Editor's Note: The following column was published in the Oklahoma Builder Magazine
By Mike Means
OSHBA Executive Vice President
As I write this, I can't help but reflect on my now 11 years as your state EO. It has been a tremendous ride and I have enjoyed every moment. I have also learned a tremendous amount about the building industry.
We all know that there is more to green building than just energy efficiency, but we also know that energy efficiency is one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle.
I have always been intrigued by energy efficiency. One reason is having once owned a house that was built in 1920 and still had the original windows.
Original windows on a home that old add character. It also adds extra dusting to your cleaning routine. The character comes from seeing the waves in the glass and the little air bubbles that might have occurred in their manufacture.
Old windows allow the bright sunlight in on a cool spring morning, making the old couch a cozy place to sit and read the paper.
But old windows allow the summer heat to shine through and you listen to the whir of your air conditioner try to keep up. Old windows mean a higher electric bill.
So, back to my intrigue about energy efficiency. We sold that old house and built one out in the country. This was 1994.
The rural electric coop wanted me to do something called geo-thermal. Sounded interesting.
So I started some investigating. I was convinced it was the thing to do. But I had already started the project and had already blown the budget by adding wood floors to two extra rooms and increasing the driveway by a few hundred square feet.
It just wasn't meant to be. But I never got over my intrigue.
Then as things changed and I came to work for the HBA, I got immersed in our Green Building Summit and our Energy Efficient Tax Credits and the NAHB Green Standard and the utilities' Demand-Side Management programs and wow, was my intrigue rewarded!
Energy efficiency is a way of life for most builders.
Now, add to that the OUBCC with its code cycles and then the government's mandates to try and increase energy efficiency. Intrigue has just turned to conspiracy. Well, that may be a little harsh.
Builders will build what the public wants. What the public wants sometimes is not in their best interest. That's where our education comes into play.
The more we learn about the science behind energy efficiency -- and green building -- the more we can help educate our buyers so that what's in their best interest is in what they want.
Energy? Get some, but not too much.