Part 1 – Where is Green Headed?

Most people have a general notion of what Green Living or Green Building is about, namely sustainability and energy efficiency.  Green is thought to be better for the environment as well as better for personal health.

Green living involves lifestyle changes such as the following:

  • Recycling
  • Changes to save energy around the home
  • Making purchasing choices to buy more local products or those which minimize impact on the environment
  • Making choices for sustainable products
  • In general reducing your carbon footprint

One of the directions Green is headed is toward Zero-Net Energy (ZNE).  In its simplest terms this is a goal whereby buildings, whether residential or commercial, return power to the energy grid equal to their consumption over a period of time.  The reality is a bit more controversial and complicated since there is no widely accepted definition of what factors ZNE should actually include.  For example, ZNE may also include the concept of zero carbon emissions, which, in itself, is difficult to define and measure.  Like-wise, is it really Green if a component of a building relies upon government subsidies to be economically viable?

There can be no disagreement, definitions and politics aside, that low or zero energy consumption is a worthy goal for homes and businesses.  More on this topic in next week’s Blog

Learn more about Green Building at http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/ and http://www.nahbgreen.org/

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