The new generation of green builders
Joe Rios typifies a new generation of environmentally conscious workers who are thinking green.
Meet Joe Rios, known around here at Sheep Dog Hollow as “Joe Gas.” In his early 20s, he’s in the vanguard of a new generation of builders with a green consciousness and a determination to keep on the cutting edge.Skip to next paragraph
Alexandra writes about the "green" and budget-friendly renovation of a 100-year-old farmhouse in south-central Connecticut.
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As he was growing up, it never occurred to the Connecticut native that he’d get involved in environmentally conscious building. Nope. He was going to be a diesel mechanic and work on the big rigs.
But he fell into a job working at a natural gas company. Then he met Tony Silverio, who owns a heating and plumbing company in Old Saybrook, Conn., that specializes in geothermal heating and cooling systems and other green technologies, such as natural gas-fired tankless water heaters.
“When I got on with Tony, I did a lot of classes with the Noritz hot water heaters and other things like that, that started me up thinking about [green building],” Joe says as he puts the finishing touches on a basement wall where he’ll install one of the gas fired Noritz tankless water heaters here at Sheep Dog.
“I think differently in a big way now. Everybody should go green," he says. "It makes a big difference costwise – upfront costs are a bit more but in the long run it pays out more – you save.”
I mention Joe because of an article sent to me by my editor. It has a grim headline: “US loses opportunity with home energy efficiency.” It’s actually a good piece that talks about the Environmental Protection Agency’s success in getting up to 20 percent of the new homes built in the US in 2009 certified with an Energy Star rating, which means that they are “20 to 30 percent more efficient than typical houses.”
But then the article takes a turn for the pessimistic:
Despite the EPA's gains, some 99 percent of American houses are "sick" – damp, drafty, dusty, noisy and expensive to heat and cool – and could be made at least 30 percent more energy-efficient with highly cost-effective, tried-and-true energy-efficiency improvements…