Green Building is a moral prerogative. It is amoral not to build green because to do so is to destroy the earth and ourselves. We must build green because it is the most ethical thing to do.
This is why building green and civil disobedience are so closely connected. The New York and Brooklyn Department of Buildings are understaffed, underpaid and overworked. They can’t be expected to take leadership on green building issues.
They are too busy keeping cheap and corrupt contractors and homeowners from killing themselves through bad building.
It is the green building community’s responsibility to take action in terms of defining correct building. This may or may not go against existing antiquated building code. If it goes against current code regulations we need to see it as a moral imperative to do it anyway and see it as an act of civil disobedience.
The following things go against current out dated city code regulations but should be implemented anyway:
high efficiency non UL rated LED lighting
using salvaged wood in new load bearing construction
gray water systems
shallow green roofs without building permits
pex tubing for potable water
rainwater collection for toilets and showers
Can you think of any others? Post below.
Your alarm bells might be going off but if the above list is performed by a skilled professional with integrity then the end result is better building than current building standards. If it means waiting after inspection to do them then so be it. We need to build better and we don’t have the time to piss around with bureaucracy to make it happen.
Through critical mass and popular opinion we can eventually change DOB code but we can’t depend on them to take leadership nor can we wait for them to catch up. The planet is in bad shape and we need to start cleaning up now. NOT when the building inspector approves it.
Where are you sitting in the bus? If you are still sitting in the back then get off your black ass and come up to the front where you belong. There is a green revolution happening and we need every seat to be accounted for.