Posted by: Jim Blahut | February 18, 2010


The term “sustainable” has come to reference the renewable qualities of the raw materials being considered.   A biproduct of “green” thinking.  For me sustainable construction is quite different when considering present construction. Generally speaking, after a homeowner finishes paying off a 30 yr. mortgage, it is not uncommon for the house to be in a state of disrepair.  Further, it is not uncommon for homes to be demolished rather than renovated under such a scenario.   I have seen this first hand in the neighborhoods I grew up in built in the 1970’s.  Think about that the next time you consider the long-term environmental impact of a building.

Sustainable to me has to do with a building’s ability to endure.  It has to do with how well it is designed, the materials used, and the quality of the installation.  It is a concept defined in years not dollars.

It is important for the interior finishes of a home to look nice but in reality, given a generation or so, it will be viewed as outdated an most likely replaced with something more current.  The exterior on the other hand is a different story.  Windows, doors, siding, roofing, and trimwork don’t only need to look nice, they create a protective envelope for the home, shielding it from exposure.  Further, exterior elements don’t change over the years like its trendier interior counterpart.  The concept of the Perennial Home embraces this reality and uses it as the central principle of home design.   The exterior is designed and built for a purpose, to look good and last a long, long time.

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