Posts From May, 2019

A Revolution In Water Recycling?

New septic technology could help reduce pollution, save water and qualify homes for LEED points. It could also let you build on otherwise unbuildable lots.
A Revolution In Water Recycling?
Dave Hopper has been in the septic installation business since the late 1980's and rarely sees anything new that qualifies as a game-changer. That was until last year when his company, H&M Construction in Walton, Kentucky was asked to install a new type of system from Cincinnati-based NextGen Septic. He has since installed about a dozen of these systems and now offers them to builder customers where the project warrants. Although his customers end up paying an installed cost about twice that of a conventional septic, none of them complain because it lets them build on lots they could not build on otherwise. "The system basically sells itself," he says. Problem Solver The NextGen system consists of a stainless-steel treatment unit placed on top of a two-chamber septic tank. The unit is small enough to fit between the tank's two risers. Rather than flowing to a leach field, effluent from the septic tank is pumped through the NextGen unit, where biomedia remove nitrogen,... read more

How To Dominate A Competitive Market

A Seattle rater and consultant shares lessons he has learned working with the top green builders
Green building is like any other endeavor. Look at a local market and you will see most green builders going about their business the usual way—doing good work but competing with one another for the best jobs. You will also likely see a few companies that have managed to rise above the herd. The latter companies are the ones who create a recognized brand based on their green building expertise. They're less affected by price pressures and stay busy even when the real estate market cools. The obvious question is: how did they get there? You can get a good perspective on that question from industry professionals who work with those market leaders as well as with the rest of the pack. That's why we decided to spend some time with Tadashi Shiga. Shiga is Principal of Evergreen Certified in Seattle. He has worked with 250 builders in what may be the greenest building market in the U.S. His company provides verifier and rater services for programs that include PHIUS+, HERS,... read more