Building “green” for me has to do with integrity. I believe that as creatures on this planet we are all related to, and affect, all other aspects of our world. The butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world may have helped shape a hurricane in another part of the world. Just like the butterfly, what we do affects the natural world around us. Although we seldom see the direct and longer term results of our actions, all of us can take steps that express our respect and care for the natural world around us.
In terms of home building for me, this means that we build homes that are healthy for you. Homes that are healthy are homes in which there is a real attempt made to reduce the VOC’s that you are exposed to. Homes that are healthy have good insulation barriers, good windows and well designed HVAC systems that reduce the possibility of mold and other contaminants growing in your walls and homes.
In terms of the wider environment around us, my conviction that we are responsible for, and connected with everything around us, requires the responsible use of materials and the implementation of measures that help protect plants and animals around us. What these measures are is not always easy to say. For me my responsibility begins with questions such as: “What is the least damaging fuel that we can use for heating?” “What are the most environmentally friendly insulation products?” “Are there ways of building that improve our use of precious resources?”
There is so much to learn about how to be kind to the environment, and sometimes it seems that there is a vast difference between what we would like to do and what we think we are able to do. But at the same time, we hope that the efforts we make, even though seemingly insignificant, can form part of a larger mosaic of care for the earth!