Running an energy-efficient office isn't just great for the environment. It's helping my sales grow 30 percent a year. As president of the Stella Group (thestellagroupltd.com), a five-person clean-energy consulting firm, I guide big companies and government clients such as the Department of Defense and the state of Mississippi through the maze of available green energy technologies and arrange financing when they make purchases. I designed my 880-square-foot, two-story office building in Arlington, Va., to illustrate how the latest green products work. If you want clients to use new technologies, it's smart to use them yourself.
I'm proud of how much energy we conserve. The building's double-paned Marvin windows (custom order at marvin.com) face southwest for maximum sun exposure, and the space between the panes is filled with argon, an inert gas that acts as insulation. In summer the temperature-sensitive glass screens light rays that give off heat.