Giving Green a Bad Name

Image Copyright, Detroit News

Would you live in a house that cost $1,125/sq. ft.? Probably not. Even if you didn’t need to pay for your electricity, heating or cooling. It just plain costs too much. What if that cost didn’t include the “slave labor” used to build it (it was actually built by students, so slave labor may not be the right term)? Yet this is what is being promoted as the “future”.

This house, which was supposd to be able to heat itself suffered burst pipes and subsequent damage. It’s never been used and the city doesn’t have the funds to repair or open it. Maybe the publicity of the article will help.

But this is what gives “green” a bad name. A house that costs far too much that doesn’t have aesthetic appeal to most people that doesn’t perform the way it was marketed. All of these things turn people off to “green.” They also show that hyped green isn’t affordable.

We’ve been doing “green” all along. We encourange and design structures with high energy efficiencies, but also realise the law of diminishing returns. A “net zero” structure is a great goal – the construction sciences and trades just aren’t there, yet, to do it affordably. But we can get closer without spending almost a million bucks.

It’s projects like this, and their associated publicity, that really give “green” a bad name–making it that much more difficult to get people to understand that “green” isn’t bad, nor is it weird, nor is it necessarily expensive.

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