As we end 2015 with the 50th Green Builders Journal, I find it amazing how far we’ve come since I wrote the first one back in March 2011. I thought I’d end the year with an encore Blog from early 2014 that sums up where I think things are headed.
I had a reader email me last week with a very interesting question. He asked me “How far do you think this Green homebuilding thing will go”? I must admit the question perplexed me.
I’m sure the reader knew what he was asking but through the magic of semantics it could be taken two ways. Is he asking “how far will it go” like it’s some sort of fad that will come to an end once people have tired of doing it? If that’s the case then it’s probably one of the dumbest questions I’ve been asked. Green homebuilding isn’t like the hula-hoop or disco music. It’s not something builders will adopt and then UNadopt as soon as it’s no longer in vogue. I’ll take it one step further and predict that at some point we’ll drop the term “Green” from Green homebuilding. We’ll drop it because Green homebuilding will be the only kind of homebuilding. It won’t be a separate niche within homebuilding. There will be no such thing as a NON-green homebuilder in the future. You’ll just be a “homebuilder” and how you build homes will be utilizing methods that continually reduce the need for natural resources and curtail the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere with the eventual emission goal of zero.
If the reader was asking “how far will it go” in terms of what is the ultimate goal of green homebuilding, then that’s probably one of the smartest questions I’ve been asked. It’s smart because no strategy of ANY kind can succeed, in my opinion, without the ultimate goal being defined. “I want to get into shape” can be the desire. Eating healthy and exercising can be the strategy. But unless the ultimate goal, or at least the definition of, “in shape” is defined, what really are you aiming for?
In our case being a green homebuilder is the desire. Manufacturing a home and all its components that uses as little natural resources as possible, and produces the fewest CO2 emissions as possible, is the strategy. I think you can already see that the ultimate goal would be to build a home and all its components utilizing NO natural resources and one whose operation emits ZERO CO2 into the atmosphere. That would be the ultimate goal of green homebuilding. Is it reality? Of course it’s reality…. even though it will require an immense amount of innovation and change in the business as it currently stands. Will it happen tomorrow? Of course not… but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start the evolution today and push the envelope every chance we get.
I believe it WILL go that far Mr Reader. I believe we WILL achieve the ultimate goal of green homebuilding. I believe that because I don’t believe we have a choice. I believe that because it’s the only logical path of the evolution of homebuilding. I believe that because it’s the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do from a business standpoint, and more importantly, it’s the right thing to do from an ecological standpoint. You couldn’t ask for a better combination.
Those that don’t agree will lose.
Until next time