“It was just kind of a natural step”- Dave Wolfe
Dave Wolfe has grown up in the world of construction and has been involved in alternative energy for 19 years. About nine years ago, Dave moved away from doing installs of alternative energy systems and starting his own building company in 2010 – Greener Homes. Since 2012, Greener homes has been an award-winning energy efficient home builder with the Canadian Home Builders Association, a Built-Green member, an Energy Star participant in the Lethbridge area, and won a provincial award in 2016.
From renovations to completely new builds, Greener Homes attempts to reduce the energy requirements for their homes. They do this through double studded, super well insulated walls; R60 – R100 grade insulation in the ceiling; solar panels; geothermal heating and cooling; and triple paned windows, for passive solar gain. By building homes like this, they are able to reduce the energy requirements of houses all the way to ‘net-zero’, which means that the home produces as much energy as it consumes annually.
Obviously, building ethically is a priority of Greener Homes, and is reflected in how they deal with leftover building materials. With each new build, three trailers are brought to the site at different times to recycle different leftover materials. Excess dimensional lumber and OSB are taken to the city landfill recycling center along with cardboard. Dave estimates that 75% of excess building materials are recycled in a new construction; the other 25% is often non-recyclable materials like vinyl siding. But Dave is keen to do more, and says “if there’s more places to recycle materials I’m all for it.”
Greener Homes also hires contractors who take their own excess materials back to their shops for recycling or to be reused. Electrical end clippings and left-over pieces of tin or roofing materials are common suspects.
In total, Dave estimates that three or four blue city dumpsters are diverted from the landfill on each new build. Over the course of nine years, building 3-7 new homes a year, Greener homes has saved just under 200 dumpsters worth of recyclable materials.
Dave is clearly a passionate builder. He hopes to spread the good work of ethical, energy efficient homes. Moving forward, he says “In the future, we just want to build more green homes.”
Written by Samuel Gerrand. Photographs courtesy of David Wolf and Greener Homes.