>They Just Don’t Get It

>The cover story of today’s Missoulian reads: Luxury you can’t see: Tester tours homes that invest in energy efficiency. It pissed me off this morning before I even finished getting my yogurt all stirred up.

In a nutshell, this is another article on green building. In the article, John Freer, the president of a company building a green-certified home west of Missoula, says, “Five years ago, you couldn’t sell green. It wasn’t sexy. It wasn’t a granite countertop.” That’s great. However, the people we most need to get excited about building green are ones who were never in the market for a granite countertop in the first place because that is the type of luxury item they can’t afford. The real kicker in the article for me is this passage:

Construction crews began work on the two-level, 3,700-square-foot home in May. It has three bedrooms, an office and 2.5 bathrooms.

3700 square feet?! When are these idiots that pat themselves on the back about their green building processes, and the morons who hire them, going to realize that shrinking the sizes of these mega-homes is more green that putting recycled denim between the floorboards? A gigantic “green” home is no more green than a modest-sized energy gobbler home. A big part of our energy problem is tied directly to our homes growing as fast as our midsections!

How much you want to bet this “green” home is also going to be surrounded by some expansive, “turf” lawn that is going to require excessive watering to maintain? That’s pretty green, isn’t it? Building a house like this and calling it green is like putting a “No More Blood For Oil” bumper sticker on your Hummer; you feel all “revolutionary” when you’re doing it but everyone else just thinks you’re an asshole.

Articles like this do no more for selling green and/or alternative building to real people than articles about movie stars going on and on about their beachside green condos. It’s ridiculous. I think the people getting recycled doors from Home Resources to use as countertops are doing a hell of a lot more for green building than these jackasses are.

11 thoughts on “>They Just Don’t Get It”

  1. >Three bedrooms and 2.5 baths in 3,700 feet? Those must be some huge rooms.I WISH my home was growing as fast as my midsection. I’ve lived in 400 square feet for over 10 years.

  2. >yep, just another marketing ploy for the sheeple masses… people who are truly interested in building green know that size is one of the most important factors (i.e. thermal mass etc.)fluff piece.

  3. >Thanks for the comments. The more I thought about this, the more pissed off I got, especially since I didn’t see anyone else pick up on it (though the whole thing with the Governor not being allowed to bring his dog to the fair, big fucking deal, was roundly discussed). So I reworked it a little and sent it as a letter to the editor at the Missoulian, and also as a letter to Tester. We’ll see if they print it, I guess. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else doesn’t beat me to it, though.

  4. >my mom’s comment when i told her about it: well, if they’re going to build a big house anyway, it’s better they’re making it green.hmmm, so i thought about that. and i guess that’s true, but it’s just infuriating that the default house size seems to be almost 3k sq ft (for 2 people usually) and they don’t even consider the possibility of limiting the size as being much more helpful in a lot of ways that buying the green technology to go in the mc mansion. i mean i guess we should be grateful people are even considering going green with new construction, it’s a step in the right direction, but where’s all the press for people who are doing even better…

  5. >April, that’s a good point . . . but frankly, I also think it’s kind of a cop-out. Yeah, they are doing “green” but it’s still like buying a hybrid SUV; sure you’re “green” but you’re still only getting 22 mpg. In even the medium picture, let alone the big picture, you are still way more a huge part of the problem than any kind of part of the solution. I don’t buy it.

  6. >You’ve got a great point there Chris. The house I recently finished building is 3br, 2ba, about 1800 sf. It feels large to me, certainly larger than the downtown Missoula norm. Maybe I’ll feel differently when my son is old enough to want his own recording studio, but for now I can’t see why our family would really need more room. I suspect that for some people, the “green” label is just one more shiny badge to adorn that big trophy home. Hopefully it’s a start in the right direction, though. April’s mom’s point is a good one, and I’d add that the additional expense for building green might have actually served to REDUCE the size of the planned house from an even-more-ridiculous square footage. I dunno, maybe I’m just searching for a silver lining.

  7. >Joe, thanks for reading and thanks for the comment. I think you and April (or April’s mom, I guess!) both make good points about the big, green house. My house is something like 1300 sq ft, but then there is a basement too. It is way more than we need, with 3 big people and 6 pets living in it, so it is hard for me to wrap my head around 3700 sq ft, for sure. I’m sure there is definitely some silver lining in the choices they made, but I’m just too damn cantankerous to admit or give them any points!I mean, 3700 sq ft? I think that would be too much even for the freakin’ Waltons!

  8. >Thank you very much for sharing. Through your blog, a lot of people including me of course have a chance to read and learn from. I have read some of your post and I really enjoyed reading it. And if you want to learn chinese,please visit athttp://www.chinesepal.cn/first/learn-chinese/index.htmThanks again and looking forward for more of your posting soon!

  9. This Freer guy turns out has an extensive civil court history that can be verified by a public record search at the Missoula County District Court Clerk’s Office.

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