Thursday, April 30, 2009

You may have noticed we use Andersen Windows on all of our projects whether there are LEED certified or not! As a Residential Designer they have been my window of choice for over 20 years now (Example see the picture in the post below this one). I didn't let my personal preferences sway the choice of windows for our Team Hybrid projects they had to earn that. When Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes, LLC and Image Design, LLC had the chance to design and build the LEED "Platinum" Onekama project, we wanted to form a project team to be involve with all of our LEED for Homes projects which we call Team Hybrid. This team of companies had to prove to Adam and me that they had a commitment and a passion for sustainability and our environment with their products or services. So when we were looking for a window company to be a part of our team we didn't let either Adam's or my past preference cloud our judgment we looked at Andersen, Marvin, Pella and Jeld-Wen (Don't get me wrong these are all good window manufactures and I have used them all before.) We also looked at some local manufactures of windows. We asked to meet with a local representative from each of these companies. Before these meetings we asked them all the same question before our meetings with them. "What makes your company Green or Sustainable"? Out of these four companies only one set of representatives could answer and show us why their company was green or sustainable; and that was Aric Lavancher and Mike Bottema from the Andersen Corporation. They were able to show us why their company has been green and sustainable by providing documentation, literature and explaining their manufacturing process to us.

On April 28th Adam and I were invited by Aric Lavancher, our Andersen Architectural Representative, to fly out to Bayport Minnesota to tour the Andersen manufacturing facility and to meet with the Andersen Sustainability Team. We were able to see firsthand and behind the scenes of many of Andersen's manufacturing facilities and process. We were given access to several restricted area's that most people have never seen (even many Andersen employees) This access allowed us to see firsthand how Andersen Corporation is committed to environmental stewardship. To put it in perspective for you the Andersen plant is a 2.8 million square foot manufacturing facility that takes up 64 acres along the environmentally sensitive St. Croix River. Below are just a few examples of their commitments.

  • Andersen Corporation strives to utilize a majority of sourced wood from FSC or FSC Certified Controlled Wood in its clad wood products* based on availability and market conditions.”
  • They commissioned in 2007, a Steam Generating Facility at the Andersen plant that uses wood byproducts from manufacturing, and it produces 80% of the plants energy source. (We are one of the few people that has ever tour this facility and it was amazing to see it working).
  • 98.5% of raw materials that come into the Andersen plant are used in the manufacturing of their products. Land-filled solid waste at Andersen's Bayport, Minnesota facilities has been reduced by 83% since 1990.
  • Andersen was the first window company to be Green Seal® certified. Green Seal is an independent non-profit group that labels environmentally responsible products.

I could show you numerous more examples but don't have the room here to do it. So if you would like to find out more about Andersen Windows commitment to Sustainability please visit their web-site by clicking on the underlined Andersen Windows link at the beginning of this post.
To say the very least I was impressed with Andersen Corporations commitment to green and sustainability and give them my endorsement as our window of choice for Image Design, LLC and Team Hybrid.


Hybrid Home Guy said...

Nicely done Eric!

One of the greatest things that happened (they were all great and amazing) was when the person who helped set up the Steam generation plant openned the door for us and took us on the tour with the plants chief mechanic. Wow.

Andersen windows is a solid company. As Eric mentioned in this blog, we hammered the window reps hard, and Aric and Mike really took this serious. As I look back on that meeting, I can't even imagined what they thought of us. We were wild eyed and full of steam! Then, we did what we said we would do and now produce an extremely green, high quality product with extremely green and high quality products in them...i.e. Andersen Windows.

This trip meant a lot to me personally, because of the journey to get to that point. While I slept in front an oven to keep warm in Onekama, I would say over and over again to myself, "this is worth it, don't quit, you have to keep going."

I hereby give Andersen Corp. my Hybrid Home Guy Stamp of Green-ness!

Eric Hughes said...

The Andersen trip meant allot to me personally too. I just want to thank the Andersen Corporation for believing in us and sticking by us.