Greenbuild 2008 included the first ever Green Homebuilder's Day, a conference within the much larger overall conference. Homebuilder's Day welcomed old hands and newcomers to the field of green building, and the sessions were full. BuildingGreen organized the event, which coincided with the announcement of our soon-to-be-available, residentially oriented Green Building Advisor
That this day of educational sessions took place at all is a good sign for the future of houses in America and for softening their environmental impact. But in a general session on that topic, three speakers--Kevin O'Connor, host of "This Old House"; Tedd Benson of Bensonwood Woodworking Company; and Steve Kieran of architecture firm Kieran Timberlake--all expressed the view that American homebuilding is fundamentally flawed, and that the current mortgage meltdown is only one symptom among many.
In a brief view of American housing in the last century, O'Connor rallied statistics to show that our houses have gotten bigger, more elaborately equipped, more sparsely inhabited, and, in recent times, less urban.