When you think about a “green” home, building or neighborhood, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
If an “off-gridder” boasting a full accompaniment of solar panels who loves talking about energy independence comes front and center, you’d be right.
If a mental image of a modest, beautiful home, freshly renovated to become more modern and efficient comes to mind, then you’d be right too.
And if you’re thinking of a more expansive, luxurious custom-built home that was designed to last, function well, and do everything that a home can do in a sustainable, renewable and energy-efficient way, then you’d also be correct!
When I spoke to Jon Clark, the President of Earthcraft Construction, I will have to admit that I may or may not have had one or more of the mental images listed above in my head. But after our conversation, the thing that I had suspected but hadn’t fully confirmed was made abundantly clear:
Green homes aren’t just for a certain type.
Or a certain political persuasion, or income bracket, or phase in life.
Green building falls along a continuum, from the intense and comprehensive, to simple upgrades that can help make a home more efficient, and this is one of the things that makes it more affordable than we might think. Green building is for everyone, and here’s why.
On one side of the spectrum, you have the most intense measures you can take to build a green home, and this may include utilizing straw bales, or other organic materials to not only make a home more energy-efficient, but environmentally friendly, renewable, sustainable, and self-sufficient. We’re talking about gray water recycling, geothermal heating, solar panels, and a series of other innovative and sustainable solutions that can involve upcycling, recycling, and more.
But on the other side of the spectrum, there are retrofits, upgrades, and sensible solutions that are designed to simply make a home more energy-efficient. This can look like the renovation of an older home (yes, an old home CAN be a green home!) or passive solar solutions, ductless heating and cooling, air-sealing, tankless water heaters, etc.
And this is what makes this a high water mark when it comes to the current state of our favorite spinning blue orb; green construction can be a personalized, customizable and personal initiative, and incredibly affordable as well. When you consider the lifespan of a home, and rising material and utility costs, green building is becoming much more than a great idea or a cool concept, but a modern imperative and sensible solution.
We’re all looking for ways to be more resourceful. We’re all trying to save as much green as we can, now and in the future. We all want to reduce costs, use materials wisely, and be more efficient.
Green building, whether it’s from the straw-bales-up, or just keeping more of the air you are paying to heat or cool inside the house itself, just makes sense(cents).
With all the building going on in the Treasure Valley, one of the best parts of our conversation was about how green building intersects, enhances, and can provide solutions to not only the rising cost of existing homes but new construction too.
I honestly could have spent a day or more talking to Jon about energy efficiency, green building, and how it dovetails and contrasts with traditional building. Learning how little it can cost to simply air seal a new construction home, the benefits of renovation or retrofit as opposed to demolition, and all the different materials and methods that green builders use wasn’t just inspiring, but motivating too!
The founder of Earthcraft Construction, Ron Hixson has been building and designing homes for 45 years, bringing a level of experience to every build that will bless each and every homeowner for generations to come. The Earthcraft Construction team has a lot in common too; their commitment to the values, passion, innovation, and adoration for craftsmanship that drew Jon to Earthcraft in the first place. The Earthcraft Construction crew members aren’t on the team by accident or chance, they choose to be here, for the very same reasons.
Earthcraft Construction has a reputation in the valley and beyond that precedes my time here by decades due to Ron’s vision and talent, and will continue to challenge what it means to think, grow, and build green for decades to come.
If you’d like to learn more about green building, air sealing, passive solar, the amazing straw bale as construction and insulation material, organic plasters, and how you can build or create a green home of your own, reach out to Earthcraft Construction!