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Think green and think local at Manzella Construction

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ Manzella Construction does renovations and retrofits, in addition to new buildings.

Manzella Construction’s green-thinking philosophy began rolling out one project after another in Berks County in 2005.

Manzella Construction’s green-thinking philosophy began rolling out one project after another in Berks County in 2005.

While Carlo Manzella of Exeter Township started his business in 2001 as a part of his family’s third generation in the industry – learning the trade on job sites since his early childhood – his conscientiousness about materials, space usage and recycling instead of only using dumpsters developed as he started reading books about green building.

His wife, Alli Manzella, plays the role of designer; she is a graduate of the International Academy of Design & Technology in Toronto. Her academic background involved studying green design, architectural technology and sustainable building practices.

It’s been a successful combination for the company that is on the front lines of going green in construction – so much so that it is even deeply involved in the trend toward building tiny houses.

“We will get referrals which are strictly because people know we’re conscious about building,” Carlo Manzella said.

Kinds of materials used, mileage and fuel expended to transport materials and if their packaging can be recycled versus sent to a landfill are some of the major factors considered with every project.

Carlo Manzella noted that some raw building materials are from the United States but are sent to China for manufacturing and shipped back as end products. He hunts for locally sourced materials and even ones for upcycling, when possible.

Parents with young children are often concerned with the toxicity of volatile organic compounds in carpeting and paint; the Manzellas use low toxicity options now available.

Manzella drives to two recycling facilities in his township for what he can keep out of dumpsters and visits Laurel Street Recyclers Inc. in Reading when he has enough scrap metal to sell.

“Construction materials are often over-packaged today,” he added about paper, plastic and cardboard.

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