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22 June 2008



I don't know if I have ever said this before, but I really appreciate you taking us along for this process. I can't ever see me being able to build my own house, but if I could, I would definitely be interested in the LEED certification, too. Like you said, it just makes sense...


I find few things more beautiful than the sight and smell of an expanse of marsh in the full green of summer.


Kim, hopefully at some point it will just be what will do, and it won't be a big deal at all. We're trying to stay low key (and locally we are) - but the process is definitely cumbersome in places, and it takes some level of commitment and understanding. I keep saying to myself '...this could've been awhole lot easier...'

Les, I totally agree.

John B.

Wrapping up my final week in Mobile . . . hey--I'm almost in your neighborhood!
I assume you're familiar with the Gulf coast; around here there are marshes aplenty . . . though many of those that don't have condos and second homes on them have chemical plants. But you're right about their expansiveness and their resemblance to the prairies.
I think I may have mentioned to you before that Greensburg, Kansas (the town destroyed by a tornado last year) is rebuilding its public buildings according to LEED standards (Greensburg is a county seat), and (I think) there will be some public assistance available for homeowners who want to build greener houses. Also: Wichita's NPR affiliate is in the final stages of acquiring a new transmitter, and the facility it'll be housed in will be LEED-certified: the first in the country. So: baby steps. But the trends, even in Kansas, are beginning to head in that direction.
I second Kim's thanks. As for the LEED process: speaking out of half-ignorance as I usually do, to me it seems awfully cumbersome at times just for the sake of being cumbersome, though I suppose the rationale is that They want "green" to really mean something, something more than just extra insulation in the attic. But I do like the sort of deep thinking it forces homebuilders to do--it's an implicit reminder of a basic tenet of architecture, that a structure doesn't exist independent of its surroundings, but pushes that beyond the aesthetic level.


John, nice to hear from you, and I hope that your stay along the 'Guff' has been a good one. I did a postdoc with the EPA in a lab on an island just off Santa Rosa Island, near Pensacola - so, you are, so-to-speak, in my old hood (Which means it is hot and humid and oddly just perfect - and yes, you are seeing lots of marshes too). You did mention the Kansas town doing the whole LEED thing -I think it's good, but hopefully it is also being made affordable for folks. For the most part I am really glad that I am going through the process, but every now and then there is a day when I think 'WTF' because it's a bit nutty. Honestly, I probably couldn't make it through without the help of my architect (aka architherapist) - selecting him for the project was the best 'new house' decision that I've made so far. He's committed and knowledgeable about the process, which has proved invaluable.

Enjoy your last week in Mobile.


I didn't catch what neck of the woods you're building in? If you're in the upper Midwest Green Built Homes is a good program to look into. Not sure how far in the US their program extends, though.


Anne, I'm in the southeast - coastal South Carolina. so a bit far away. We have a number of builders with some (limited) LEED building experience - and alot of builders eager to get the experience. In fact, builders have been popping up out of nowhere asking questions about this little house! Thanks.


Wow. I am so impressed with all of your research. Such work. I need to back track and piece it all together.


Joan, better yet - wait until the house is demolished, and come over for a gin and tonic. I'll tell you the whole story!

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