Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Catherine Mohr - Building a truely green home - Another great TED talk

In her quickfire (6 minute) TED talk, Catherine Mohr explains how she is using embodied energy (the amount of energy required to make something) to guide her decisions in building a green house. You can find more info on her own blog.

In cutting through the waffle and examining the numbers Catherine shows how the places you can make the biggest savings might not be where you'd expect. And also answers the question, will building a new energy efficient home save energy in the long term or should I have kept my old place?
You'll have to watch it to find out.......

In the discussion on the TED site, Catherine also responds to questions about whether building the house cost more:

"The five main areas I identified as saving embodied energy turned out to be either cost neutral or cost savings over traditional. Deconstruction cost more in labor, but there were salvageable materials whose value offset the labor. High flyash concrete was cost neutral, the cellulose insulation was cheaper than either foam or fiberglass, the wood windows were cheaper than the vinyl (although maintenance will make that advantage disappear), and the wooden and concrete floor could be cost neutral to carpet, but I chose reclaimed wood for its beauty"

So I guess the answer is not really, if you do it right.

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