I see a lot of press on green living and green building these days. I am a fan. I believe in sustainable building, solar energy, salvaged, reclaimed building materials; when I see Paperstone countertops and recycled glass tiles, my heart skips a beat. I have a dream house in my mind, it might actually be here on the island, but I know one thing for sure, right now it is out of my price range. And, I don’t think I am alone. The problem with Green, is that you have to pay up front. Solar panels and complete 8 kw Photovoltaic System with Passive Solar Design and Solar Hot Water, costs thousands of dollars up front. I know it will reduce my energy bills to little or nothing, but it will take me years to recoup that savings. Since most folks get a monthly paycheck, that is tough to budget.
My “dream” house on the island, is built green and it is LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and built with the “not so big house” philosophy in mind. However, that all comes at a price. If you look at it based on price per square foot, it runs you about 20-25% more than an average house on the island. The island, being what it is, is already pricey (average price year to date is $845K according to NWMLS). So, for me, here on the island, I will have to wait. And the waiting is what bothers me. Not just on my account, but I know others will wait too. Wait out this administration, this economy, this housing slump. But, alas, our planet, and closer to home, this island we live on will suffer . . . as we all wait this out. The green building industry, I believe, will trudge forward at a very slow pace, but it will not be “mainstream” for another ten to fifteen years. So, to steal Al Gore’s title, unfortunately, it is an inconvenient time to build green.