Many of us are in the midst of looking for ways to make our homes greener and more energy efficient, but where do we begin? What are the smartest changes we can make in transforming our homes from energy-hungry monsters to lean, green, energy-efficient machines? This month we’ll be kicking off a brand new editorial series where we’ll be enlisting the help of 5 different green design experts ready to share their top 5 tips on how anyone can green their home and save money and the environment while doing it! From sustainable building renovations, to interior alterations, to measures you can take to improve your energy consumption, jump ahead to see some of the stellar names we’ve got on tap to help you go green this year!

Green Architect – Eric Corey Freed

Eric Corey Freed, LEED AP, Hon. FIGP, is the founder of organicARCHITECT. A lifetime proponent of individualism and sustainability, Eric knew he wanted to be an architect at the early age of eight. Promoting both an organic and ecological approach to design, Eric wishes to provide an alternative to what he calls the “harsh, style-driven fashions” that are so popular in architecture today.

Eric co-developed the Sustainable Design programs at the Academy of Art University and University of California Berkeley Extension. He is on the boards of Architects, Designers & Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR),Green Home Guide and West Coast Green, as well as the advisory boards of nearly a dozen other organizations. He is also a regular contributor for GreenerBuildings.com, Luxe, Natural Home, Metropolitan Home and dozens of other publications, and his work has been featured in Dwell, Metropolis, Town & Country, Natural Home and Newsweek. Eric is the author of four books, including “Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies,” a best seller with 100,000 copies in print. His latest books, “Sustainable School Architecture” and “Green$ense for the Home” were released in 2010.

Green Interior Designer – Zem Joaquin

Inspired and mentored by William McDonough and a cadre of deep, but optimistic, environmental thinkers, Zem has developed a lens that makes it impossible to view products as she once did. In one way or another she has always worked in design, whether it was as a critic or promoter and she believes the time has come to reinvent the way we think about design. As a board member of Global GreenHealthy Child, Healthy World and Teens For Safe Cosmetics, Zem has access to the latest and greatest information about green innovations. She’s certified by Builditgreen as a green building professional and study both online and off line, exhaustively. She applies this knowledge in my eco-consultancy business, as green contributing editor at Domino Magazine, on television and radio spots and, most emphatically, on www.ecofabulous.com.

Green Remodeler – Sarah Susanka

Sarah Susanka, FAIA, is the leader of a movement that is redefining the American home and lifestyle. Through her “build better, not bigger” approach to residential design she has demonstrated that the sense of “home” we seek has to do with quality, not quantity.  A thought leader and acclaimed architect, Susanka is the best-selling author of nine books that collectively weave together home and life design, revealing that a “Not So Big” attitude serves not only architectural aims, but life goals as well.  Her books have sold well over one million copies.  Susanka’s most recent book, More Not So Big Solutions for Your Home, was released in February, 2010.  Join her online community at www.notsobig.com.

Green Energy-Efficiency Expert – David Johnston

David Johnston is the founder and President of What’s Working, Inc. and is one of the pioneers of the sustainability movement in the US. For the last 30 years he has been working to transform the building industry to become greener and more sustainable. Recently, David received the SAM Sustainability Pioneer Award, which is considered the Nobel prize in the sustainability world and acknowledges personal excellence in implementing the principles of sustainability in the corporate sector. He sees the world as a whole system and develops strategies that deal with global climate change, resource conservation and energy efficiency. His vision of sustainability and publications are transforming how people think about home building and remodeling. To that end he has trained 1000s of building professionals over the past 17 years.

David is also the founding designer and consultant to the California Build It Green program that stimulated market transformation programs in California and is at work to implement similar programs nationwide. In the mid-’90s he co-developed the Denver Metro Home Builders Association’s Built Green Program (the first private sector green building program) and the Boulder Green Points Program (the first green building code in the US). He was part of the development team for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) that has transformed the market for green commercial buildings in the US and also a co-director of the original LEED for homes development process in 2000, another national market transformation program.

Marvin Windows Expert – Christine Marvin

Christine Marvin manages a team of product planners at Marvin Windows and Doors. With an undergraduate degree from Macalester College and an MBA from the University of Denver, Christine is among the fourth generation of Marvins to work for the family-owned and operated made-to-order window and door company. Marvin’s team of product planners always are researching and developing the latest technology and innovation, with a focus is on providing windows that lead the industry in performance and design. Green has become a mainstream concept in the building industry, which means that the latest energy efficient window solution isn’t solely intended for an early adopter, but for all homeowners hoping to reduce their energy bill and improve the efficiency of their home.


Some of America’s most energy-efficient LEED showcase homes feature the very same Marvin windows that you can buy for your own home. Marvin believes in building top performance into windows and doors with proven technology that are accessible to the average homeowner. And the proof is in the numbers: Marvin has more than 150,000 window and door products that are ENERGY STAR certified.

More than 80 percent of the existing U.S. housing stock was built before 1990. Replacing old, inefficient windows and doors is one of the best ways to increase America’s overall energy efficiency. To see how beautiful, efficient Marvin windows and doors can become part of your home, sign up for Marvin’s online remodeling planner. This free planner helps you visualize space, track budgets and create an inspiration board.