Since its inception in 2009, Boswell Construction has managed the development of over one hundred projects featuring a variety of different aesthetics. The result has been high-quality, state-of-the-art renovations, rehabilitations, new constructions and more. The Agency’s Paul Lester sat down with Boswell Construction founder Jon Mut and Business Development Director Keia Payne to discuss the importance of sustainable living, green building and more.

Why do you think it’s important to think and act in environmentally sustainable ways?

The negative effects of pollution and the use of non-renewable resources continues to grow year after year. Topics such as recycling, deforestation, and global warming are on the top of everyone’s list. It is important now more than ever to protect our natural environment which in turn protects human and ecological health. As an industry, we have the ability to influence the footprint of change.

What are some simple actions an individual can take to help improve our environment?

Conserve energy. If we consider how energy is to be used during the design and development of our homes, simple solutions such as window placement, thermal materials, solar panels, and geothermal energy can lead to a greater overall conservation effort with the potential to reduce an entire family’s carbon footprint. This can amount to 56% less energy consumption and upwards of 30% savings on electricity bills.

Use renewable and/or green products. Choosing products like cork vs. exotic hardwood flooring will save our forests.  Choosing renewable and/or eco-friendly products during the construction of a house can help further reduce one’s footprint.

How would you shift public perception to respond positively to implementing green initiatives?

Public education is the only way to ensure that a change occurs. The assumption is that green technology is expensive or compromising – but this is often untrue. Education and awareness is the only way to popularize green initiatives.  

How would you make environmentally sustainable technologies more economically feasible?

The best way to make environmentally sustainable technologies more affordable is to actively pursue improvement in production. Faster and better manufacturing processes improve costs which in turn increases demand, and the cycle continues.  Furthermore, insight into the true long-term savings can help offset the high upfront perception. A great example of this is solar panels. While the upfront cost may be significant, when the savings are calculated over a period of time the upfront costs are offset.

What improvements in L.A. have you noticed for green building?

L.A. has been making a big push for green building, with low impact development water regulations, Title 24 inspectors, energy-efficient fans and appliances, and more.

What are some trends that you’ve seen in green building for construction?   

Solar panels, on-site water collection, grey water systems, insulation upgrades and window manufacturers offering improved glazing/glass options for better heating/cooling properties, and a trend towards LED (lower power draw) lighting throughout buildings.