Is using the environment to make homes and buildings more sustainable a revolutionary idea?
NO!! In fact, it is ANCIENT. Some of the earliest civilizations used the same building concepts we do today. For example, Native Americans in the Southwest would use solar energy to heat their pots and water. They also caked their homes in mud to moderate temperatures. And both ancient Roman and Greek civilizations would orient their buildings to capture the exact amount of desired sun. Other communities even created wind tunnels as a cooling system–much like the ventilation ducts we run our A/C through. These ideas have evolved with people and civilization into the modern Green Building Movement. The 19th century saw the addition of ventilation systems, deep-set windows, and retractable awnings. The movement died during the mid-1900’s in the wake of the Great Depression and World War II. But, it came back to life in the 1970’s. The movement has progressed ever since. The 90’s and early 2000’s saw the “greening” of the White House, creation of the U.S. Green Building Council, and a federal definition of green building from the EPA.
What is the current status of the Green Building Movement?
Up until now, the movement has largely focused on industrious, corporate, and government buildings. However, residential homes have become a bigger focus within the past decade or so. Homeowners and renters alike are exploring options to permanently and non-permanently alter their homes to be more efficient and sustainable.