Seems like Germany is making some pretty good efforts to go green. There’s an article in Business Week right now on the building of energy efficient homes in Germany. There are apartment complexes being built that use far more insulation and much less heating oil than is required there. And of course they’re more efficient than historical buildings, but that’s obvious.
Other builders are including solar panels so that on balance the homes can produce more energy than they use.
This kind of news just delights me. The need to get off oil and use more environmentally friendly means to produce electricity doesn’t have to be solely the domain of environmental activists. It can become something for everyone. As oil prices keep rising, more people will realize that alternative energy has tremendous advantages.
Of course, I don’t live in Germany. I live in Southern California, and I don’t have the budget yet to buy a home, much less add the solar paneling that will be a major goal when I do own. But seeing these things become more practical is a true delight.
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Future green building must take account of the “green washing” that seems to be accelerating throughout the real estate market place. I’ve seen repeated use of words like “green”
and “stewardship” across the board. I’ve seen some Realtors using the word “green” in their ads, knowing that awareness is elevating by the media and they use that hype to drive
more traffic to their listings. I’ve ran across great sites such as http://www.ListedGreen.com that screen developers and realtors so as to minimize the “green washing” effect.
Some blogs have been overused in this regard as well. Hopefully, the general public can sift through this green hype and really see the changes that builders and developers have
to do to reduce our carbon footprint.