Custom home builder, Mark Turner is no stranger to the green building process. Having mastered the art of the high performance, carbon neutral home, and the luxury and art behind the sustainable interior selections, Mark and his team at GreenSpur have taken building sustainable homes to a new level. They strive to bring together community, family, hearth and home in each of the structures they build while honoring the sustainable building process. Take a note: Sustainability- it’s a personal thing to the home builders at GreenSpur.
Sustainability – it’s a personal thing.
When I was asked to write a blog about green building techniques, products or a top ten list of do’s and don’ts – many concepts came to my mind but none of them struck me as particularly interesting. Many builders and architects, smarter than I, have written good articles and blogs on such subjects. So not to bore you or myself I would like to talk about the personal side of green building which to me is more interesting and hopefully worthy of a good bar conversation.
The personal side of green building or sustainability – what the hell right? What’s personal about energy star roofs, icenyne insulation, geothermal, solar hot water and cork flooring? Nothing. Nothing personal about concrete, roof eve details, low e windows, and low flow water fixtures. These are just building commodities – nothing to get our shorts in a ruffle about right? Right.
What about global warming? Anything personal that the World Meteorological Association saying that the ten hottest years since we have started recording earths temperature in the 1860’s have been the last ten years. Anything personal about odd weather trends, record flooding, and loss of glacial activity at record pace. Perhaps if you have been directly impacted by some of these items, for most of us nothing really personal right. The science of global warming seems to be pretty real and perhaps there is some truth about the other side of the fence who says we are just in the natural cycles of the universe and has nothing to do with man. Hell I don’t know – and I am not anyone can definitely say. All I know is that we got a lot of people on this planet, doing and using a lot of things so anything we can do in terms of getting along and becoming more sustainable can only be a good thing. The scientific debate does not motivate me to get up in the morning. What does motivate me is my kids, the kind of work I do, and selfishly my legacy I hope to leave as a designer and builder. These personal incentives, translate to my passion, which hopefully with any luck can inspire those close to it and set in turn set in motion another series of personal decisions.
So regardless of where you stand with cork flooring vs hardwoods or the real cause of global warming, I make choices based on things that are personal to me. And what I am finding is that our clients are making decisions based on what is personal to them. I think its part of our DNA make up as humans to make all our decisions on a personal level. I don’t push the green agenda or tell them they will decrease global warming by their individual decisions – I tell them to make decisions on what “they want.” Not a novel idea I understand – sorry. But the incredible difference between a government or group preaching their agenda on what is green and what is not and an individual making personal decisions is that one is sustainable in the long run and one is not. One evokes the beauty of imagination, the connection to family, to values, to community, to where we drink our coffee, to where we work, laugh and dream. The other does not. I am betting and trying to live and to work the former – I guess time will tell.
-Mark Turner, GreenSpur