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Green, or “sustainable”, building has come a long way since the concept first appeared in the construction world. The bottom line is that Green Homes…

A. last longer
B. cost less to operate
C. use fewer natural resources
D. are healthier for occupants

These are the basic “green” building concepts and they are spreading like wildfire throughout the construction industry.

Why Build Green?
In response to global warming, higher energy costs, dependence on foreign oil, pressure on natural resources, real estate costs, and other influences, consumers are demanding high performance, highly efficient, and high quality homes.

By building green and specifying green finishes, our clients are actually “changing the world” and making it a better place now and for generations to come.

What is Green Building?
Green Building is much more than simply using recycled materials for floors or countertops, or installing a few solar panels.

True Green Building is a holistic “system”. This system considers each and every phase of the building process; for example, preserving topsoil in the grading process, reducing milled lumber in framing, installing better insulation, using healthier paints, using high efficiency water-heaters and furnaces, separating construction waste for recycling, and so on.

Historically, traditional construction has been wasteful, inefficient, and of poor quality. New buildings were only required to be built to “code”. Anything less was considered…illegal. That doesn’t speak well for the “code”.

Green Building strives to be “better than code” and better for the environment.

Is Green Building Manditory?
Many local cities and building departments are actively promoting for new construction be green. The County of San Mateo (www.recycleworks.org) is a leader in Bay Area green building and has shared its system with neighboring cities. Los Altos is requiring new construction to be GreenPoint Rated. The City of Portola Valley is waiving permit fees on solar systems. Other cities are talking about expediting plan check time for green buildings, and many other exciting changes are in the works. Currently, most of the green measures are voluntary; soon they will be required by law. It’s not a matter of “if” anymore, it’s a matter of “when”.

Who is Leading the Green Building Movement?
The movement is actually being created by consumer demand. New home owners are demanding homes that use less energy, cost less to operate, last longer, are easier to maintain, are healthier, and use fewer natural resources.

Most city and governmental agencies are also promoting green building and have been actively seeking ways to implement green construction into the new construction process. The mayors of cities across the country, weary of waiting for the Federal Government to act, have started the Cool Cities program (www.coolcities.us) to combat global warming.

In response, or anticipation of this trend, nearly every forward thinking manufacturer of construction materials has developed product lines that are considered “green”. Revolutionary changes to manufacturing techniques, component mixes, transportation methods, and good old-fashioned ingenuity are creating new and improved products for the construction industry.

The HBA, Home Builder’s Association of Northern California (www.hbanc.org), recently announced its commitment to build all new homes in California green. This is probably the biggest change in the construction industry since the invention of the nail!

Builders and Architects who do not keep up with the pace will soon be out of business.

What Agencies are Regulating Green Building?
For the last several years, it’s been a free for all in trying to determine what’s “green” and what’s not. So much so that a new word was created - “greenwashing”. This is a claim that something is “green” when in fact it isn’t. Scams are everywhere.

This is changing for the better…

Build It Green (www.builditgreen.org), a non-profit membership organization, was established to promote healthy, durable, energy- and resource- efficient buildings in California. Build It Green has developed a set of Guidelines for homeowners, architects and builders to follow when planning and constructing their home projects.

The Home Builder’s Association of California has urged “all cities” to adopt the guidelines of Build it Green. These guidelines are currently required in the City of Los Altos and will soon be the standard in other California cities and towns.

The GreenPoint Rated Guidelines are a common sense approach based upon five fundamental objectives:

1. Energy Efficiency
2. Resource Conservation
3. Indoor Air Quality
4. Water Quality
5. Community

There is a point system to measure compliance in these categories, verified by an “independent third party” rater who scores each new home. A certificate is issued on each home indicating the exact score in each category. W. L. Taylor Construction is certified as one of these GreenPoint Raters.

The United States Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org) has also implemented the LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, rating system for all type of construction, including new homes.

Whether you believe in man made global warming or not, certain facts are undeniable: Costs to produce and deliver energy are rising and will never be lower. Our planets' resources of forests, water and air are being strained beyond repair. Respiratory illnesses in children are increasing at an alarming rate.

The new home construction and remodeling industry is a great place to reverse these trends.

Our Commitment
W. L. Taylor Construction, Inc. is a proven leader in Green Building.

As winner of the Town of Atherton 2007 Green Building Award for a New Custom Home, we “walk the walk”.

We have consulted with several cities on the implementation of new green building programs.

Bill Taylor is certified by Build It Green as a Certified Green Building Professional and a Certified GreenPoint Rater.

In addition to construction, we provide green building consulting and GreenPoint Rating services to cities, architects, and other builders.