Area builders going green

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Hilton Head Island is known for its natural views and green space. And every islander enjoys living among the draping trees, expansive marshes, rare birds and pristine beaches. Now the Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association is helping area residents take this nature-loving attitude to the next level by going green.

The Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association saw other green building programs popping up in other regions and created the Council for Green Building.

"Our members had a huge interest," said Ashley Feaster, executive officer of the HBA of Hilton Head. The council started two years ago as a task force, but then started holding regular meetings, put together bylaws, and eventually got approval from the national association. "Most of our committees have only 10 or 15 members show up at the monthly meetings," said Feaster. "But we never have less than 35 people show up for the Council for Green Building."

The Hilton Head Area Council for Green Building has about 50 members who meet once a month. Their goal is to advance awareness and practice of green building and remodeling in the Lowcountry. The council also holds community education programs and started a blog that's packed with resources on sustainable building practices.

The Build Green Blog (www.buildgreenbloghiltonhead.com) is updated and maintained by Clayton Colleran of VanGeisen Construction, and is a resource where visitors can learn more about green building and remodeling, new sustainable products and techniques, and even submit their own questions for industry professionals about how to go green. It covers local sustainable living efforts, as well as new technology for the home, water conservation methods and energy efficiency strategies. Homeowners can use the Green Professionals page to find builders, remodelers, suppliers and other area pros schooled in sustainable materials and practices.

The Hilton Head Area Council for Green Building's next community awareness event will be held at the 25th annual Home and Garden Show. The council will hold a panel discussion for homeowners on green building and remodeling basics, including practices, materials and other ways they can create a more sustainable home. The program will also give homeowners an opportunity to ask questions, learn about what products and providers are available in the Hilton Head area, and get plenty of ideas.

"Most people in our area don't understand how easy it is to go green, remodel green and build green," said Feaster.