Six years ago I wrote an article about Rye resident Judith Martin’s recently launched Green Home Consulting business.
By Bill Lawyer
Six years ago I wrote an article about Rye resident Judith Martin’s recently launched Green Home Consulting business. Her business grew out of many years’ experience remodeling and renovating homes – first in Long Island and then Westchester. Seeing the growing demand for products and services that were energy-efficient and good for the environment, she based her business model on the fact that new expertise would be needed.
During the housing bubble burst from 2007 to 2009, Martin found that her services were even more in demand, because incomes dropped and homeowners were looking to save money on home energy costs.
As it turned out, Martin observes, “Saving money is the main driving force – more so than helping the environment. But the end result is that changes in products, construction techniques, and design have done both. The cost savings carry over.”
Fast forward to today, when people are looking more at construction design and materials issues, “so that energy conservation is not as much of a factor.”
Martin says her niche is somewhat unique – her only real “competition” is architects who are trained and experienced in green design and construction products.
One major selling point for her services is that she represents an independent perspective for her clients. Before many homeowners hire an architect or contractor, they hire Martin to outline available green options. She recently went with a client to meet with a New York City company that sets up systems for heating, lighting, and appliance operation that can be monitored and managed remotely via smart phone, tablet, or computer.
As for the future, Martin is actively promoting the movement encouraging cities and towns to require higher standards in home energy-conserving systems. In particular, she is concerned with the “R” values of roofs, air sealing, and walls.
In addition to her consulting work, Martin has long been active in promoting public awareness and understanding of the various components of green housing and why it is important.
Back in 2008 she participated in the Westchester Global Warming Task Force, developing the information and leading a panel discussion.
Since then she has led or participated in an average of six panel discussions a year, held all around Westchester County. Many of these have been organized and moderated by her in partnership with Murphy Brothers Contractors.
The title of these panels has actually been trademarked: “Building Blocks For An Energy Efficient Home.” The next one will be held as part of the Westchester Home Show at the County Center in White Plains, on March 15 at 1 or 2:30 p.m.
Despite all the programs geared to adults, Martin realizes that it’s important for green home concepts and beliefs to be introduced to young people. That’s why she recently presented an interactive program for fifth-grade students at Rye Brook’s Ridge Street School.
Her teaching technique was very appropriate for the cold winter weather we’ve been having. She had two students compare their warmth – one in full winter dress, the other a light fleece.
The children were delighted to learn that their boots, coat, and hat are the personal equivalent of their homes’ basement air seal, walls, and roof.
And that’s the first step in an on-going process of going green.
For more information about Green Home Consulting, visit www.greenhomeswestchester.com.