CARL SEVILLE is a green builder, educator, and consultant on sustainability to the residential construction industry. After a 25-year career in the remodeling industry, he and a partner founded a company, SK Collaborative, dedicated to advancing residential green building and remodeling by consulting with, speaking to, writing for, and training industry professionals, and by certifying homes under the LEED, EarthCraft, NAHB, and Energy Star programs. For more information about Carl, visit SK Collaborative.
Like many builders, Carl Seville edged into the field from the side.
From a young age, he wanted to be an architect. But two years at the Rhode Island School of Design convinced him otherwise; he finished with a degree in industrial design and a minor in jewelry and metalsmithing. Meanwhile, his real career had begun in the form of carpentry work, during school.
With his studies complete, Seville began working full time for a renovation contractor in Atlanta, then launched his own firm. “I was arrogant and stubborn enough to start my own company in my early 20s,” he says now, “and after about 20 years in the business finally figured out what I was doing.”
Seville left that company, SawHorse, one of Atlanta’s premier design/build renovation firms, in 2005 to start Seville Consulting, which specializes in green building/remodeling advice and certification.
Seville’s experience with green-building techniques had begun back when he was at SawHorse. “I had always been interested in green building, having taken classes at and worked with Southface Energy Institute on various projects over the years,” Seville says. The challenge was to work green concepts into his business. “We had a large staff and making significant changes was not easy,” Seville recalls.
When he learned about the EarthCraft House program in 2000, Seville went to Southface and convinced them of the need to start a green renovation program. “I was intimately involved in that program,” Seville says, “ultimately taking on all the pilot projects at SawHorse.” Eventually, those projects convinced him to take on a new challenge.
“Green remodeling just made so much sense to me that I decided to get out of the construction business, which I did in 2005, and now I do building certifications, consulting, teaching, writing, etc, almost exclusively on green subjects,” he explains.
Seville, who is also known as The Green Building Curmudgeon™, sees it this way: “My basic philosophy is that anyone who doesn’t build green should be shot, or at least get out of the business. Anything less than a basic green building should be illegal. I cannot understand how anyone who learns about green building and remodeling doesn’t change his or her way to go exclusively green. If they don’t they must be stupid or greedy.”