The great thing about presentations is that they force William and I to accomplish tasks we would rather procrastinate on. For example, the rendering William completed for our presentation to Pittsburgh’s Green Building Alliance was, at best, rough. For this next presentation we have coming up for Philadelphia’s Green Building United, we want people to really see this beautiful image of our home we have revolving around in our own heads.
That means we need to hunker down and pick interior materials and products. And if you are attempting to meet the Living Building Challenge, that does not result in: “oh, let’s just go to Home Depot and see what we find today…”
When I look for a fridge, I need to know where exactly it is manufactured, does it have a Declare Label, does the refrigerator use any HFCs or does it rely on R600a (which has a lower global warming potential), and is the refrigerator itself made with any Red List chemicals? Not to mention if the fridge comes in the color and design William wants…oh! And how much energy does it actually use?
The title of this blog makes me chuckle…our whole house is one large problem. And the reason we are trying to build it, is to solve environmental and social problems. We are facing a problem, so to conquer another problem. Problems, problems, problems. The funny thing about it, is that the more William and I say the word “problem” to one another, the less it sounds like an actual word, and more like something that is just there. And we need to have fun navigating it.
Ready? Try it with me: Problem. Problem. Problem. Problem. Problem. Problem. Problem. Problem.
And now that you have thoroughly realized that you have wasted your time repeating something that initially invokes large amounts of stress…and in reality, it is just a ‘problem,’ we take a deeeeeeeeepppppp breattthhhhh….
….and we move forward.
So! What are William and I’s problems? More specifically, what are the large problems we need to solve before we begin to build The Seed? Well, large problems that don’t include funding…that’s a whole other problem on its own. Problems. Ten of them, for now, to be exact.
I’ll start this blog with a warning – it’s long. We of course like to make our blogs easily readable, but these ones are important because Shelby and I are also trying to understand what it takes to make a Living Building. So, you’re basically reading our research. Ok, warning out of the way, let’s do this.
Four of the seven Petals of the Living Building Challenge have been covered, Place, Water, Energy, and Health and Happiness. That leaves three to go. If you’ve read the past four blogs on their respective Petals, then you’ll know that meeting this certification will be filled with crazy challenges. We appreciate you all sticking with us as we talk through these Petals to better understand them! Believe me, we know they’re complicated. Imagine trying to figure out how to design a small house to these standards, let alone something much bigger.
To jog your memory quick, here’s that chart of all the Petals and their Imperatives: