What makes up a net-zero house?
Seth Lawrence-Slavas ’17, ’19MA, CEO of Wright Builders, builds in western Massachusetts with a long-term view, solving not only immediate housing shortages but also making sure we don’t end up with the same problems in 30 years. That means looking at existing buildings and figuring out how to make them cost-effective and more sustainable. Each case is different, and Lawrence-Slavas relies on software and low-carbon materials to help make decisions that have the lowest impact on the climate.
Long-term thinking is at the core of Lawrence-Slavas’s building philosophy, and that starts with the impact his projects will have on the planet. “We’re trying to do no harm here,” he says. “We’re not just building code-minimum buildings that are going to last 30 years and then need to be replaced.”
Built into this long-term thinking is the idea that buildings should be efficient and fitted with the latest clean-energy technology to keep the cost of living low. “What people talk about in affordable housing is also that once you get people into that housing, there are still continual costs. So, eliminating energy costs, creating efficiency, that type of thing, it actually makes those building projects more feasible.”
So, how can you build a more sustainable house and save money? Here are some great places to start.