Green Building Perspectives: H-P Products, Inc.

h-p-products-logoContinuing with our Green Building Perspective series, this week Amy Wesely, Floorcare Marketing Manger of H-P Products, did us the honor of answering some questions about green building and the market.

H-P Products manufacturers the central vacuum systems VACUFLO and Dirt Devil. Even before the term “green” was just a color, central vacuums have been aiding in helping homeowners create a healthy indoor air quality. Numerous studies have shown that installing a central vacuum system can reduce the amount of allergens within the home by a significant amount. Central vacuum systems are such an important part of the home, that installing one can get you points in both the LEED and NAHB Green rating systems.

What do you think of the Green Life Smart Life Project?
The Green Life Smart Life Project provides an in-depth look at the ins and outs of building a Green Certified Home. Currently, I believe consumers like the idea of building a green home, but the “how to” can be a barrier. GLSL provides a valuable, first-person perspective that’s highly valuable to those who in the trenches, or are about to enter them. Simple things like how to recycle job site waste, decisions about energy sources… for example, solar would seem the most green, but you might reconsider that assumption based on GLSL Blog 1/18/09.

The GLSL Project provides resources and alternatives for homeowners and builders working towards these green standards.  Real-life decisions and products are highlighted from a green home-owner’s perspective.  

What interested H-P Products in the GLSL project?
H-P became interested in the project because we are a supplier of Dirt Devil and VACUFLO Central Vacuum Systems, which are a no-brainer for any green home. With a central vacuum, 100 percent of vacuumed dirt is removed from the living area; odors or dust are never recirculated throughout the home, as they are with portable vacuums. The improved indoor air quality central vacuums provide is recognized by both the LEED-H and NAHB Green standards, so we were happy to work with Kim and Joe on this project. Our Dirt Devil Central vacuum qualifies their home for one LEED-H Point in the indoor air quality section of the standard.

Where does H-P Products see green building going in the next five years? 
We believe green building will continue to grow in popularity as consumers get better educated and the demand grows for green-certified homes. Projects like GLSL help educate the public and pave the road to make understanding and building to these standards easier for everyone. We believe green building will become a common building method, as we all want to preserve resources and make responsible decisions in our consumption of those resources. Our government will also play a key role in the consumer green movement by implementing credits like the energy tax credit we have recently seen.

How do you see your business evolving to address green building? 
Central vacuums are inherently green for a couple reasons. In addition to providing better indoor air quality, they also reduce waste. A typical portable vacuum will last one to three years, depending on its quality. When the portable is done, the consumer typically tosses it with his or her weekly garbage and buys a new one. So there are millions of portable vacuums in landfills right now. A residential central vacuum, on the other hand, has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.

At our manufacturing facility, we are looking at ways to reduce packaging materials to reduce job waste at each home site. We also actively recycle and reuse packaging and other materials from our production facility.  

What do you think installers need to do or prepare to do to take full advantage of the green movement?
We believe installers need to educate themselves on the green building standards and practices. Awareness and understanding of the specifics in the standards can help integrators better explain the benefits of the green products they offer.

Installers can also look at their own businesses and analyze areas that can have immediate impact, such as recycling packaging materials, using energy-efficient vehicles and energy efficient lighting, reducing paper use, and so on.

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