Heather Curless gained an interest in sustainable design while living in Seattle, Washington where she attended graduate school at the University of Washington and interned with a large commercial architectural firm. The ecological focus during that time was on building technology and civic revitalization versus building materials, as there were not many alternative materials on the market.
Heather and her husband moved to Cincinnati in 2001 where she practiced architecture with a local firm and started investing in local real estate, many of which were rehab projects. In 2004, Heather started practicing architecture as a sole proprietor. It was during this time, that she noticed more environmentally focused products beginning to emerge. However, she found it hard to source many of them locally.
In 2008, she started developing plans for what has become her latest business venture, GREENER STOCK, a building products showroom and design resource center specializing in natural, recycled, and renewable products for commercial and residential applications. Customers of this green building resource center will benefit from Heather and her staff’s years of experience and research in sustainable building practices and products.
Mrs. Curless earned a Bachelor of Arts in Design from Clemson University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Washington. She has design experience in both Commercial and Residential projects with an emphasis in retail and multifamily housing. She is a Registered Architect and a LEED Accredited Professional through the US Green Building Council.
OUR ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT
We knew that when we decided to open a "green" business that we would be held to a higher standard. So with every decision that we have made and will make in the future, our impact on the environment is considered.
The decision making process started with the store design and construction. We selected to occupy an existing building in a dense, urban neighborhood and that was near our home. The building did not need very much major work, only minor demolition and minor updating. The materials that were removed were salvaged, if possible, for reuse in the store or donated to Cincinnati's Habitat for Humanity Restore. These items included lumber, lighting, ceiling fans, and interior doors. The existing carpet was mildewed. It was removed with muscle, rudimentary machinery. A natural citrus acid was used to remove the adhesive. UltraTouch Cotton Insulation was added to the ceiling to help with the heating and cooling efficiency. All of the walls and concrete floor were painted and sealed with the Earthpaint products that we carry in the store. Our sales counter showcases Paperstone counters and Kirei board made from sorghum stalks. We had anticipated reusing the existing fluorescent light fixtures and relamping them with plasma induction lamps, but a building code issue required us to install some new lighting. Those lights are either high-efficiency, 42,000 hour fluorescent lights or 50,000 hour LEDs. Finally, our store fixtures and displays are mostly salvaged and repurposed items. All of these strategies, while environmentally friendly, were also economical.
Product and Service Selection
There are many wonderful and unique green products in the market now, yet we do not feel obliged to be a dealer for every one. We have created a set of criteria by which we select products to be showcased at GREENER STOCK so that we can offer our customers the best possible option in the market.
- Third Party Certifications
- Proven Market Performance and Longevity
- Maximum Recycled Content
- Competitive Price
- Proven to have contributed to LEED points
- The Manufacturer's Environmental Commitment
While all of these criteria are valuable, typically, the one deciding factor is Regionalsim. LEED identifies building products as being regional if they are sourced and manufactured within a 500 mile radius of the project. This is an important factor in reducing carbon emmissions created by long freight routes. While we are not able to provide regional products in all material categories, we do have a variety of products that qualify as regional:
- Crossville Tile
- Earthpaint Paints and Sealers
- James Hardie Siding
- WDG Silicone Roofing
We also strive to support other locally owned businesses whether it be through products and supplies that we purchase, through our strategic alliances, or through referrals and recommendations for other businesses.
Operations and Maintenance
Several new pieces of equipment were purchased for the store including an energy efficient computer and printer and smart strips. Each night we shut down all devices and flip off the switches on the smart strips to eliminate phantom power that is pulled from devices even when they are turned off. We recycle our office waste, and promote community recycling efforts through our ongoing electronics collection and recycling program.