Green building has become such an integral part of the language of construction that it’s hard to imagine a time when builders didn’t talk about renewable energy, sustainability, and environmentally friendly design. But a decade ago, green building was still something of a novelty. Builders and homeowners were slowly got acquainted with a new set of construction standards, and new expectations for what houses could and should do for their owners.
Green building is often called sustainable building because a big part of its appeal is the idea it can continue into the indefinite future without jeopardizing either the planet or us. Green building is about choosing building materials carefully, maximizing durability, and minimizing waste. Green houses are comfortable, healthy places to live, and they lower both operating costs and maintenance for their owners from the day they move in.
How we get there can be a complicated tale. Builders and building scientists have learned the hard way how to make buildings that are much tighter and much better insulated than the leaky, energy-guzzlers of a generation ago. The specialized materials and construction techniques are here, and the number of builders who know how to use them is climbing steadily.
A decision to build a green house, or renovate an existing house to green standards, often winds up with a discussion of renewable energy. A house with solar power on the roof may even make it to the net-zero promise land, where energy bills essentially go away and homeowners plug their cars in at night. It’s much more than that, of course. It’s a holistic approach to design and construction that offers benefits far into the future.
Energy-efficient, sustainable building is the future of building. If you’re not on the bus yet, we’ve got a seat saved for you.