Green Building is for Whiners and Hippies
Over the weekend I read an article entitled “How I (Almost) Saved The Earth” by ‘Dilbert’ creator, Scott Adams. It appeared in the Wall Street Journal not too long ago and is still available for viewing on their web site. (see the entire article here) In the piece, Adams takes aim at green building and does a pretty poor job at summarizing its pitfalls. I read the article, pushed back my office chair and stared at the screen. I have to admit that the whole thing bothered me a bit.
Because Adams is the creator of a comic strip about office life, I didn’t take his words on green building too seriously. I realize who Scott Adams is and what he does. But what irked me was that his perspective, however misinformed it was, is real and is echoed in some way by a great number of people. I hear criticisms of “green building” a lot, and this article reaffirms that some people just really don’t get it.
While reading the article I found myself keeping a running list of the things he got wrong. For example;
“As a rule, the greener the home, the uglier it will be. I went into the process thinking that green homes were ugly because hippies have bad taste.”
Green homes aren’t always ugly. Poorly designed homes are ugly.
“One day you run into an engineer who, unlike yourself, actually knows something. He listens to your whining about your energy bill and speculates that perhaps the walls weren’t packed densely enough. Or maybe there was too much moisture in the mix. Or maybe magazine articles are a bad way to learn about the science of insulation.”
Actually, magazine articles are a pretty good way to learn about the science of insulation.
Go to the “How it Works” department in Fine Homebuilding Issue # 206 for information on Heat Transfer Through Insulation
Click this link for info on thermal bridging: Thermal Bridging
So what do you think? Do you see any flaws in Adams take on the subject? If so, post what you think are the most egregious errors.