Have You Adjusted Your Thinking to Green?

Over the past couple of years I have attended many seminars mostly on topics relating to green building and the environment. In truth, I was determined to make good use of the construction down time, in this economy, with a goal to learning as much as I could about home performance improvement. One such seminar taught me that the terms sustainable building and green construction have become more than simple buzz words, they have become policies promoted by the government. Policies which at their roots are designed to change the way we think about and use energy in the construction and operation of buildings. The ‘sustainable building,’ concept dictates the integration of efficiency strategies and processes that are adapted during the design, construction and operation of a building project. Green construction is the use of building materials in these processes that offer environmental benefits to the building owners (homeowners) and the wider society in specific ways. Some Advantages of Sustainable Building are:

Better Design
Reduced cost of maintenance over life span of structure
Improved effect on environment and occupants
Improved interior comfort
Improved energy conservation and efficiency


Overall, the Impact of adapting Green Construction has far-reaching implications considering that Constructing buildings worldwide consumes almost 3 billion tons of raw materials annually (this, I learn at one of the seminars). When contractors, architects and professionals in the building industry adapted green construction strategies they are helping to reduce the impact on the environment. Green building projects improve the adverse effects on the environment of extraction, fabrication, transportation, installation and disposal of building source material. Additionally, green building material is first biodegradable or created with renewable resources. This ensures that they have positive impacts on the environment throughout the life of the building. While there may be hundreds of different material available, most material are selected by these builders on the basis of:


Energy and resource efficiency: Materials with measurable recycled content, natural and renewable, efficient manufacturing process, minimizing waste, available locally, easily salvaged and refurbished plus durable.

 

Indoor air quality: The use materials that are non-carcinogenic, non-irritants, non toxic to the reproductive process and have no adverse effect on human and animal occupants. Materials used indoors would also be easily maintained and moisture resistant to inhibit growth of toxic mold and other contaminants.

 

Water conservation: Systems and materials that help to reduce the consumption of water.

 

Affordability: Using materials that have a longer life cycle and are easily obtained geographically and are within the project defined budgeted amount.

 

All in all, if you have already been exposed to the terms sustainable building and green construction, then adding energy efficiency improvement, home performance improvement, renewable energy (to list just a few more) to the group will only serve to dramatize the movement afoot to change the way we think about and use energy in our buildings.

 

Retrofitboston.com is produced by Caledonia Construction Co., Inc

Views: 24

Tags: Building, Caledonia, Construction, RetrofitBoston, retrofit

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by David Allen on March 17, 2011 at 6:24pm
You are right, Kent, we have to find a better way to communicate the benefits of a green environment to our audience. For example, energy efficiency improvement contractors, I noticed are now stressing comfort, health and durability as attractive benefits to homeowners.
Comment by Kent Mitchell on March 17, 2011 at 9:35am

You have done a good job in defining these strategies. 

 

The challenge we face though, is the perception of the end users - buyers & often builders too.  Mention "green" building and often their guard goes up as they believe it costs a LOT more & or is a hippy trend from the 70's.  Sustainable often takes a lot of explaining to a customer and they lose interest as it is being explained. 

 

We have found that it works best if we mostly just focus on the more general results - which is higher performance, better construction and healthier homes.  Somewhere I've heard that we have to communicate to the end user at about a 5th grade education level!

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Brett Little commented on Tom White's video
Thumbnail

The Future of Housing - And How Airtightness Can Help

"It's very true! So many people and contractors have tons of insulated attics but no air seal…"
1 hour ago
Chris Leach replied to Richard Beyer's discussion "The Dangers of Using Spray Foam Insulation"
"The problems will surface soon enough . Why don't we take a second look at this over rated…"
2 hours ago
Don Fitchett commented on Tom White's video
3 hours ago
Profile IconJean-Paul, Bryan and Erica Sullivan joined Home Energy Pros
6 hours ago
tedkidd replied to Bob Blanchette's discussion How does Cycles Per Hour affect real world AFUE?
"Want to spot a simpleton? It's a guy who thinks EE and comfort are disconnected.  Want…"
6 hours ago
tedkidd commented on Tom White's blog post Clean Energy Works Oregon: Total Home Performance
"Nice post Tom! I really like how he puts that. Leveraging interests so they can optimize…"
6 hours ago
Kent Mitchell commented on Tom White's blog post Clean Energy Works Oregon: Total Home Performance
"As a contractor in the region - we frequently wonder how/why you can be a non-profit?  Oregon…"
7 hours ago
Craig Foley posted a status
"Support the SAVE Act. Legislation would add energy costs to underwriting process. NJ article at: http://goo.gl/f57iGC"
8 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service