When people think green architecture, most of us tend to view it as a new concept.
This is no doubt due to the growing public interest in environmental responsibility. It is hard to see its beginnings behind the rising crest of the past decade’s wave of enthusiasm.
The modern age’s stunning advancements raised the standard of living across the world in many ways, but our successes came at a serious cost. Our fore-bearers were not unaware of the damage being done to nature. Nor were they unconcerned. They replanted forests before deforestation was a word. They conserved land from development before the first planned suburb was built. They recycled and reused without recycling centers or green living guidebooks.
The fact that we still have a livable world comes in part from their decades of ecological efforts.
The Bible has a passage about not ringing a bell when you are doing good works. Perhaps that is why we do not hear too much about these pioneers. Whatever the reason for their lack of publicity, their diligence and persistence nevertheless made the promising frontier we inhabit today.
However, innovation is a messy process. It generates far more ideas that miss the mark than ones that hit it. But being off target is not the same as falling short.
Their hard work has helped us find the solutions we use today. By applying these new solutions to older designs and using modern technology and materials, older green-work can keep us moving forward.
But how does that explain why I was tossing around rocks in a hole? More neatly than you might think. The hole in question was built in the 1980s using a little known method of solar/geothermal temperature control. Our expert informed us that, for all the cleverness of the design, it wasn’t saving energy. Still, you have to improve the sun room you have, not the one you want.
We considered a wide variety of solutions that would fit our purposes and the budget. One way we found was insulation improvement. This is what that looks like.