You need a flat shovel to read this article. We do not need more mandatory government regulations under the guise of "building green". We need MORE FREEDOM to build as we see fit, using the BEST available information, and the BEST options. Some of those options are “green” options, and some are not. I do not support mandatory "green only" building decisions on the location, size, and type of home I can build from people like the one that wrote this article who mainly seem to be pushing a political/social agenda. I also do not support the limitations to personal freedoms that much of the current "sustainable development" movement wants to impose on the rest of us either, since many of their goals are also social or political in nature and have nothing to do with sound building practices. I have the right to build my home/business on acreage, away from the "city core" and public transportation access. I don't have to be within walking or biking distance of anything except the creek that flows through my own land. I don't need a city park or city services or anything provided by a city government at all. Put me out in the “country” with the least taxes and regulations possible, and leave me alone.
Posted: 04:25 pm on June 4th 2018
To Martin Holladay and others: I eagerly read Martin Holladay’s columns in Fine Homebuilding and value his knowledge of building science and energy efficiency. I mean no disrespect to Mr. Holladay or the general audience here, but this article was written by a self proclaimed “scholar” who drags homelessness, diversity, public swimming pools, servants, and blatant class warfare into a discussion about green building, and then tells me what to do based on their “superior” knowledge and intellect. The author acts as though there are only so many “amenities” to go around, and since some people have too many of them, other people are doing without, and they want to put a stop to it. Why am I here? I, and probably some others who did not immediately fall in line behind the author, happened upon this post since it was featured in Fine Homebuilding’s “eLetter” email. I own EVERY issue of Fine Homebuilding ever printed. FHB was one of the many sources I used to help me design my current energy efficient "hurricane/tornado bunker" home. I used ICF (concrete/rebar) construction, brick outside, 24 ga. metal roof over radiant barrier over peel/stick over 3/4" plywood glued/screwed to the trusses, sealed attic construction, geothermal HVAC with desuperheater to heat water, the highest rated impact windows/doors/garage doors I could feasibly use, energy efficient appliances and light fixtures, a fire sprinkler system, and all built to a wind load of 200mph. I also sawed the trees that I cut down into boards for forms and trim. My family and I lived and ran a business out of a little 1500sqft ranch home for 25 years before purchasing 15 acres and building our new home/office building. It’s a big single story ranch home with everything under one large hip roof with no dormers, gables, or skylights to catch the wind or leak. I also have no roof penetrations for plumbing vents. The county road I am on has been there for about 175 years, and is lined with homes large and small, on plots of land large and small as well. We don’t have, want, or need a city government, a municipal sewer system, city garbage service, public transportation etc. Nobody extended any “infrastructure” so I could build my home, and as county residents, we pay fees and taxes for fire and police protection and road maintenance. I pump my own water out of the ground, and put most of it right back in the same ground. Yes, on site septic systems are “green” when properly maintained. I am also prepared to install solar panels when the cost and battery options are what I consider “right”. I think all new homes in high wind locations should be built mostly of ICF, concrete, brick and steel, but I allow other people to disagree with me. Just like the folks who poke fun at McMansions, I see design elements in the “award winning” green homes of Fine Homebuilding that make me want to “pull my hair out” they are so impractical. Here is the bottom line: I want to learn as much as I can about green and energy efficient building without being beat with a “social justice” stick if I disagree. Use real science and logic to justify your arguments for or against a building size, style, or technique to persuade your audience there is a better way. Since people are going to build them anyway, larger homes can be designed and built to be more energy efficient and therefore more “green”, even if some people think they are still too big.
Posted: 04:00 am on June 8th 2018