Monday, November 2, 2009

Getting Green Answers

Sustainable Kitchen
I was pleased to see the article by Carin Hughes, Striking the right 'GREEN' Balance, in the November 1, 2009 Home Center section of The Dallas Morning News. It is past time that the green home discussion move from publications directed at architects, builders and bureaucrats to the culture at large.

The benefits of green building go beyond the economic and aesthetic. They also include being  Healthier, Cost Efficient and Environmentally Friendly. A good source for those wanting to learn more is What Makes a Green Home in the US Green Building Council's Green Home Guide.

Dan Fette states that, "Many ideas won't catch on because they don't fit conventional ideas of homes." He is correct when speaking of green roofs, large rainwater tanks, and solar arrays. However, many of the more effective  steps, such as a home energy audit, increased insulation, plugging air leaks and weatherization, are actually responsible home maintenance and minor improvements. I can't think of many homeowners who would consider family health, cost efficiency and environmental responsibility unconventional.

The "right mix" of green elements is frequently presented as if they were options for your carfloor mats, CD players and sun roofs. Green balance requires an integrated design process to be most successful, whether it's for new homes or for remodeling. Homeowners must avoid "picking the low-hanging fruit" (most overused LEED strategy of the decade!) and make more global decisions. Well-integrated green building standards, such as those published by EnergyStar, the National Association of Homebuilders and references like Dallas's own Green Dallas and Green Built Texas are also approved in North Texas.

While the article was a bit ambiguous, as if sustainable building could be another passing fad, officials are now including green standards in building codes and ordinances, and many architects and builders have adopted (or have never abandoned) green design as a responsible component of their professional standards.

David Bourbon, CGP

Texas Sustainability

Posted via web from David Bourbon

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