Is it wrong to green wash your home when you sell? Absolutely. Is it wrong that roofs covering your porch and decking is a green feature in the design for sustainable architecture? Not at all. Green washing is saying that your house is 100% green, when it's not. Just having a green feature like a bamboo floor or active thermal solar panel doesn't mean that your house is totally environmentally efficient. In today's marketplace, no house is 100% green. The only green house that's built is the one that isn't built at all. Everyone knows that is not possible. Because we need residences and dwellings for comfort, safety, and well being. Home building is an economic necessity. So, it's been backward logic to say, when we build it, we should not build 100% of it to last. It's an economic sustainability issue. Common shingles only last 35 years. Natural clay tile shingles last 80-100 years. Sustainability in the market place is based on immediate cost reduction during construction and not-so long term repair and replacement. Our health and sustainability of the species is directly related to the choices we make during these economic transactions.
We've been building homes to be easily upgraded. The problem occurs when the house is repaired but not upgraded, or worse downgraded, and the owners ignore or are not conscious of the green concepts for overall sustainability. Green certifications have pointed out the green features that are appropriate for environmental sustainability in design. Many DIY television shows provide information on efficiency and aspects of the home's repair, yet lack the building science knowledge of a certified Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design Associated Professional (http://leed.usgbc.org/), Passive House International (http://www.passivehouse-international.org/), Green Globes (http://www.greenglobes.com/), BREEAM (http://www.breeam.com/) or any certifications professional. The World Green Building Council (http://www.worldgbc.org/) and International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org/) have outlined the commonalities of the buildings for efficiency that are effective anywhere you may live. Many of the design features common among these certifications were derived from studies of existing buildings. The basic lessons or principles of Architecture are intertwined with today's data knowledge set to create the combinations for the ultimate working order of a structure. That is why we can retrofit common homes and provide an upgraded product with amazingly good responses for environmental sustainability. However, the ability to upgrade all of the green attributes of a home to the level required to minimize the ability of your house to affect climate change is a bit of a burden on the pocket book.
Some long term home owners have older houses and have continually upgraded as the repair needs occurred and have kept up with or even surpassed updated building techniques. Retro-fitters have purchased depressed older houses and upgraded extensively over a few months time to achieve the markets appealing amenities with minimum requirements. Each upgrade can incur a green design element to the original structural environmentally efficient design. Addition of insulation, energy rated windows, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, high efficiency furnace or boiler, above ground decks, tile and hardwood flooring, and finished basements are green design features considered valued upgrades to home appraisers. They're also valued by move in ready minded buyers because they provide comfort and a sense of well being. When you add the environmentally efficient design compliments of a house with those green attributes, the structure has a much better chance of continuing in the marketplace beyond today's appraisal estimates.
The home should work in coordination with every aspect of the environment: air, water, land, solar, energy, and overall sustainability. Some features are good for several different elements. Each attribute is a portion of a system which is to be fulfilled in order for a property to perform environmentally efficient to the point of becoming less dependent on nonrenewable and toxic resources.
By quantifying the basic key individual design traits and the associated impacts in combination within the house, each green element and overall potential for sustainability becomes apparent. The gray areas of your house become enlightened at the low end of the green spectrum in terms of yellow and blue, or "not quite green yet". The total combination of the green features in design add up-to the levels of yellow, blue, light green and dark green whether your house is prior certified green or not.
So, no matter what anyone says, GAPScore doesn't green wash.
We show the yellow and blue, and the green.