Is teaching about (and building) superinsulated envelopes a viable industry?
Pardon the off topic posting.
It is inspired by a New York Times article: “First, Make Money. Also, Do Good.” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/business/shared-value-gains-in-corporate-responsibility-efforts.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha25
Finally here is new thinking spreading that illustrates that social and environmental issues are in fact, market opportunities.
My thought has been that the idea that “social responsibility” and a “profitable business” are mutually exclusive has never been true. I’ve always felt that the potential for “repairing social and ecological damage” is typically not understood. I don’t mean as a marketing stance or company image. I do mean as a functioning business plan where the central business activity “brings the benefit” rather than buying a carbon offset, improving recycling, and calling it good. Think of ecological action and investment as a market opportunity.
Hopefully there are increasing numbers of builders out there whose business is supporting the ability to take the extra steps to teach potential clients about site orientation, super insulation, air sealing and the additional passive strategies for the clients project.
It would be interesting to me (as a reader) to get a snapshot of how the financial end of green building has done in 2011. Of special interest would be how the “energy related folks” in the sphere of Passivhaus, Net Zero, General Super insulated Builders, etc, have done in 2011 as a group. Perhaps it’s a possible end of year blog possibility. 🙂
GBA Detail Library
A collection of one thousand construction details organized by climate and house part
While the economics of "green building" will undoubtedly change practices faster than anything else, we must also look at an industry, at least in the residential field, that has been building almost the same way for over 2000 years. We may have mechanized the process and have better tools, but most homes are still built by cutting down trees, milling them, cutting them to fit and assembling them somewhere with a lot of labor. Due to most trees being gone from developed areas, we now ship them from some other area. Just as the automotive companies are just beginning to realize after two near collapses of the industry that they cannot keep building and selling cars like Henry Ford did, it may be time to think of the entire construction industry in a different manner. Whether that will be super-insulated, passivhaus, geothermal/solar homes, prefabricated and made out of materials that would not even be considered. or something else we have not even thought of is what will determine the future of the industry, housing and jobs. The old coach and buggy makers learned new trades and the new industry did very well for quite a long time. There will be new jobs and with any luck we will all be better off because of the change. If we are really lucky we will not ruin the planet first.