Green builders role in the climate crisis

Building a resilient, sustainable community

Our focus at Chuckanut Builders is to help build a resilient, sustainable community by bolstering the local economy and embracing innovation. While it is not our work, this focus is the result of our work. Our work is building high performance buildings and retrofitting existing homes, making them more efficient, durable, comfortable and healthy. We do this work because we know that resilient, sustainable communities are more prepared to face the climate crisis. We are part of the solution.

This resolve lead us a round table event at Sustainable Connections yesterday. Zack Semke, the Chief Marketing Officer at NK Architects, was there speaking about the climate crisis, the role that buildings can play in reducing greenhouse gas emission and giving us a glimmer of hope.

Our unique position

Buildings are responsible for ~40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. As green builders we are in a unique position to help folks reduce their emissions. Zack focused primarily on Passive House standards, which has a heavy focus on energy. According to Zack, buildings built to Passive House standards have the potential to use 75% less energy than a code built building. So whenever we build or remodel, we must consider the building envelope, thermal bridging, insulation details, high performance windows, seasonal shading, and air barrier details on every job. If these building performance details are addressed early on in the project the cost implications don’t have to be cost prohibitive.

One of the things Zack said that really stuck with me was, “The genius of Passive House is that it understands that the building itself, it’s skeleton and skin, is technology.”  The building itself is the solution. It’s not a question of how to create more energy, it’s a matter of how to simply use less energy. [pullquote]”The genius of Passive House is that it understands that the building itself, it’s skeleton and skin, is technology.”[/pullquote]

Clean energy

Creating clean energy is also part of the solution. Zack addressed clean energy and the role that solar will play in reducing global consumption of fossil fuels. He presented compelling data showing that the market is driving demand for solar energy. Regardless of the current administration’s policies and goals, global demand for solar energy is increasing and demand for fossil fuels are falling. The clean energy transition has started.

The future is so uncertain and clearly green building alone won’t repair the damage done. But, the actions we take today will have a significant impact. We can’t afford climate despair at this junction, only climate action. Help us take action now. Have you completed an energy retrofit on your home? If not, contact us to learn about the significant improvements you can make, especially if you are already remodeling. Together, our resilient community can make a difference.