We had an opportunity to sit down with green building consultant Carl Seville, also known as the Green Building Curmudgeon for his no-nonsense look at green building and remodeling. Carl just published the textbook GREEN BUILDING: Principles and Practices in Residential Construction and is working on the new LEED for Homes Guide. We jump into the the quickly evolving world of green home construction and fly over the many local and national green building programs he has worked with. Fresh from speaking at the RaterFest Conference in the Colorado Rockies, he gives us a sometimes surprisingly optimistic look at better home construction.
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Inhabitat: Carl you seem like a pretty nice guy, so how did you come up with the term Green Building Curmudgeon and does that really describe you?
Carl Seville: Well on one level it does. I find that I like to complain about things. I get very frustrated with people who are so positive about everything, like you run into people at the US Green Building Council or National Association of Home Builders and they’re just accolades and everything is wonderful and you know, nothing is wonderful. Everything’s got issues and so the whole idea of being The Green Curmudgeon, it was a combination of Frank DeFord’s Sports Curmudgeon, which is a sports character, which he does on NPR, and Lewis Black who is my favorite comedian. I desired to be a combination of those two people.
It’s just the idea of being able to be critical about things in somewhat of a humorous way and get people thinking differently. And the logo I came up with is the earth with a screw driven through it, which is just sort of my attitude that I keep working at it but there’s a piece of me that believes we’re sort of beyond hope. We’ve already gone over the edge. I’m doing the best I can to pull us back in, but it’s not really working.
Inhabitat: Have you gotten a lot of mileage from that?
Carl Seville: Oh yeah, all the time. It’s “You’re The Green Curmudgeon.” Actually just today at the presentation at the end, I said, “Oh, and I’m The Green Curmudgeon,” and one guy who I’d been talking to all weekend, he goes, “I didn’t know you were The Green Curmudgeon.” It’s pretty funny. In the blog, every once in a while I’ll really hit a nerve and it will really go pretty viral, but some of them are just interesting stories and observations on things.