Blogs > Matt Power > December 2013 > Trimming the Decision Tree

Trimming the Decision Tree

Each year, we dedicate an issue of Green Builder to homeowners who want to understand what green building really means. The idea originated from an experience we had at the International Builders’ Show about five years ago. Dozens of professional contractors approached our booth and asked the same question: “What does it mean to be green?” Does that mean keeping pollutants out of indoor air by installing better ventilation? Does it mean using more insulation? Specifying products that are locally produced?

The answer, of course, is “all of the above.” But a house is not a kit that comes in a box that you can have drop shipped to your location from Ikea. It’s a collection of thousands of different parts, some of which are made to work together—but many of which have to be customized on site—before they become part of the whole. If professionals find the number of choices baffling, how can a homeowner hope to make good choices that accomplish the multiple goals of green building: lower energy costs, less maintenance, healthier living spaces and less impact on the environment?

Over the years, our veteran staff at Green Builder has addressed all of these decision points in one way or another. We’ve looked at products both individually and as “systems” that work together. In effect, we have “trimmed the decision tree,” and identified which choices have the greatest impact on a home’s performance and eco-friendly aspects.

This Homeowner’s Handbook is our chance to share some of that knowledge with a different group of readers—the “end users” who will live in the homes that our professional subscribers build and remodel. If you’re a homeowner reading Green Builder for the first time, welcome. If you’re a pro who struggles with educating clients and would-be clients about sustainability, here’s a tool you can use. Send this copy around. Order some copies for your office, or send your clients to our web site to download a free PDF of the issue. We hope you’ll enjoy our 4th Edition, with all new graphics and information to help you achieve your eco-friendly dream home.

Posted: 12/4/2013 1:50:02 PM by Mary Kestner | with 0 comments

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About Me

As a veteran reporter, Matt Power has covered virtually every aspect of design and construction. His award-winning articles often tackle tough environmental challenges in a way that makes them relevant to both professionals and end users. An expert on both building science and green building, he has a long history of asking hard questions--and adding depth and context as he unfolds complex issues.




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