Carl Seville

Carl Seville

Carl Seville is a green builder, educator, and consultant on sustainability to the residential construction industry. He founded and served as Vice President of SawHorse, Inc; an Atlanta design/build firm for 25 years. While at SawHorse, he served as the chairman of the committee that developed the Earthcraft House Renovation program and supervised the pilot homes for that program.

He is the recipient of numerous industry awards including the 2008 Excellence Award for Green Homes from Residential Design Build Magazine, the 2009 Energy Value Housing Award, the 2005 and 2007 Green Remodeling Advocate of the Year, the 2004 and 2006 National Green Building Awards for Residential Remodeling, six Excellence in Design Awards from Environmental Design and Construction magazine, the Southface Energy Institute Award of Excellence for Environmental Stewardship, and the 2006 EarthCraft House Leadership award.

Carl is an NAHB Certified Trainer, a HERS rater, an NAHB Green Building Program Verifier, a LEED for Homes Green Rater, and an EarthCraft House Technical Advisor, and holds the LEED AP Homes designation. He has served on the boards of directors of the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association and the Atlanta chapter of NARI, the Green Building Subcommittee and the Green Building Education Curriculum Committee of NAHB, NARI’s Green Remodeling Education Committee, the Georgia Governor’s Energy Policy Council, and the Editorial Advisory Boards of Professional Remodeling and Atlanta Home Improvement magazines. He is the USGBC Residential Green Building Advocate for Atlanta.

Carl has been involved in numerous green building training and certification projects. In addition to working on the creation of the EarthCraft House Renovation program, he was a co-author of the USGBC/ASID ReGreen residential green remodeling guidelines and the NAHB Certified Green Professional training program for which he taught the pilot class and continues to teach to builders. He is a lead writer on the team currently preparing the 2012 LEED for Homes Reference Guide. He recently prepared and delivered a new curriculum for EarthCraft Renovation. He was a member a task force of the Partnership for Advanced Technology in Housing (PATH) involved in developing protocols for home energy retrofits. He has contributed to and served as an instructor for the NARI Green Certified Professional curriculum, and has presented dozens of seminars on green building and remodeling to industry professionals.

He currently hosts the blog and is the co-author of Green Building, Principles and Practices in Residential Construction, the first college textbook on residential green building and is a regular contributor to Remodeling Magazine.

Clay tile roofing, as seen on the historical Phillips house in Bartleville, Oklahoma, is a green roofing choice. (Photo: taliesin/morguefile)

Replacing Your Roof With a Greener Roof

Posted by Carl Seville | Aug 01, 2012

Time to replace your roof? Make decisions that will help out with energy, last longer, and be lighter on the planet. First and foremost, your roof has to keep the water out of your...

This is a gray water treatment system. Photo courtesy of Carl Seville.

Gray Water Systems: Good Idea or Bad Mistake?

Posted by Carl Seville | Jul 16, 2012

Most of us realize that water is a scarce resource and are looking for ways to use less of it in our homes. We need water for drinking, for cooking, cleaning, flushing toilets, and...

Leaving the TV and lights on when you are not in the room will cost you. (Photo: Michal Zacharzewski/

7 Electrical Use Mistakes That Will Cost You

Posted by Carl Seville | Jul 09, 2012

It is remarkably easy to waste electricity in our homes. Good thing it’s also quite easy to minimize this waste. Replacing inefficient equipment is important, but much of the...

The Nest learns when you're home and when you're away. Photo:

Cut A/C Costs with a Programmable Thermostat

Posted by Carl Seville | Jun 25, 2012

The 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), commonly referred to as "the energy code", requires at least one clock setback thermostat be installed in a new home. Setback...

The decorative rammed earth wall that the author discusses.

Rammed Earth: It's Not Cosmetic

Posted by Carl Seville | Jun 21, 2012

Rammed earth (RE) is an ancient construction technique, which compresses soil, sand, and sometimes a little Portland cement into forms to create thick, solid -- and often beautiful...

CFL bulbs can save you money. (Photo: Claudio Jule/

CFL vs. LED Lightbulbs: The Great Debate

Posted by Carl Seville | Jun 11, 2012

Unless there is some big action by conservatives to repeal Bush administration legislation that requires more efficient lighting, many old incandescent bulbs (or lamps) will become...

Is your central air conditioner ineffective? These tips could help you to troubleshoot. (Photo:

Top 4 Things That Interfere With Central A/C

Posted by Carl Seville | Jun 07, 2012

Plenty of people who run central air conditioning systems in Houston (and other cities where hot weather dominates the calendar) complain about how their air conditioning doesn’t...

Do you get this? If you don't comment and the author will explain it.

Air Sealing Tips for Hot Humid Climates

Posted by Carl Seville | May 23, 2012

We’re heading into summer, and it may well be a scorcher this year. Now’s a good time to look at home improvements that can help save energy and make your house more comfortable...

This room has plenty of natural light. No need to turn the lights on in here.

Electrical Tip: Automatic Switch Options

Posted by Carl Seville | May 17, 2012

Want to reduce your excessive energy use -- and your utility bills? One of the biggest causes comes from the amount of electrical equipment, lighting, and electronics we have, and how...

The Grocoff's zero net energy house. Photo by the author, green building consultant Carl Seville.

Checking Out a Historic Net Zero Energy Home

Posted by Carl Seville | May 10, 2012

When planning my visit to Michigan to see my daughter graduate college, I took the opportunity to invite myself to spend the night at an over 100 year old net zero energy home renovated...