We are delighted to welcome a new member to our BrightBuilt Home team of designers and high-performance fanatics. Meet John Green, who brings with him an enthusiasm for modular design, a dedication to efficient living, and an appreciation for Tilda Swinton (more on that later!). As a way to get to know him better, and to introduce him to our BrightBuilt family, we thought we'd ask John some of our signature pointed questions.
Tell us a little about yourself! Where are you from, where have you been, and how did you get here?
I’m originally from NYC. To be honest, Staten Island - the borough that most New Yorkers would rather forget. I grew up in southern Connecticut and, after a stint in the US Peace Corps, slowly migrated north until I got to Maine. I raised my two boys here and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Best home base in the world.
Why is Net Zero building important to you?
I started working as a carpenter in my early teens and have continued on and off, both professionally and otherwise ever since. When I was in the Peace Corps I served as an “Appropriate Technology” volunteer, which translated into using the available natural resources in one’s area to help improve the lives of the people who live there. In my case, that meant building water supply systems built from stone and concrete. The experience opened my eyes to the possibility of building efficient systems through the best available resources at hand.
When I returned to the States, I became obsessed with the idea of using hydroelectric power on a micro scale. Basically, I wanted to find a small, defunct mill to live in and renovate in the hopes that I could generate my own power for tools and life. That research led me down the rabbit hole of self sufficiency and the technologies that could get a person there.
At the bottom of that rabbit hole I discovered modular homes. In the early 2000s, modular home building was not generally recognized for its inherent efficiencies and massive potential to improve the standards of the residential building industry. Luckily, there were some persuasive proponents of the “modular model” at the time, and I got hooked. I knew it was the best technology for home building at the time, and that is more true today than ever.
Why? Because modular homes are built in the most efficient way possible on the planet today. They are built in a controlled environment which protects them from the primary danger that threatens any home - moisture. The manufacturers enjoy the economies of scale to reduce the price of the raw materials of the buildings and the advantages of their controlled environment to be able to offer safe, efficient high quality jobs to the skilled laborers that build the homes. Thanks to these general advantages in the process, modular homes are built to a higher standard at a much lower cost - with a vastly smaller carbon footprint - than any other method of building a home today!
Oh yeah, Net Zero! Once you add some solar panels and an HRV to a super tight modular home, we reach the goal - Net Zero!! Improving our planet, one house at a time.
If given the option, which BrightBuilt design would you build and move into tomorrow?
As a single “empty nester” (whose kids occasionally “need a place to stay for a while”) I love the idea of living in the smallest possible space for one or two people - with a possible guest suite over a garage. Many of our models could meet those specs, but I do love the look of a classic Maine Cape! I think I’d choose the Sterling with a garage, in a pinch. Tiny, but classic!
If the BrightBuilt Home team were to become stranded on a remote island, what role would you take on to ensure everyone’s survival?
I’d create shade. Not just with my body - I can build stuff out of random stuff. I also love to fish and hunt for shellfish. Oh, and I can reach coconuts.
A new sitcom about the daily antics of the BrightBuilt team has been picked up by all of the major networks. Who is cast as you?
I’ve been told I look like Anthony Edwards, Eric Clapton, and all of the tall, dorky, bearded comedians. If I was casting, it would be Tilda Swinton - she can do anything.
Who was the guy who played Hagrid? Probably him.
You have figured out how to place a BrightBuilt home anywhere; not just in terms of geographic location, but rather, on, under, over, inside, on top of, or beside anything. Where is the first place you set one?
I still dream of true self-sufficiency, so I think it’d be on a quiet lot, with a beautiful view to the south - so I could enjoy the solar gain and photovoltaics while strumming my guitar on the deck. The lot also has running water to the north, so I could run my hydroelectric generator all year long and sell power back to the grid.
Did I mention that it's in Central Park?
And most importantly: What fashion trend did you use to rock that you now wish you could delete from your past?
I miss the navy blue dickies, white oxfords and timberland boots with round toes of my high school years.
I had some alarmingly large tortoise shell glasses in college. Painful.