison Designs, Austin, Texas
General Contractor: Lawrence Huisman, Austin, Texas
Spring Hollow Drive, Austin, Texas
"As chemical engineers my wife and I have long been concerned with energy efficiency, chemicals in our living environment, and our ecological footprint. When we built a new home in San Antonio in 2000 we had trouble finding appropriate professionals and technology to build a "Green" house. When we decided to move to Austin we used resources from the Austin Green Building program to locate an appropriate architect to lead our project. It is worth noting that, as a remodel, our project faced compromises that new construction can avoid, and that livability issues were given substantial consideration in our decisions. Green Building points were not a priority, but the two are rarely at odds in our experience. Having low energy bills and water demand, sealing the garage and exterior store room from the house to keep gasoline and chemical fumes out of the house, having no thresholds, and other similar details make for better and healthier living - and is better for our planet."
Architect: Barley Pfeiffer, Austin, Texas
Builder: Ray Tonjes, Austin, Texas
Collier Street, Austin, Texas
“One of the main reasons we decided to go green with our home is because we are very cautious about the state of the Earth. We wanted to maintain the lowest carbon footprint that we possibly could. For this reason, one of the first decisions we made was to not use gas in our home. For instance, a friend of ours who works as a chef had introduced us to a process called “induction cooking”, which is when a cooking vessel is heated through magnetic induction instead of thermal conduction. We were confident that he knew what he was talking about so there was really no reason not to try that process. Another reason for building a green home was because Travis Young of Studio Momentum Architects, who built our home and is also a friend, was on the same page as far as being like-minded and wanting to be as green as possible. We knew we wanted to avoid certain materials such as carpeting, which has a lot of processing and glues, and we didn’t want those materials in our home. We are really happy with the finished product. It is extremely efficient, which is one of the other great things about our house. We have lower bills, eco-friendly appliances, and an air conditioning and heating system that runs on water, which helps us keep a much lower carbon footprint.” Mary Mockley
Architect: Travis Young, Studio Momentum Architects, Austin, Texas