St. Louis Green Remodeling Company Works to Revolutionize Trade Education and the Future of Green Construction

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- St. Louis' premier green design, construction, and remodeling firm, Rethink Renovations, has partnered with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) Jennifer Loui, a lifetime educator and curriculum developer, to create a semester long curriculum designed to teach green construction techniques to the next generation of professional building tradesmen. The content will focus on eco-friendly innovations affecting the core components of building construction—such as climate, framing, and HVAC.

Throughout her involvement with trade schools, Loui noticed that vocational and tech instructors were often tradesmen themselves and too busy to design a green curriculum. Gail Griswold-Elwyn, President of Rethink Renovations, took note of the fact that well-trained green tradesmen were becoming harder and harder to find. When Loui approached Griswold-Elwyn with the idea of sponsoring and collaborating on the creation of an eco-friendly construction curriculum, it seemed like a win-win. While creating a curriculum that would bridge the gap between standard construction curriculum and newer strategies for overwhelmed vocational instructors, they could also help to produce the next generation of green construction professionals. Since that initial conversation, a full working draft has been written. The entire course is slated to be completed by the end of February 2013.

"There is a significant demand for tradesmen who have been trained in green methodologies," said Griswold-Elwyn. "This demand is only going to increase over the next several years and the eco-friendly community needs professionals who have been educated about sustainable construction."

That is exactly what the curriculum intends to do. Each section of the curriculum is written using the latest teaching pedagogy –approaches and theories—grounding the new knowledge in student-involved hands-on activity. The units will be supported by green building guide, Green from the Ground Up, written by David Johnson and Scott Gibson; the course has the option of culminating in the construction of a mini-green home, built using everything the students have learned throughout the duration of the course.

"Gail and I both agree that spreading green consciousness begins with education," said Loui.

"Green construction becomes a more viable option for people when it is accessible—well-trained professionals are key to this accessibility."

The 40-page course costs $800 to purchase and any high school, trade school, or vocational school across the country can purchase it. By the end of 2013, Loui and Griswold-Elwyn estimate that this curriculum will be taught in more than 20 U.S. schools. To request a two-page overview, or for more information about how to purchase the curriculum, please contact Gail Griswold-Elwyn by calling 314-323-8845 or email

About Rethink Renovations

In 2007, Rethink Renovations was born out of an idea: the marriage of the old and the new. Old meaning constructing a space for aesthetics, durability, and longevity, new meaning the use of modern technology to minimize waste and pollutants. As a St. Louis-based, family-owned and operated design/build firm, Rethink Renovations blends progressive ideology with traditional roots to offer green construction, design/build, and full lines of cabinetry and furniture that minimize environmental impact. The company works with homeowners, design firms, and architects to create eco-friendly remodeling solutions that include sustainably-harvested wood, and locally-produced, non-toxic materials. Rethink Renovations is committed to enhancing the aesthetics and functionality of spaces, but, more importantly, to preserving the health and well-being of the clients who will create memories in the spaces. For more, please visit or call 314-323-8845.

Andrea Arco-Mastromichalis
Arco & Associates

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Source: Rethink Renovations