We’ve been avid fans of green building blog Jetson Green for a few years and it’s been great to see the site grow in popularity and influence. Founder, Preston Koerner, has always maintained a unique editorial voice that may be attributed to being based in Salt Lake City as well as being a credentialed LEED AP.
Recently Preston took Jetson Green through a complete redesign and he’s also announced a few editorial changes that should make Jetson Green even more popular among homeowners interested in green building.
We asked Preston to share his thoughts on a few questions including the current state of the green building industry and what trends he’s seen develop.
C&H: Congratulations on the redesign of Jetson Green. Tell us about the impetus for the redesign and what 2011 has in store for you.
Preston: Thanks, Timothy. I’ve been thinking about the redesign for probably two years. I wanted to showcase contributors and style image galleries. And, to be completely honest, I started to worry about whether Typepad, the prior platform, would be around in a year or two. So I took the plunge. In 2011, I plan to showcase some of the best green homes before anyone else on the web. I’ll also enlist the help of some new contributors for top-notch materials and technology coverage. Expect exclusive interviews with major industry players and guest articles from these experts.
C&H: You’ve been blogging in the “green” space for awhile now. What long-term trends have you seen emerge since you started Jetson Green and what trends are on the horizon that might not be on the mainstream radar yet?
Preston: Four years and still going strong! One thing I’m seeing is smarter homeowners. They can scrutinize certification to determine whether a home is actually energy efficient or water-efficient, etc. And they demand performance. They want a tiny house that embodies their scaled down existence or a Passive House that actually uses a small amount of energy.
Also, watch out for the home energy score. Perhaps this will make its way into MLS. At some point, the market will recognize the value in green attributes and find a way to reward it.
C&H: Jetson Green takes a global approach to green building, what countries do you see that are consistently leading the way in the green building industry?
Preston: This site may showcase a project from around the world, including Canada, but the audience for the most part is American. That said, it seems like there’s some good information coming out of Germany in regards to ultra-efficiency. Japan produces excellent design using little to no space. And Sweden has a lot of experience with prefabrication technology.
C&H: As a LEED AP you’ve certainly got the credentials for running a green building site. What is your take on the USGBC? Is there room for other types of green building certifications and should there be?
Preston: The USGBC is a high-class organization and heading in the right direction, as far as I can tell. It’s supported by some of the best minds in the industry. But there’s always room for other types of green building certifications.
Or, there may not be a need for certification in the future.
If I’m buying a new green home, I don’t want a color or a star or anything like that. I want to know how energy- and water-efficient the home is. I want to know that the air is clean and the home is healthy. I want to know how the home was built and what materials went into it. A system that provides this information will be valuable.
C&H: What resources do you consistently find yourself looking towards when it comes to finding unfiltered green building news?
Preston: I read the Charles & Hudson Green Building site, that’s for sure. I also like to hear what individuals are saying, like Lloyd Alter at Treehugger, Martin LaMonica at CNET, and Bridgette Meinhold at Inhabitat. I read print magazines — Dwell, This Old House, Bloomberg BusinessWeek — and tons of websites. If you’re looking for pure green building news, Green Building Advisor is a great resource. So is Green Tech Media.
C&H: For current and future homeowners, do you have any tips they should consider before investing in a green home or undergoing a green renovation?
If unsure where to start, an energy audit can be very helpful. The auditor will provide a custom list of things to do to increase efficiency. After that, the REGREEN website is full of resources. REGREEN publishes a strategy generator with all sorts of information tailored to the specific project. Otherwise, it’s always good to ask a professional for help. That’s why they’re professionals.
Thanks Preston! Visit JetsonGreen.com as well as follow them on Facebook and Twitter.