The world has changed. We can no longer proceed with business as usual. We have come to the point where we now understand the effects that our previous actions have had on our planet, our country, our communities and our families. We also understand that our actions today will have future effects. We have a choice: a choice to learn from our past actions and a choice of how to proceed in the future.
As we evaluate many sustainable building practices and materials, we understand that all "green" building materials are not created equally, and that making a home easier on the environment is not the only criteria for product selection. We have emphasized the creation of Healthy Homes because we realize that most materials that do not create health issues are also green materials, but the reverse may not always be true.
Creating a Healthy Home is part of a larger solution. By creating a Heathly Home and employing building methods that will not endanger the indoor air quality of your home, you take the steps of protecting your family from potential harmful effects of chemicals contained in many building materials . The larger effect of your decision to demand building methods and materials that are safer for your family, is that you are creating a safer environment for the people who make and install those materials. Therefore, it is safer for your community and for the communities where the products are made. Someday, as a society we will produce materials that are not toxic and that can be easily reused in the manufacturing of new products. In the meantime, you can make the choice to use non-toxic, recyclable or recycled content containing materials. You do have a choice.
Housing consumes approximately 20% of the all energy consumed in the United States. That energy consumption has a corresponding effect on total greenhouse gas emissions. We must make our houses more energy efficient, and the energy we use needs to rely on cleaner, renewable sources. Fortunately, we are also at a point in building technology where it is possible to design buildings with a zero carbon footprint, and this will only become easier in the future. We are commited to the Architecture 2030 Challenge to reduce the energy use of the buildings we design to meet a fossil fuel, greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 50% of the regional (or country) average for their type.