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October 2008

Green Building

Side Story:
Backyards Go Green

Today's homeowners are environmentally savvy, which is apparent in the home landscape. "More homeowners want yards that are beautiful, comfortable and eco friendly," says Scott Cohen, president and supervising designer for The Green Scene, an award-winning outdoor design and construction firm.

Cohen is known for his unique designs that put recycled materials, particularly wine bottles, to beautiful use. Shimmering wine bottle waterfalls, multi-colored mosaics of glittering broken glass, and outdoor kitchen counters constructed of hundreds of recycled bottles, are just a few of his signature pieces.

Information about the Masonry Industry

Image Courtesy of www.greenscenelandscape.com

"Recycling can be incorporated into every aspect of landscape installation," says Cohen. "For example, when we remove an old concrete patio or driveway, we don't bring it to a landfill. Instead, we take it to a company that processes it into a substitute for crushed stone, which we then use for a variety of purposes in the landscape. We also use recycled mulch made from shredded urban forest products. We even recycle the plastic containers from new plants. There are so many ways to reuse old stuff."

"Low-voltage landscape lighting is getting better all the time," says Cohen. "New LED bulbs deliver high-quality light with four-times the energy efficiency of incandescent lights. We also like the decking made from recycled plastic and wood shavings. It performs well and keeps its color without the need for stains or paints that contain harmful chemicals.



©2008 by the Mason Contractors Association of America
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