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Businesses, homes get 'green' light in tough times
Cape Coral company helps owners save money
BY JL WATSON • JLWATSON@NEWS-PRESS.COM • OCTOBER 4, 2008
From the low-flow showers and toilets to the 12-inch think walls, everything about the Madrigal family home is environmentally friendly.
"We're trying to be independent of oil and we know the rates will be going up," Juan Madrigal said.
Madrigal, his wife MaeLee, their dog and cat moved into their new Fort Myers home earlier this year. From the outside the house doesn't appear out of the ordinary. Like many Florida homes it features three bedrooms and two bathrooms; a two-car garage and large living/family room that opens to the kitchen.
The similarities end there.
Tomorrows House, Today
-by Johanna De La Torre, For Gulf Coast Times (October, 2007)
“Green” is more than just a color. “Green” is a movement, a theory so to speak, towards a more sustainable world. It means looking at the big picture.
According to the US Green Building Council, green buildings use 36% of their total energy and 65% of their total electricity. “Going green” is about conserving energy and protecting the health of our environment to help improve those numbers.
In the West Coast, building green is the fastest growing phenomenon in the home building industry ever. Going green not only brings energy efficiency, but it also provides an improved quality of life beyond comparison. With this in mind, a new local “green builder” has hit Southwest Florida. Their goal: live in a way that cares for the Earth and that will show others how to do so as well.
"Energy efficiency, indoor air quality, types of building and waste are key when you talk about green," Greencastle, Inc. President Shawn Harvey says. "It's about a holistic approach to living."
And Harvey and his team know everything is interconnected.
Greencastle is bringing affordable, green, hurricane resistant, super-energyefficient houses to the Southwest Florida market. The idea was simple: build homes that are environmentally friendly, where people could live in modern comfort without taking a toll on our natural resources.
"We want to use as much renewable energy as we could," Harvey says. "Therefore, we build with earth-friendly, healthy building materials that often times are made from recycled matter."
With this, Greencastle has worked to build a comfortable niche for itself, Harvey says. A green home project entails a good bit of detective work for the builder. Harvey admits to spending days in front of research material, the computer, and meetings to find just the right items for his homes. Manufacturing is still being done the same old way, but companies are putting a different spin on it. And that just doesn't cut it.
To Harvey and his team, the most innovative and high quality products will make the difference. Yes, often times, these materials are more expensive in their initial costs, but the energy consumption in the long run makes a "green world" of a difference.