Q: How can I know a contractor is being environmentally & sustainability minded like they advertise?
Been seeing more and more contractors claim to be "green" as of late. What does that really mean?
A: Green Contractors
The number one way to see if a company is acting in a "green" manner is to see if they are LEEDs certified. Companies can earn credits towards their green education and status. Currently, however these courses are expensive and only the larger companies can afford them. Any company that puts up the money to earn those credits will surely act as the advertise.
Another way is to ask them how the dispose of there debris. Generally, recycling debris is cheaper then just taking it to a land fill. Most contractors don't just because they are lazy.
I make my crew sort our debris into different categories by how we can get rid of it. We usually pull all paper and cardboard and recycle that. Its easy. Same thing for metal and plastics. We take concrete, brick, stone and dirt to a recycling yard that crushes the concrete and stone to make road base. The brick is used for landscape chips. The dirt is screened and used for filling on other jobs.
Another way a company can be "Green" is by the products they used. Many products have green alternatives. Use engineered flooring instead of 3/4" solid wood. Use products made from recycled metals and plastics.
Another "green" aspect most people don't think of is just using quality building products that last a long time. These products tend to cost more up front but over the life time save you money.
The only way to make sure the company is doing these things is to ask questions. They should be able to tell you exactly what they are doing with their trash and what kind of "green" materials they use.
Andrew Pellak Jr.
A. M Pellak Construction, LLC
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