New speaker series to explore making older homes more sustainable

The Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) is sponsoring a new monthly speaker series to help owners of older homes apply sustainability principles to home remodeling and maintenance projects.

"Practical Sustainability: New Thinking for Older Homes" will kick off on Wednesday, April 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the Lee Road Library. Cleveland Heights resident and former HRRC board member Fred Cortright, whose experience includes building energy efficient homes for Habitat for Humanity, designed the free workshop series.

The April 11 session, “Lights, Cabinets, Action! Sustainability and Kitchen Remodels,” will be led by Cortright and Michael Palcisco of MVP Consulting. “Kitchen remodeling involves every home system so it is a perfect place to begin exploring sustainable decision making,” said Cortright. Call 216-381-6100, ext. 16 to reserve a space.

“People are embracing the goals of sustainability, but it is easy to get bogged down in the specifics of what to do. The information can be overwhelming and confusing,” said Cortright. “The goal of these presentations is to empower participants to take steps—small or large—that are right for their circumstances and their particular home.

“Sustainable housing is not just about product choices; it’s about determining what we need and then shaping our behaviors, expectations and purchases to produce sustainable results. There is a broad spectrum of actions available. Everyone—regardless of the age of their house or the size of the budget—can do something that will contribute to greater sustainability,” said Cortright.

The series will feature some of the region’s most experienced sustainable building practitioners who will share their expertise as they focus on specific house systems that will have the biggest payoffs in energy reduction and sustainability.

On May 9, Chuck Miller of Doty & Miller Architects, designers of the SmartHome, a furnace-free house on display at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History last year, will join Cortright for “Your Roof: Bottom Up/Top Down Sustainability.”

Future presentations will cover such topics as developing a long-term sustainability plan for your home, sustainable lawn care and design, sustainability on a tight budget and developing sustainable neighborhoods.

The Home Repair Resource Center is a Cleveland Heights-based nonprofit organization that is celebrating its 40th anniversary as a resource for keeping the houses of Cleveland Heights in good repair.

Susie Kaeser

Susie Kaeser is a longtime resident of Cleveland Heights. She is the former director of Reaching Heights, and current board member of HRRC.

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Volume 5, Issue 4, Posted 11:19 AM, 03.20.2012