by David Braddy LEED GA
In the 19th and early 20th century Architects and Urban Reformers set out to radically change the way we lived by improving buildings, streets, neighborhoods and clean water systems to drastically reduce the spread of infectious disease and generally improve public health. Can you believe there were people back then that thought it was just a fad and that we didn’t really need all that new technology.
My Grandmother was born in 1900 and when I was a young kid I still remember her saying she didn’t understand why people needed to have the toilet inside the house. I remember her resisting when her son’s added one to her house; she said “I have lived this long without it”.
Sometimes we have to change and adapt to preserve our way of living, whether we want to or not. We are in a different world today. We have VOC’s in building products that didn’t even exist back then; we have air conditioning and central heat and air. Many things changed, but homes were built the same and didn’t adapt to accommodate these new compounds and technologies.
Well here we are now in the 21st Century and some things never change, there are many who believe green building is a fad or not needed and simply an unnecessary expense. The fact of the matter is green building is a necessary and needed progression in building technology. We do not have to look very far to find sick homes and homes that make people sick.
I was in a home this week, you know, one of those homes that breathe naturally through the walls using the same building technology from the early 20th century that we are still using today, but this home was only built a few short years ago. This home was un-inhabitable due to the amount of mold in the walls and was being totally gutted and rebuilt. Many have mistakenly believed this is from poor workmanship or an unqualified builder. This is not always the case. I have seen many homes with mold issues that were built with excellent craftsmanship; the fault was with the technology not the builder.
Let me give you a tip; if your home smells musty it has mold. Do not ignore it.
This is why green building technology is the fastest growing segment in the building industry. Green building is not a fad or gimmick or something a slick marketer came up with to charge you more money for. It is simply a better way.
A green built home is much cheaper to live in and much healthier if built correctly. So the person that benefits is you the homeowner. No one has ever built an energy efficient home that’s more comfortable and healthier and regretted it, but many have cut corners and regretted it.
Cutting corners in something as important as the place you are going to be doing most of your breathing is never a good idea.
I know there are many that are still not convinced, just as there were a hundred years ago with technology that we now accept as the norm. Change and new ideas are never accepted without some resistance, this is simply human nature. There will always be a way to save some money or do something cheaper.
An outhouse is much cheaper than indoor plumbing, but how many of those do you see today?
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