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The Boston Globe

Magazine

First Person

Extreme weather: Are our neighborhoods ready?

Preparing homes and communities for hurricanes, hot summers, and more is on the mind of Paul Eldrenkamp, owner of Newton remodeling firm Byggmeister and chairman of the BuildingEnergy conference.

I always wanted to do quality work, but basically everyone who goes into construction wants to do quality work. It took us a while to realize that quality needs to be evaluated in four dimensions — not just level, plumb, and square, but how it performs over time. Inevitably, it has to include a large MEASURE OF EFFICIENCY, reducing [a house’s] resource consumption.

A lot of the problem with the GREEN-BUILDING MOVEMENT is that nobody keeps score. I was Exhibit A for many years. I was calling myself a green builder before I was one. Now that we have some good scorekeeping mechanisms in place with regard to energy consumption, water consumption, durability, we’re just getting much better.

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