With apologies to my good friend Kermit, I have to say that for all of the good intentions of the homebuilder, many Green technologies and finishes are just beyond what most trades-folk are familiar or comfortable with.  While some plumbers are finally coming up to speed on On-Demand Tankless Hot Water Heaters, few if any know about tank-topping Hot Water Heat Pumps (although GE has started to refer to them in its futuristic “Net Zero Energy Home“)

GE Net Zero Energy Home

GE Net Zero Energy Home

– which happen to be about twice as energy-efficient as even a Tankless Hot Water Heater.

Electricians don’t know what to do with dimmable LED bulbs and fixtures and painters are still often tied to a particular paint supplier and don’t know the tradeoffs between the products available from various zero-VOC paint manufacturers.

The net net is that while this is a very exciting time to be building or rehabbing a home given the newly-available non-toxic and sustainable products on the market, there’s just no “we always do it that way”…the “way” has changed and each of us needs to do our own research to pick and choose components and finishes to get our homes as Green as we want ’em.

We just can’t count on service providers to know what’s what right now since all of the Greentech is effectively state-of-the-art.  Three to Four years from now?  Much of this will be mainstream.  Building codes like San Francisco’s Green Building Code will push all of the licensed contractors to learn the new ways or find a new career.

Until then…do your homework!