Ever wonder how long we’ve been trying to define “Green Building?” I first heard the term in 2005 and thought, as a residential contractor, I should probably explore the concept, just in case a homeowner had some interest. What I thought could be a passing fad has redefined my business model.
Yet it’s been a struggle over the years to get the various parties involved in the construction process to agree on what it takes to create a “Green” building. Homeowners, architects, designers, building officials, suppliers and product manufacturers all seem to have their own ideas. Some of these ideas are based on a real desire to improve our built environment and the quality of life for the people in those buildings. Others are snake oil from people trying to make a quick buck.
Of course, that’s true in all walks of life.
To make green building concepts more accessible, various organizations across the nation have developed checklists to ease the way. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, begun in 2000 by the US Green Building Council, was out front early with strategies for non-residential buildings. Build It Green, established in 2005 here in the bay area, compiled an action plan for residential buildings that has been adopted by many municipalities throughout California. Individual jurisdictions have even developed and adopted their own green building requirements.
These various approaches, though well intended, have proven to be a little confusing, as well as intimidating, to many consumers. Each has their proponents, as well as detractors, but their frameworks are similar (more…)