The latest of the Professional Builder Magazine article series. Interesting diversity on what constitutes Green...sort of. As usual, our goal was to stir the pot a bit, and get beyond the techno side of Green. Below is our un-edited essay
The Many Shades of Green
What really constitutes green building? There is much debate. Is it the bubble theory - complete isolation from the environment to maximize the efficiency of mechanical life support? The gizmo theory - utilizing the latest technologies, systems and equipment? The alternative energy theory - solar, wind, geo-thermal & renewable resources. Or the passive theory - tent dwelling? All have their value and advantages. We at Moser Design Group endeavor to include aspects of all. Principle, however, is incorporating traditional building methods which sustained buildings for hundreds of years. Methods include: Designing smaller, more flexible buildings. Designing for maximum passive performance. Utilizing fewer, better materials and configurations, that won’t compromise when naturally ventilating while maintaining an effective envelope for mechanical efficiency. Incorporating proven new technologies. Our example this month is our Petite Cottage, TNH-PC-15.
Our litmus test for true green is how buildings live green. Do they service the occupants? Do they service the community? Do they service the Earth? Every building project has a responsibility to reduce energy consumption for the short and long term. Opportunities include: Building for centuries of service, not decades, design for climate appropriateness so HVAC can be turned off for 3 months/year minimum. providing food production, processing and composting on site, recycling, building life sustaining systems on site or building in close enough proximity to daily needs to decrease car miles enough to eliminate one vehicle. The example included illustrates an infill cottage court organized around food production gardens, poultry and orchards.