company commits to building green
Article by Diane Jakubsen, Saturday, July
22, 2006,News & Record, Greensboro, NC
Building green is far from a new concept.
For decades individuals and builders have been employing
earth-friendly methods and materials to construct houses and
commercial buildings. As a matter of fact, you'd think by now
sustainable building would be standard operating procedure in
the construction industry.
As someone in the building supply business, Cheryl Small can
verify that it's not. And she’s making it her mission to change
attitudes. “My passion is to educate people that, without
spending a lot more money in the initial construction phase, you
can recoup it in heating and air-conditioning cost and
maintenance," says Small, assistant branch manager at Guaranteed
Supply Company on Rotherwood Road.
Guaranteed Supply Company, headquartered in Greensboro with 10
locations throughout the two Carolinas, is a 40-year-old
concrete supply company that is making a conscious effort to
stock more sustainable building supplies -- and to let consumers
know they're available.
“Universities already do it. Commercial builders do it," Small
says. "They put the extra money into it so they don't have the
high maintenance and energy costs. I feel like the residential
market isn’t aware of it yet. They don't know there is a better
way to build."
Some of the products of her business supplies offer a drastic
alternative to conventional construction, such as the forms for
insulated-concrete houses that radically reduce heating and
cooling costs. (Watch for more on this topic in an upcoming
But many are simply a better way of doing the same ol’ thing:
low emission paints that improve air quality, green insulation
products made from recycled materials and more efficient
construction methods that produce stronger, tighter houses.
With increased energy costs, Small has seen a boost in demand
for products that increase a home's efficiency, she says. She
has begun cataloging the 5000 products Guaranteed Supply Company
stocks in terms of their earth-friendly and energy efficient
“We see this as the wave of the future,” she says. "We are
looking at a combination of stocking more (green) products and
promoting them more. It's just a matter of educating the
Small wants consumers to start getting as much thought to the
elements that go into the building of their homes as they do to
the elements that go in them.
"Everybody wants that granite countertop or the nice fixtures,"
she says, "but they totally forget about the bones of the house
and what it's going to cost in the long run."
Consumers can learn more about sustainable building from several
Energy and Environmental Building Association at
Western North Carolina Green Building Council at
North Carolina Green Building Technology Database at
Diane Jakubsen can be reached at 885-5403, ext. 209 or by e-mail
at djakubsen “at”news-record.com