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  1. #1
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    Default It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    Builders vs. N’Easterners

    This article was in the Big Builder Magazine regarding the Energy Bill going through Congress, and how it affects home building.

    But home builders should not rely just on their national and regional associations. Surely some of you CEOs out there are on a first name basis with your Senator.

    Unfortunately, there are no big builders in Maine, where both Senators, though Republican, are beholden to the disproportionately large number of "back to the land"-ers up here among whom being able to say one lives "off the grid" on organic food and who save water by not bathing is a badge of honor. These two mean two more Democrats need to be turned against their party. Senator John McCain (R. Ariz.), a past proponent of cap-and-trade, may be a problem as well.

    Of course, if you want to add 50% to 100% to the cost of building a home by 2014, well...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    Energy Codes going national? And only dealing with new homes, not existing homes.

    http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?newsID=9419

  3. #3
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    Default Re: It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    On the other hand..............

    How Green Building Can Save the Housing Industry

    Green is gold. Why didn't homebuilders get this idea? They could be building new homes again, employing millions, making inner cities and suburbs habitable and bring down the cost of housing for everyone.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    The perspective of the article is perfectly summed up in the phrase, "Unfortunately, there are no big builders in Maine." If only Pulte and Toll Brothers had a decent crack at addressing the North Woods -- then we'd see some results! And we'd probably have better leadership in Washington!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Holladay View Post
    The perspective of the article is perfectly summed up in the phrase, "Unfortunately, there are no big builders in Maine." If only Pulte and Toll Brothers had a decent crack at addressing the North Woods -- then we'd see some results! And we'd probably have better leadership in Washington!
    Martin

    Even though I am a home builder, you see what you’re up against. The big builders drive the entire industry and those guys are not interested in anything that increases costs of building, even if it decreases the costs of operating. I will admit a bit short-sighted, but you see what the challenge is.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    Allan:

    We've had an Energy Code since 1978, it started slowly and has developed over the last 30 years so it's hard to say how much it's driven home prices up, it did cause a lot of problems early on in the 80s with sealing homes up and dry rot problems, but we've moved beyond that now, from what I've read the current status is far beyond what the ICC's IECC requires. The big thing that looks like it's really going to increase prices is the Green Building Code which is going into effect the first of the month, in order to analyze this we've got to understand the difference between the two codes, I haven't spend much time studying it, I get upset when I try, but there are going to be all kinds of conflicts between it and the Energy code to say nothing of the structural building code. The few homes that we've built to so-called Platinum status are costing three times what conventional construction costs, for one thing re-using old lumber can be very difficult, every try driving a nail in an old DF stud! I would bet that that alone would more than triple the costs of framing a home. Take a look at the first LEED Platinum home and tell me how your framers would figure their time framing it? A builder built this as his personal home and he confirmed that it cost triple what a conventional home would have cost.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Dick Seibert; 07-11-2009 at 12:23 PM.
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  7. #7
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    Default Re: It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    I’ve been very intrigued by this particular proposal, 14X Stimulus. I sat in on a web conference with the founder not long ago and must say that it makes a whole lot of sense to me.

    http://www.architecture2030.org/14x_..._stimulus.html
    Rick Westmoreland, CGB, CGP

  8. #8
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    Default Re: It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    Dick

    The LEED's house you posted looks pretty good, why was it so expensive to build. It looks simpler than what I'm building now. Am I missing something?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    Allan,
    I am guessing that some of the costs are in all that glass. I recall some of your homes and do not seem to remember quite so much glass. For that amount of glass it had to cost quite a bit of money especially if it is a good window. Other thing is I am wondering about the huge overhangs. All that material and cantilevered stuff with the windows right under it cannot be an easy build. Then there is the stuff Dick mentions. I have yet to find a new stud or new piece of oak floor that costs as much as the reclaimed stuff. Maybe I just do not know where to look but it always seems to be more.

    Lastly, just about everyone who has a story about building Leed homes talks about the amount of paperwork involved. That cannot be cheap to process and keep up on. I seem to recall some guys saying it adds significant money to the process.

    Still 3 times the amount does seem like a lot.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    Dick the Cali Green Building code is strictly voluntary at this time.

    If you would like to be more informed on this go to the building codes commission website and check it out.
    If that doesn't get you up to speed give them a call.
    I was not so concerned about the confision but with the accountability.
    This is a beginning and hopefully as it is adopted in part (they do not recommend adopting the entire code wholesale) there will me modifications and adjustments.
    If everyone is building to the code it will not cause a burden to anyone.
    The argument that it will move home ownership out of reach for the average wage earner is more propaganda by the NAHB and their ilk.
    Cali Bill, when it suits me.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    Bill:

    The Green Code takes effect January 1st, less than 6 months from now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Greener Buildings
    The California Green Building Standards Code was approved unanimously by the state's Building Standards Commission on July 17, 2008. The standards take effect 180 days after the date of adoption and will be voluntary until 2010, when the provisions are expected to become mandatory, commission leaders said.¹
    Just as bad is the new 2008 Energy Code taking effect August 1st, a few weeks from now.


    ¹ http://www.greenerbuildings.com/reso...standards-code
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  12. #12
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    Default Re: It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    30% better than IECC 2006 is 'normal' for good builders, at least here in climate zone 4. Anyway it's not much of a stretch. You can still use .45 u-value windows here and meet code!
    50% will be a bit of work but we're doing one right now that is close, and we didn't try hard on the windows, they're just normal double glazed low-e.
    Like any regulatory change, this movement will spawn chaos for a while, then we'll figure it out and the products and trades will sort it all out. It's pretty doable.
    If cap-and-trade works the way it's supposed to, our clients will be clamoring for ways to keep energy bills down anyway! I'm with the economists who say a big energy tax would solve all this stuff without the regulation, but apparently that is politically impossible. I also think it could be helpful if energy codes or national laws specify efficiency levels for heating, hot water, and appliances--then all the manufacturers can get their acts together and it's easier for us.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    Don't worry Dick, just give the homeowner an IOU for R-45 sidewall and R-77 ceiling/roof.

    One shouldn't make fun of the water saving nor'easters as it may be because they are in the area of a Nestle, Pepsi, Coke, Lockheed-Martin... who have sucked them dry so to speak, all to sell a plastic bottle.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    The standards take effect 180 days after the date of adoption and will be voluntary until 2010, when the provisions are expected to become mandatory, commission leaders said.
    Expected being the key here Dick.

    I am looking forward to the day when you can link to this green cali code and point out that it is mandatory.
    Won't that be grand--you can really rail about that.

    If you have looked at it, the green code, you would see it is going to be a nightmare if not humorous to measure and enforce.
    Cali Green

  15. #15
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    Default Re: It's Those Damn Guys from Maine......:)

    Bill:

    They have moved the Green Building Code up to coincide with the new Energy Efficiency Code on August 1st, you can point to it and see that ti's mandatory, look at the book cover, "Effective August 12, 2009".

    As far as an enforcement nightmare, the building inspectors are close to being unanimous in their hatred of both the energy code and green building codes, they see them both as well beyond the health and safety mandates of the building codes, which are by law minimums.

    Get ready for a second plumbing system:
    GRAYWATER. Untreated household waste which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clotheswashing machines and laundry tubs. It shall not include waste water from kitchen sinks, dishwashers or laundry water from soiled diapers.
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

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