One thing we’re noticing here at BuildDirect is that bamboo flooring is really coming into its own, not as something of a substitute for hardwood, but in a league by itself. Most of this enthusiasm is spearheaded by homeowners looking to use sustainable materials in their projects.
Sustainability is becoming a cultural mindset for a lot of homeowners, and approaching a building project is not as it once was. There are now all kinds of considerations about how carbon footprints must be minimized being thrown into the decision-making mix. Global awareness, for many, has changed everything.
Yet not for everyone, according to some sources. From what I’m reading, it seems like the green building movement is currently championed by high level industry parties – organizations like USGBC, architects, big time builders – but not so much for the independent contractor who generally sticks to more traditional choices.
Here’s an article from sustainablebusiness.com which talks about this observation from the floor of the GreenBuild Conference this year. From that article:
There were plenty of green architects, green designers and larger corporate customers, but I didn’t notice many people from small constructions firms or representing the trades. From what I heard people talking about, one of the problems for the green building industry is there’s still a hole at “Main Street.” Although there’s strong demand from the public for green features in home renovation, the average tradesperson doesn’t have the knowledge, skill and access to green products and green construction techniques. Either tradespeople aren’t getting the green message or they’re still resistant to change. Customers seem to still have to drag their contractors to the altar of green.
I wonder if attendance at one of these types of conferences is indicative of the home renovation and construction population as a whole. It could be that it isn’t, and there are more independent contractors promoting green building and materials like bamboo flooring than this article indicates.
But, if the cross-section of attendees is representative of the whole, it will be an interesting to see how the architects and other parties who have bought into green will convince the people on the ground actually doing the renovations.