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A message from True Turtle's founder,

Tanya Topolewski...


Reporters have asked: why do you build green buildings in DC? 


The answer is the same every time:  I build green buildings because it’s the right thing to do.

It seems the answer should be longer or more dramatic.

Upon reflection, the “why” is simple but the “how” is more nuanced.  True Turtle operates on three guiding principles:

Sustainable building: We build only high performance, highly sustainable homes and buildings

Building unique, high quality, high comfort, energy and water saving buildings with non toxic and recycled materials in ways that make them exceptionally durable is what we do. We are doing our part to make sustainable building mainstream, and pushing the boundary of green building in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Educate:  We strive to teach others about how we build better buildings so that they can too.

To do this, we hold tours of our buildings during and post construction.  We give presentations.  We explain what we do and how we do it on this website and in person.  We answer questions on listservs and we support people’s goals to build their own green homes by getting them to the expertise they need.  We strive to be a resource for people who want to be better stewards of our planet.

Act locally:  We focus on making the District of Columbia a stronger community and more sustainable place.

We give away rare, vintage materials and non vintage materials to the local community.  We upcycle.  We recycle.  We freecycle. We salvage and give to local rebuild centers.  We fix neighbors gutters and masonry.  We move furniture.  Give money and serve on boards at local non-profits.  We’re changing our corner of the planet because we live here too.


All the best,

Tanya Topolewski  ASLA, LEED-H, Certified Passive House Consultant and Builder, Realtor

Founder, True Turtle


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