Green Building Curmudgeon

Helping Architects, Contractors, and Homeowners Get Greener

Posted on June 7, 2011 by Carl Seville

One of the side benefits of being on a long bus trip like the one to the Koetter millwork plant is that people talk quite a bit. Not being particularly shy, I talked a lot about high-performance homes and green building when given the opportunity. Conversations often started out with the “it’s so expensive” or “it’s too hard” sort of comments, which provided me the opportunity to dispel those myths — which I believe I did with occasional success.

How to Cheat* at LEED for Homes

Posted on May 24, 2011 by Carl Seville

The subject of many of my talks, as well as a chapter in the upcoming green building textbook I am co-authoring is the concept of “Green From the Start.”

I realize this isn’t all that original, but it is critically important and is always worth repeating, at least until everyone understands and actually does it – then I suppose we can all shut up and go home.

Book Review: Green Building Product Certifications

Posted on May 4, 2011 by Carl Seville

I was honored to be asked by GBA to review Green Building Product Certifications, a recent publication of Building Green, Inc. that makes a valiant attempt to demystify the seemingly infinite range of product certifications currently in the marketplace. The first clue that this was not going to be easy was the third line of the table of contents – “Green Labels: A mess, but not as bad as you think.”

Millwork Plant Shows Some Sustainable Stuff

Posted on April 22, 2011 by Carl Seville

As I write this, I am sitting on a tour bus heading back to Atlanta after a short trip to the Koetter Woodworking facility in southern Indiana. Its local distribution outlet, InsiDesign, regularly brings a group of designers, architects, builders—and now, consultants—up for a few days of education, sales, networking, and copious amounts of food and drink each evening.

ACI 2011 National Home Performance Conference Wrap-Up

Posted on April 5, 2011 by Carl Seville

The ACI National Home Performance Conference was held in San Francisco, March 28-April 1, and I attended for the fourth consecutive year. It was my second year presenting. As this was the 25th anniversary of the event, I am still very much a newbie to this crowd, but now that I know many of the major players and have earned at least a little respect in the industry, I felt pretty comfortable. As always, ACI was a major geek fest with what appeared to be hundreds of different educational sessions running from 8 a.m.

Another Greenprints Conference Wraps Up Well

Posted on March 24, 2011 by Carl Seville

The 2011 Greenprints conference wrapped up recently, and as I reported last year, it was a valuable, modest, regional green building conference.

LEED for Homes Online Scoring Tool Needs a Lot More Work

Posted on March 7, 2011 by Carl Seville

The USGBC just released its online scoring tool for LEED for Homes, a much-anticipated advance in the program. After months of announcements and requests for people to sign up, the tool was finally available to the public on February 28th. I took some time to run through it, and I can report there are things to like about it, but it needs a lot more work to be truly useful.

Green Building Programs: Time for a Do-Over?

Posted on February 24, 2011 by Carl Seville

I’ve been involved with green building certification programs for about 10 years now, starting with my work with Southface and the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association in developing the EarthCraft Renovation program.

My Forays Into Multifamily Affordable Housing

Posted on February 23, 2011 by Carl Seville

After a decades-long career in high-end, single-family renovation and construction, and a relatively new business providing consulting and certification services for the same market, I recently became involved in several multifamily projects. Starting with National Green Building Standard (NGBS) certification on a market-rate apartment building that was completed in 2010, I am now in the early stages of LEED certification for several affordable projects throughout the southeast.

New Urbanist Andres Duany Lashes Out at LEED

Posted on February 14, 2011 by Carl Seville

As quoted in an online article, Andres Duany, one of the founders and leaders of the New Urbanist movement, both predicts a decline in LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. certifications and argues against excessive regulation of development. Now, those who follow my posts know I am not the biggest fan of LEED. While it's well intentioned, I think LEED, like most green building programs, is flawed and long overdue for some major revisions.

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