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www.greenbuildermag.com 11.2010


EARTH FIRST Structure01 A Home’s Building Blocks


As we learn more about soils, we’re discovering that they may be the key to our environmental survival, the first and last line of defense against pollution and resource scarcity.


FACT:


Construction of a home accounts for about 6 percent of the total energy that home will consume over its lifespan, if it’s built with a wood frame.


munities, I shudder a little. I remem- ber when, in my old job as editor for Builder magazine, I spent a few days touring tract home sites in Las Vegas that looked like lunar landscapes. But even on humus-rich, arable land in New Jersey, backhoes gave soils the same harsh treatment. Excavators would attack a piece of land the way a three-year-old goes after a lump of Play-Doh—as something to be pound- ed, torn apart, mixed randomnly with other colors, and mashed into a muddy pancake. You know what I’m talk- ing about: One pile for subsoil, one pile for topsoil, and one pile for sand. But thankfully, our understanding of soil ecology has evolved. There’s no


W FACT:


Construction of a home accounts for about 6 percent of the total energy that home will consume over its lifespan, if it’s built with a wood frame.


FACT:


Construction of a home accounts for about 6 percent of the total energy that home will consume over its lifespan, if it’s built with a wood frame.


hen I think about the way production build- ers used to plan and excavate new com-


longer any excuse for destroying soil ecosystems to make way for buildings. We’ll also talk about the benefi ts of planning “edible” landscapes that do more than look pretty. And we’ll show you the right way to redirect stormwater without polluting rivers and ponds. Just back from the International Builders’ Show, we’ve also got a list of credible, eco-friendly outdoor products for your consideration. The idea is to go beyond resource extraction, toward restorative land use and site design. Imagine every project built in coming years restoring the health of soils, waterways and trees—at the same time providing basic food and shelter needs for several generations That’s what I’d call a noble green goal for those who put the Earth fi rst. —Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief


FACT:


Construction of a home accounts for about 6 percent of the total energy that home will consume over its lifespan, if it’s built with a wood frame.


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