Company Green Building Practices
At Straight Line Design and Remodeling, we understand the impact humans have on the environment. As home remodeling industry leaders for the Portland, Oregon Metro Area, we value our surroundings and strive to reduce, reuse, and recycle materials whenever possible. We utilize a job site recycling system to ensure that the majority of the waste does not end up in a landfill.
Along with the everyday habit of recycling, we use the ReGreen Residential Guidelines. These guidelines allow us to successfully introduce design options for clients to consider during their projects. While there is no “green certification” or rating system for remodeling (like LEED for new construction), we take it upon ourselves to work as efficiently and sustainably as possible.
These green building practices do not impact your project cost. It is a philosophy that our company owns.
Project Green Building Options
For those that are interested in prioritizing sustainability during their renovation, we offer a range of environmentally-conscious products and methods. This can mean using low-VOC paints, FSC-certified lumber, and formaldehyde-free plywood, as well as calculating air loss in your home and sealing any leaks for better indoor air quality. These materials and methods are not always standard construction practices, and it’s important to understand that these choices that can often increase costs. However, for those that do choose to pursue green building options, federal and state energy programs can offer rebates and/or tax incentives.
Renovate, Repair, and Paint (RRP) EPA Certification
Straight Line Design and Remodeling understands and respects the hazards of lead-based paint. Because our clients’ safety is a top priority for us, our company is certified by the EPA and holds a valid Lead-Based Paint Removal License through the Oregon CCB.
If your home is built on or before the year 1978, it’s important to know that we’re obligated to use RRP practices and provide you with an informational brochure. These practices typically increase project costs by 5% but can vary depending on the amount of lead-based paint present in the home.
Federal law requires contractors that are hired to perform renovation, repair, and painting projects in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 to be lead-safety certified and to follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.
The work practices the contractor must follow include these three procedures, described below:
1) Contain the work area.
The area must be contained so that dust and debris do not escape from that area. Warning signs must be put up and plastic or other impermeable material and tape must be used as appropriate to:
- Cover the floors and any furniture that cannot be moved.
- Seal off doors and heating and cooling system vents.
- For exterior renovations, cover the ground and, in some instances, erect vertical containment or equivalent extra precautions in containing the work area.
These practices will help prevent dust or debris from getting outside the work area.
2) Avoid renovation methods that generate large amounts of lead-contaminated dust.
Some methods generate so much lead-contaminated dust that their use is prohibited. They are:
- Open flame burning or torching.
- Sanding, grinding, planing, needle gunning, or blasting with power tools and equipment not equipped with a shroud and HEPA vacuum attachment.
- Using a heat gun at temperatures greater than 1100°F.
There is no way to eliminate dust, but some renovation methods make less dust than others. Contractors may choose to use various methods to minimize dust generation, including using water to mist areas before sanding or scraping; scoring paint before separating components, and prying and pulling apart components instead of breaking them.
3) Clean up thoroughly.
The work area should be cleaned up daily to keep it as clean as possible. When all the work is done, the area must be cleaned up using special cleaning methods before taking down any plastic that isolates the work area from the rest of the home. The special cleaning methods should include:
- Using a HEPA vacuum to clean up dust and debris on all surfaces.
- Wet wiping and wet mopping with plenty of rinse water.
When all the renovation work is finished, it’s important to have confidence that your home has been cleaned up properly.
EPA Requires Cleaning Verification.
In addition to using allowable work practices and working in a lead-safe manner, EPA’s RRP rule requires contractors to follow a specific cleaning protocol. The protocol requires the contractor to use disposable cleaning cloths to wipe the floor and other surfaces of the work area and compare these cloths to an EPA-provided cleaning verification card to determine if the work area was adequately cleaned. EPA research has shown that following the use of lead-safe work practices with the cleaning verification protocol will effectively reduce lead-dust hazards.