Green Remodeling Course Focuses on Propane

Update from David Johnston's "Green from the Ground Up" training series

David Johnston has been in the construction industry designing, building, and consulting on environmental construction for more than 30 years. He was the original designer of the Denver Metro Home Builders Association's Built Green Program. He was even named the Environmental Hero for 2004 by Interiors & Sources magazine (no word on whether a red cape came with the honor). In other words, this is a guy who knows his stuff when it comes to building green.

His latest venture is Green from the Ground Up an intensive two-day classroom program that teaches participants how to approach a home from the green-building mindset. Seminars cover indoor air quality, resource conservation, and energy efficiency from a remodeler's perspective. It prepares professionals to take the Green Advantage Certification exam.

"We go from foundations to finishes and by the end of the first day their eyes are rolling and their brains are steaming out their ears," says Johnston, who founded What's Working, a Boulder, Colo.-based consulting company that offers "visionary solutions for green building."

"And they love it. They've never gotten that much information about a house. Builders in business for 40 years shake their heads and say, 'I never knew I knew so little about houses.'"

Not surprisingly, with topics such as "The Green Building Tripod: Energy Efficiency, Resource Conservation, and Indoor Air Quality," the subject of propane comes up frequently over the two-day class. "I bring it up everywhere I can," says Johnston, "making the point that it's so much more efficient than electricity. Propane dovetails well with the new [focus on] zero-energy homes, which I think is the new green."

Johnston's course also dovetails well with the PERC's emphasis on whole home performance. Come fall, Green from the Ground Up will be offered in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Seattle, Southern California, and Providence, R.I.


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