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At Clarum Homes, we are passionate about environmental sustainability. However, “sustainable” is becoming a more and more widely-used word, so it is important to understand what it means and how it relates to home building.
There are some important distinctions to make when navigating these classifications. The word “green,” for example, is often used to generally describe anything intended to support the health of the environment. “Sustainable,” on the other hand, is objective and very definable. Sustainable literally means “able to continue without an end in sight.” In other words, any finite resource which can be used up, or any practice that can’t continue indefinitely, isn’t sustainable.
With that definition in mind, what sets a sustainable home apart from any other? For thousands of years, houses were built of on-site materials using design strategies adapted to local climates – and in that way, they were by definition sustainable. For example, the thermal mass of the adobe homes in the clay-abundant American southwest kept people cool during the day and warm at night. In England, where there was plenty of rain, soil and trees, they built wattle-and-daub timber-frames with a limestone plaster to fend off the wet weather.
However, as petroleum was discovered, the paradigm for home building shifted. People across the world began to rely on non-local materials, using designs that didn’t automatically result in a comfortable living space. The conventional home became ubiquitous – energy was cheap, the environment wasn’t a concern, and any discomfort could be relieved by tweaking the thermostat.
But today, not everyone is satisfied with the conventional model anymore. Many people are no longer willing to accept the inefficiency, environmental impact, non-renewable energy and unsustainable practices associated with today’s traditional home building. Which brings us to modern passive home design.
At Clarum, we believe that a sustainable home…
Sustainable homes offer a responsible alternative to conventional home-building, ultimately providing a more comfortable, beautiful, healthy option for you and your family.
Interested in learning more about Clarum and our process of building custom, sustainable homes? Call us today at 650.322.7069.