Architect and writer Julia Brooke Hustwit came by our Brooklyn Green Show House for the first in a series of articles she is writing on the house for You can check out the first one here.

We spoke a lot about how the green building process differs from normal building. Just the word “process” seems a little alien to normal building and is more appropriate in say a therapy session.

But that is a huge difference between green building and normal building. Where normal building is about results and the bottom line, Green building values the process just as much as the result.

With green building not only is the bottom line important but it matters how you got there. Of course this involves ethics and keeping everyone harmonious but it is a lot more.

It is about the cradle to grave process of life. Where did the materials come from? Where are they going? It is no longer one isolated act where the home and it’s parts are built in a time vacuum. What is the big picture? How will this house effect people down the block, across the globe?

When you start asking these questions, and you must, then the act of building becomes just as important as the result. In fact, if the act of building was ecological it justifies the result.

For example, if you have one house with marble counters imported from across the globe and another house with similar counters that were salvaged from the dump, then the second house is much more a success than the first. Same result in isolation but different process in building.

This is a lot what the concept Build It Forward means. For example in Brooklyn as a green builder or green contractor you are not just retrofitting brownstones with a single end goal but rather building with an awareness that the house is part of a time continuum that comes from past influences and will help influence the future.

With this perspective of not only being connected to the past and future but being influenced and influencing, it becomes a lot more important to know WHAT those influences are. Are they negative or positive is a good place to start.