Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Waiting....

....is the hardest part. The plans for our latest LEED-certified home have been with Mecklenburg County's plan review department since July 15. They told me it would be ten days, and they were right (well, I guess it's now 11 days and no word yet). I understand that they've cut back staff in response to the downturn in construction, but I would think that with fewer plans to review the turnaround time would still be the normal five days.

While we wait, the planning continues. This should be one of the better planned out homes we've ever built.

Hopefully next week we'll have an update that construction is truly underway.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Green Building, John Denver, and LeBron James

I guess the 1970s were my formative years. Whereas the sixties seemed to be the decade of psychedelics and drugs, the seventies ushered in a greater concern for our natural environment.

I'm not saying that there weren't drugs and free love in the 70s, but I guess I eschewed those in favor of Euell Gibbons (who famously ate pine trees), GrapeNuts cereal, natural food classes, and John Denver.

Growing up in equal parts West Virginia and Tucson, AZ, I developed a love for natural places. West Virginia was deservedly described as 'Almost Heaven' (although the song was really written about Maryland, but that state didn't have the proper number of syllables), and Tucson's beautiful deserts are ringed by even more beautiful mountains.

John Denver's songs really seemed to capture the spirit of nature. From the aforementioned 'Take Me Home, Country Roads' to 'Rocky Mountain High' and 'Calypso' and many, many other great songs, his music spoke eloquently about the glories of the natural world. I became a huge fan, and have remained so through the years.

Several years ago I was watching an interview with John Denver that was part of a concert he did to benefit the World Wildlife Fund. In it, he said that the most frequent question he got as an environmentalist is how one person could hope to have an impact on the enormous issues facing the environment. His answer was that no one person can do it all, but if each person can do what they can do, together we can make a difference.

That interview was the beginning of our commitment to the ENERGY STAR program. All of our homes since then have been ENERGY STAR certified. As a builder, I feel this is a small contribution I can make towards a cleaner, healthier environment.

Green building is a natural extension of our commitment to ENERGY STAR. I don't pretend to be able to save the world, but I do think that building homes according to green building guidelines can make a difference, especially if more people see the benefits of green building and insist upon living in green-certified homes.

As for LeBron James, he's been a real disappointment the past couple of weeks. First, he left Cleveland, and how he's bought a $45 million home. Seriously. I just hope that home never sees any championship trophies.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Can A Green House Be Yellow???

Welcome to our blog, and to my very first post. I decided to create this blog as a way to track the construction of a 'green home' in Davidson, North Carolina.

We have a model home, and in it there is a banner that says "Davidson's Green Home Builder." Of the three houses pictured, two of them are painted yellow and the other green. My six year old daughter looked at that banner and said "Daddy, here's what I don't understand: you call yourself a green builder but most of your houses are yellow."

As recently as a couple of years ago, my knowledge of green building was at about the same level as my daughter. Having built a green home in 2009, I feel I have a pretty good understanding of the process, and would like to use this site to share the process with others. In the meantime, I hope to gain a better understanding of how to use blogspot!

So, now that you've found this blog, I hope you find it informative and perhaps even a bit entertaining. We're in the process of finalizing plans for our next LEED-certified home, so check back soon for updates.