Remodeling Magazine - Zero to Green

Source: REMODELING Magazine
Publication date: October 1, 2007

By Nina Patel

One of the first green projects done by Jackson Remodeling was driven by a client, who not only specified the products but also researched purchasing and installation and suggested trade contractors. That was in 2000. Now, the Seattle company is known for its green projects. The firm's path to green was paved with an open-minded attitude. Then and now, the company tries different methods brought to them by clients or green experts. “You'll only learn if you're willing to admit you don't know,” says co-owner Leif Jackson. “We're always learning.”

Jackson says that what Jackson Remodeling does is different from super-green professionals who use more extreme methods. “Most of the rest of us are somewhere along that line or continuum between mainstream and super-green,” he says.

“Green has never had the weight it does now,” Jackson says. “It is bigger here in the Northwest, but it is big nationwide and getting bigger. As climate changes continue and energy becomes scarcer, it is not just a more attractive option, but it will be mandated by code.”

This addition was the first three-star certified Built Green project on the 2006 Seattle Remodeled Homes Tour. It includes recycled cellulose insulation, site waste recycling, and zero-VOC paint.

Since that first project, Jackson Remodeling has built many more green projects and now uses green as a central message in its marketing. “It seems like a no-brainer — a good business decision to embrace that ahead of the curve,” he says.

The company's marketing brochure mentions the two things that the firm is known for: green building and design/build. Green is also on the home page of the company's Web site and there is a link to a green building page that highlights the sustainable elements of recent projects. “When I check our search engine results, green is one of the key terms I monitor,” Jackson says.

Jackson Remodeling's home show booth (right) has green features. The tour home (far right) integrates solar panels into its design.

As a member of several green-building organizations, the company is listed in a number of online directories, and often purchases small ads. It also built a green booth for a local home show and had a green home on a local home tour. “From the outside, the house does not look different, and that is what most of our clients are looking for. They don't want straw bale or solar panels — they want something architecturally appropriate that looks and feels like a home,” Jackson says.

Leif and his brother, co-owner Eric, both drive bio-diesel trucks. Recently, they installed a dual-flush toilet in their office. “We're trying to walk the talk and make green central to our business model and philosophy,” Jackson says.

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