Green Building isn't about politics - it is about math. It is possible to build beautiful structures that use less materials, are more durable and operate at a fraction of the cost of 'traditional' building for the same price (or less).
Tragedy of the Commons
Some early 19th century thinkers figured out that if a bunch of herdsmen using the same finite space each made the rational decision to increase the size of their herds they would unknowingly deplete the resources on which they depended - therefore destroying not only their, but everyone's shared resources/livelihoods.
Rational choices can often have unintended negative results. What we build and how we build are two of the most important choices we make in how we spend natural resources. Rather than see the commons as a tragedy, we seek to turn it to an advantage.
. For more information - read Garrett Hardin,1968 (Article: Tragedy of the Commons)
What is NOT Green Building
- A roof (or any other building component) designed to last 25 years
- Building materials that off-gas and make occupants sick
- Design w/o consideration of the environmental impact of the orientation of the structure
- Vinyl anything
- A 6,000 square foot house for two occupants.
- New construction that generates more than 15% waste (by weight or volume)
- 2x4 walls with OSB and batt insulation