Editors Blog


Murphy's Law: Define Green For Me

March 17, 2008

Upon this notable occasion of Celtic heritage and celebration, there will be many a wannabe Irish with green beer coursing through his or her veins. In my amateur days, I too fancied a mug of Miller Lite with some green food coloring as the embodiment of St. Paddy’s Day. Now, I’m a bit more selective in the pints I choose.

It seems other folk are becoming more selective about what constitutes green. I went through the gargantuan Tradewinds house in Orlando during the recent International Builder Show. It had high efficiency Trane heating and cooling equipment and one of the best electronic air cleaners that money can buy. Today, most people in the HVACR industry say that qualifies as green. In fact, at a recent ACCA conference, 60 percent of about 600 contractors polled stated that their customers perceived green HVACR as high efficiency product. Sounds good, but that definition might not stand the test of time.

Walking out of the Tradewinds house, a beautiful example of modern technology, a director of the U.S. Green Building Council confided that the house would never be classified as green. Why not? Because it is simply too large and extravagant to be considered green.

In my opinion, that’s like telling a skinny guy he can’t enter a pizza eating contest. Just because a house is large doesn’t mean it can’t utilize green principles. A large commercial building can be green. Why not a large house?

I propose an Irish toast: Regardless of its girth, long live the green house.
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