Company News

Leadership by Example: Sharing Project Stories

placeholder+imagePosted on: 12/09/2021

Members and Friends - 

Recently, I feel I am seeing more specific experiences and lessons learned shared in our sustainable and healthy building space, and I want to say that giving this type of information to the wider community makes a huge difference. Leadership by example is great to see since it feels like good news or an optimistic bit of energy we can all benefit from right about now when much of the news is not positive. Examples also help those who are just beginning to learn about a green building topic, those behind you on the learning curve, and often even those who happen to be experts but in another segment.   

With a play on Halloween, we had fun asking last month what tricky or “nightmare” conditions you've seen that you would want to prevent others from encountering, or help them fix. Thanks to everyone who sent in “scary” building stories; keep them coming! We will keep reporting on these – many also fit in well with the idea of learning by example.  It was especially great to connect and to learn from some new people who hadn’t posted on Rate It Green before.    

I thought in this update I’d highlight some of the individuals, organizations, and companies who are sharing specific project-based examples for others to follow. It’s great to be able to show my appreciation, and also to help more people find this great information.   

  • Rate It Green has the privilege to host a wonderful article by Rebecca Kimber of earthyb, in which she shares her sustainable living and home electrification journey.   Rebecca talks about what she did and didn’t know when she started this work, and she reviews the equipment decisions she and her family have made so far, as well as changes she still hopes to make.  For health and environmental reasons, we need to eliminate fossil fuel combustion from our homes, and from all buildings.  Rebecca details how this process works and how it feels in reality, and in real time.  Practically speaking, most homeowners can’t make the shift overnight.  So how do we make these choices?  And, let’s hope others can learn from her experience having to deinstall a gas fireplace, and avoid the same challenge.
  • MetroWest Climate Solutions here in Rate It Green’s home state of Massachusetts recently hosted three homeowners presenting about their Home Energy Retrofit Projects as Case Studies, to decrease energy consumption and decarbonize, and in one case, to go all electric. All of the speakers shared great information, and I particularly enjoyed seeing a geothermal retrofit, since I most often hear about geothermal as a better fit for new construction.  These examples really push all of us to ask, "What can we do in our home?”,  "What didn’t and don’t I know?” And, “Who can I help with my own examples?” 
  • Matt Hoots and his team will soon break ground on the #1920sMakoverATL Deep Energy Retrofit - If you haven’t checked out the pre-construction virtual reality tour, it’s a lot of fun.  And this experience will be followed by an in-progress construction tour as well as the “final reveal,” so stay tuned!  I look forward to learning more from this project, and I also think it will also have a significant impact locally, as the first Passive House in the area.  This team is committed to sharing what they do and learn along the way, which is why we’re thrilled to be a media partner for the project.
  • Green building tours (often virtual these days) provide fantastic project-based learning. On December 7, you can virtually tour Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring’s Pennsylvania manufacturing facility.  And on December 8, Vermont Green Building Network will be hosting a FREE virtual tour of two of Vermont’s Greenest Buildings, one commercial and one residential.  It's also worth mentioning ZeroEergy Design’s recent virtual project overview/tour of a high performance1960’s split-level Massachusetts home, recorded and available on demand.    

As we head into this holiday season for many, let’s appreciate those who have made time to share what they know, and let’s keep in mind that the knowledge we have to give is pretty valuable --often more valuable than stuff. We have much work to do to make all buildings more healthy and sustainable, and we can only do this together. I truly believe that sharing anything you can accelerates this critical transformation. Please take the time to learn from a few of these examples, engage with people and organizations who have shared their experiences, and keep your thoughts coming!

Thank you,

Allison Friedman
Founder, Rate It Green

Twitter: @rateitgreen
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