Eva Longoria Talks About Green Building

Eva Longoria This is seriously lowbrow, and I’m embarrassed to join the likes of celebrity media, but ole’ Mrs. Parker has something interesting to say about green building.  She’s building a new home in San Antonio, Texas, and wants to go as green as possible.  But the builders have been giving her flack.  Apparently, the problems were so bad that the project was nearly at a standstill.  She said, "Everything is going to be environmentally friendly. We are going to install solar panels for part of the house. All our water is recycled for the lawn for irrigation. It was a fight with our builders; a lot of people don’t want change. But it’s worth it.

You can do most things for the right price, so I can’t understand the issue here, but maybe she flat out hired the wrong builder.  Lesson is, get people with experience.  Green building is high-quality building.  And Joe Dirt probably can’t do it.  Maybe we can blog about her home when she’s done?  Eva?!

  • http://www.green-talk.com Anna Hackman

    I can relate to Eva except when I built green it was 3 years ago. Lots of “you can’t do that” or not knowing how to use certain products, etc. However, I had done my homework way before we started.

    This was a new area for many of my subcontractors, but I thank my patient builder who road the storm with me as I held my ground.

    My first advice is do your homework and know what you want or hire a green consultant.

    Second advice is get a good green architect who can specify exactly what you want in your building documents and who understand what you are trying to accomplish. I can’t say enough about having detailed drawings which include interior elevations. (Every outlet, cabinet, vent, phone line, your furniture, etc is set forth on the plans.) There is nothing more aggravating when you are trying to figure where everything is suppose to go in the middle of building. Perhaps, you realize that your furniture will be blocking a register after everything is sheet rocked. Believe me, it is more expensive to have interior elevations, but worth every dime. (I know since I did not have them and my friend did when she built.)

    Also, when you interview builders, ask for references and find out if the builder was constantly asking to change the specifications (i.e. the materials). Also find out if your architect, builder, and subs have ever worked with the materials that you want to use. You want someone to be in your corner to make sure a product is installed correctly.

    Make sure when you do your specifications that your builder agrees to use the ones you listed when he or she bids on the job and the builder talks with his subs too. Also, have your architect come and inspect to make sure the builder is actually using what you specified. You will have to pay for this but well worth. He or she will know the little details. If your architect specified a specific wood, would you know you are getting the right one?

    I recently had a situation with a client where the builder’s subs kept asking to change things based on what they were use to using.

    Some builders will tell you that they know how to build green and that just isn’t true. So, do your homework, get good references, and have a green ally such as a green architect or building consultant. A good lawyer never hurts either. Although my advice is not full proof, at least you will go in with your eyes wide open.

    This is just my 2 cents worth. Anna http://www.green-talk.com

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