Although, as I noted in my last post, it is challenging sometimes to find tradesmen with expertise in WaterSense plumbing fixtures, Heat Pumps, or the like, it is definitely a whole lot easier to go Green in residential construction in 2009 than it was just a year or two ago.

When we started our 394 Frederick project in 2007, there was only one vendor on the market that offered a recessed ceiling fixture (can light) using LEDs, Permlight.  Now Permlight no longer makes consumer LED products, but there are at least 3 or 4 other providers with products on the market – all dimmable, some even in a modern and stylish 4″ form factor, and all offering both compliance with California’s Title 24 Building Code (which requires 40 lumens of brightness per watt – something previously only possible with mercury-laden fluorescents) and comparable light output to your typical 50 or 65 watt incandescent reflector bulb.  As the Republicans and President Obama (=^) always say – it’s about choice and competition driving innovation up and costs down.

The same is true for motion-sensor dimmers.  Just a year ago there was just one on the market.  Now theWaterSense Logore are 3 or 4 of those.  Ultra-low-flow shower heads and faucets that meet the EPA’s WaterSense requirements (1.5 gallons/min for a faucet, 2 gpm for a shower head)?  Virtually none in 2007, now nearly every major fixture manufacturer has a selection. A limited selection to be sure, but some choice is out there.  2010?  Probably a whole lot more choice.

The times they are a changin’ (thanks to my dog Dylan’s namesake)…and it’s getting easier and cheaper for all of us to make the changes in our homes that will help us reduce our footprint on the planet, leaving a less-trodden world for our progeny and the other species with whom we share this blue marble.