As important and exciting as new green construction is, green remodeling is critical to transforming our built environment into a more livable and sustainable one.
When we remodel well, we’re upcycling homes – repurposing houses to meet the needs of 21-century families, and to meet their ecological goals as well. The embodied energy contained in older homes is just too valuable to simply wipe the slate clean and build entirely new neighborhoods. Yes, we need to build low-impact and sustainable new homes like Passive Houses and backyard cottages, but we also need to be expert at green refurbishing, upcycling our city one house at a time.
The video below features the Great British Refurb Campaign competition winner, which was awarded an eco-makeover to transform an existing house into a model of green living. In a recent post we mentioned the “Pyramid of Conservation” which helps would-be green dwellers prioritize the most cost-effective carbon-reducing investments to make. You’ll notice in this video that the entire pyramid was thrown at the project – everything from new insulation to shiny new windows and solar panels. The results are impressive: a reduction of carbon emissions of 80%. (Thanks to TreeHugger for turning us on to this video.)
Jargon alert: the homeowner mentions the 10:10 campaign, a global campaign to cut carbon emissions by 10% a year, starting in 2010.Back to Field Notes