In Episode 62 of The Wendel Forum (originally aired on May 12, 2012, on 960 KNEW AM radio), show moderator Bill Acevedo, chair of Wendel Rosen’s sustainable business practice group, welcomes Jeff Jungsten, vice president of Caletti Jungsten Construction, a Marin County-based certified green custom home builder and remodeler celebrating its 25th year.
Jeff Jungsten of Caletti Jungsten in The Wendel Forum studio
Since 2007, Caletti Jungsten has focused on sustainability. Green living is a “cultural cornerstone” at Caletti Jungsten, not simply an overlay, Jungsten explains. The company’s leadership challenges employees to be more efficient and make simple changes like banning plastic bottles from their lives. Today, 70 percent of the company’s work is sustainable and 90 percent of the management is green certified. Jungsten says that the company’s goal is to have entirely sustainable projects within 10 years. Caletti Jungsten also works with its subcontractors to become more sustainable.
Caletti Jungsten is working on several exciting projects, including a LEED Gold residence in Marin and a South of Market home that is serving as a detailed study of indoor air quality products. According to Jungsten, customers are seeking healthy homes, which means focusing on air handling and ventilation; sustainable landscapes that use less water; living roofs and walls; grey water and grey water flushing; controlling waste and composting; and low/no VOC finishes. Seeking to be responsible stewards of forests, customers also want to be informed about where products come from. The result is healthier buildings with higher values.
Legislation can also drive the market. Caletti Jungsten exceeds California’s Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings in every project it takes on. Still, green products, materials and systems cost 5 to 10 percent more. As customers increasingly request them, however, Jungsten believes costs will reduce. “We don’t have a choice in addressing efficiency issues because we’ll run out of resources,” Jungsten explains.
Are you willing to pay more to live or work in a more sustainable building?