Living green, building better

The above picture shows one of the homes designed and built by Michelle Kaufman Designs.GoingGreen, Davis, CA--green building panel.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor on

The above picture shows one of the homes designed and built by Michelle Kaufman Designs.

GoingGreen, Davis, CA--green building panel. Malcolm Davis, Michelle Kaufmann Designs. Lyndon Rive, Founder & CEO, SolarCity. Kevin Surace, CEO, Serious Materials. Frank Ramirez, CEO, Ice Energy. --------- The panelists agree it takes a few years to get new builidng products into the system. KS: You have to make new and green products that look and smell the same to the sub-contractor. Baby-boomers and architects may want to use green products, but the sub-contractor wants the product to look and work just like the old one. If it looks like drywall and works the same, it's fine.

MK: We feel our builidngs are lower cost to build, they take much less time than traditional building.

KS: Right now the demand for green building materials is actually higher than our ability to produce. We are developing R-10 to R-12 windows now that will replace the traditional R-3 glass. So though it costs more in the beginning, it pays back in energy savings over time. You have to have a payback for the owner.

KS: When we are sold out we cannot even fill 1% of the U.S.drywall market. These green building product plays take a long time.

LR: California is the leading American state for solar yet it still produc es less than 1% of California's electricity.

KS: Some large cities like New York and San Francisco are speeding up permit process for green buildings. [Dare I say "green light for green construction?"]

FR: we went through a two-year process to become a California energy envelope regs certified technology...that process and our approval did more for us than anything else we've done

MD: Construction's the only industry in America that has become less efficient in the past twenty years and we are working to reverse that

FR: I think we are seeing a major change in electric utility politics. Building more gas-guzzling generating plantsis not thre answer. Oxnard just rejected a PG & E plant and communities like that are driving the use of energy conservation technologies such as we make. This makes better use of what we already have.

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