Do I Need A Specialist to Build A Green House?
Anyone can build green, but better builders find the transition easier
In theory, any contractor could build a green house because the step-by-step process isn’t dramatically different from the ones used for building any other kind of house. It’s not like asking a lawyer to dig clams.
But in practice, there is a learning curve. Builders need an appreciation for at least the basics of building science—the role of air and moisture barriers, for example, or why there should be an effective drainage planePath that water would take over the building envelope. Concealed drainage-plane materials, such as building paper or housewrap, are designed to shed water that penetrates the building’s cladding. Drainage planes are installed to overlap in shingle fashion (weatherlap) so that water flows downward and away from the building envelope. behind the siding. Builders well schooled in traditional techniques may not have spent any time thinking about those things, or understand green house theories incompletely.
Construction is not an industry that changes quickly. Many builders do things a certain way because that’s what they were taught and that’s what they know. It takes time and effort to learn new approaches, and some builders may not think they can afford either.
As time passes, though, builders will have to learn more sustainable design or they’ll be out of business. Consumers know more than they did about the subject even a few years ago, and they will increase pressure on the construction industry to produce houses that are more durable and energy efficient.
In the meantime, it would be smart to hire someone with experience. At the least, look for an architect or designer who knows about sustainable building and is willing to coach a builder along.
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