I get it, I get it… If our homes are printers then what is delivered through them is the ink. One compelling future of homebuilding could be about selling homes at a lower and lower price while controlling the delivery of utilities and financing to the homeowner. Big utility companies are becoming viewed more and more as dinosaurs facing an uncertain future. But whether the homebuilder directly or indirectly brings the home, the mortgage and the utilities directly to the homeowner has yet to be seen… that business model has a long way to go before it is entirely worked through.
Either way, what appears paramount is that homes of the future, Green Canopy’s homes, must be extremely efficient, produce energy, store energy and decrease the home’s waste streams in order for the printer and ink analogy to be realized. This aligns with our commitment to build as many net-zero homes as possible… that is clearly the future in homebuilding, and our children will thank us for it.
Consider these two articles before you think me crazy.
Why Morgan Stanley is Betting that Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company.
Carmaker Honda will Build and Fuel 40% of All New Homes by 2060
These are BIG companies placing big bets with real cash and they are helping Green Canopy change the narrative in the market and chart our course of the future. In the world of this particular future, our GHG emissions will not simply be much lower, they will ultimately be controllable. Controllable systems are efficient systems and will allow society to venture in new and potentially better directions. This is a world I am excited about helping to build for my children and my children’s children.
“This study adds to a growing body of work on the costs and value of sustainability. It provides further strong evidence that a sustainable approach need not add significantly to building costs. And, where there are additional capital costs, these can be repaid relatively quickly through the reduced costs of operating the building."
-Yetunde Abdul, Non-domestic Group Manager at BREEAM UK
New Research Challenges the Perception that Sustainability Costs
Contributed by Aaron Fairchild, CEO of Green Canopy, Inc.
At Green Canopy we build homes that cost less to own and we guarantee that. This is a benefit that is enjoyed directly by our homeowners. Year over year they will see their energy bills pale in comparison to their neighbors. While Green Canopy builds the homes - it is the customer that collects the savings from "green" not the builder.
That is why when someone asks "Doesn't it cost more to build green?" the answer is a resounding "Yes." The cost of building a Green Canopy home is higher... much higher, but the process is also more thorough, and as a result the homes are simply better. However, selling these amazing homes at a competitive price in the market and making a profit doesn’t appear easy when the cost to build them is higher… so we are dedicated to innovating our building processes and managing within the cost constraints of the marketplace.
At Green Canopy, we have always been dedicated to efficiently managing our supply chain and process management systems to compensate for the significantly increased costs of bringing green, efficient and more sustainable homes to the market. The challenge of building the highest quality homes that are better for our families and the planet and doing so within the cost constraints of the market has always been identified as our number one challenge… and we are up for the challenge!
I recently read this great piece commenting on a new research study: New Research Challenges the Perception that Sustainability Costs. I have heard discussions and arguments for years that building green, efficient and more sustainable homes cost more. The discussions and research studies assert that the additional costs of building more sustainable buildings isn’t drastic especially when considering the reduced cost of ownership. It is wonderful that this new study clearly shows how to recapture the additional cost of resource efficient construction! Unfortunately for Green Canopy we don’t live in our homes, so we can’t benefit from the operational cost savings that we build into the homes.
However, the women and men of Green Canopy love the challenge of building green homes and selling them at competitive market prices. We continue to push ourselves and figure out new methods of project management, design and material procurement. With every home we sell we are living up to the challenge and bringing the best in housing to market. As a result of this dedication to quality and innovation, we can competitively price our homes in the market, they in turn sell fast, and our homeowners save money. We know that if we can outperform our competition we will build a thriving business, while creating beautiful and resource efficient homes that will rest on the surface of the Earth inspiring generations of future homeowners to come.
Contributed by Krystal Meiners
Recently, our CEO wrote an article in which he mentioned that “at Green Canopy, we recognize that we are firmly planted with everyone else somewhere along the spectrum of hypocrisy.” He was talking about how it is very easy in this industry to not be “green enough” – and how, when you are dealing with market-based realities, you can’t always make the most climate sensitive decisions.
This is hard for our team. It’s hard for any values-based organization.
Despite that - we do our best. If we can’t do the best thing – we will always do the next best thing. And we never stop innovating. Nor do we give in to the status quo.
Most recently our team had to cut down a towering Blue Atlas Cedar on one of our project sites. How could Green Canopy – whose very logo is a stately tree – cut down trees?! Sure there are plenty of design opportunities for homes built around trees, on top of trees, in trees – but the fact was, this was not a custom home and design dollars had to be spared for other resource efficiencies.
This Blue Atlas will not go to waste though. We spend a great many hours and dedicated brain power to ensure that we limit our waste streams as much as we can. Instead, we milled the wood on site and we will incorporate it into design features in our future projects.
The arborist that we use in Seattle is Treecycle and the mobile miller is AJ’s Custom Portable Saw Milling; their services include felling trees and onsite milling into usable lumber – or in our case - into live edge slabs. It is an amazing process to see – and our PM Ryan Nieto was gracious enough to capture it last week.
Below is a time lapse of the milling. You will likely see this noble tree in the near future in a few of our homes or in other projects after it cures. Similar to this Blue Atlas, we have another cedar that we milled a few years ago. It will be used for this year’s BuiltGreen and Green Genius Award plaques – celebrating the region’s most sustainable projects and people.
We made similar plaques last year for the Green Genius winners and are excited to be working with Built Green to craft all of the awards this year. It is great to have these trees come full circle as a reminder to all builders about the use and reuse of this world’s incredible resources.
To hear more about our reuse and the deconstruction process, join us for this year’s Green Genius Awards and the Built Green Conference on September 18th. Justin Hooks will be a session speaker and Green Canopy is the Reception Sponsor. Click here for more info about the conference.
The Green Canopy blog is written by our CEO and Culture Curator, Aaron Fairchild, as well as our staff and a few very special guests.