Jonathan Katar of Sage Builders in Newton, Mass., agrees that now is the time for reform, whether required by law or not. But he thinks the emphasis should be on the building science of green remodeling--for example, insulation, on-demand heating and cooling systems, and water-saving plumbing. The materials of green building--such as using low-VOC paint and FSC-certified lumber--should be secondary.
"We'll push everything [to clients], but I think it's important that people don't lose sight of the fact that conserving energy is the biggest contribution you can make," he says.
For example, Katar promotes the idea of changing just one light bulb in every home to a compact fluorescent. "If everyone did that, we'd save a ton of fuel," he says. Instead of sending chocolate to the clients on his holiday card list last year, he sent that message, along with a CFC bulb.
In fact, he just finished remodeling a high-end kitchen for a client, and almost all the lighting was fluorescent. The quality of residential fluorescent fixtures is gradually improving, he says, so that even high-end, style-conscious clients are pleased with what's now available. That makes it an easier sell, which in turn helps the trend spread to states without a Title 24.A.B.