Dear King County

I hear you’re having budget troubles. I know you haven’t asked for my input, but even so, I have a word of advice for you: cut this program and fire whoever is responsible for unleashing this video on an unsuspecting public.

EcoCribz? Really?

The only thing stranger than the name is that someone – anyone! – thought it was a good use of funds to make this inane video. Well, that and finding a family who was willing to participate.

H/T to Dori Monson.



Filed under KingCounty, Washington

3 responses to “Dear King County

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Dear King County « It's Only Words --

  2. Davidonkels

    Is it possible that the skinny clueless contractor and the richly-upholstered host have an off-screen relationship? This thing looked like a taxpayer-financed commercial for his company.

    The problems with this house as a ‘green’ project begin at the double entry doors, which open directly into the interior. Such door systems are notoriously difficult to weatherstrip in an effective manner, and those wood doors will move with the seasons, leaking air at times and not at others. In addition, the entry includes glazed sidelights, windows with energy-inefficient glazing.

    Upon entry to the Bangs’ home, one is struck by the huge spaces and high ceilings, and generous expanses of glass, all energy-wasters. The house would be about twice as green if it were half the size.

    I have a comment or two about the contents of the video:
    The Bangs get a silver star for taking out the upstairs fireplace.

    The air sealing and additional insulation are good things.

    The “no-voc” paint could be a good thing, but the owners chose an expensive brand. I’m betting that the product is, as the caption noted, a “low-VOC” product, which is available from any manufacturer.

    The panel products without “added urea formadehyde” are used by everyone, and have been for years. The stable adhesives used to bond plywood and other panel products do not “off-gas and off-gas.”

    “FSC certification” is just a way to make you feel good about the trees that were cut for lumber to be incorporated into your project. The FSC program, of course, results in higher lumber and plywood prices, and doesn’t much affect the rate of cut in the forests, which are privately-owned, so that the owners and investors have every incentive to harvest on a sustainable basis.

    I “deconstructed” a house in preparation for a large remodel more than twenty years ago, so that’s no big deal, either. ReSources will be glad to come out and remove anything useful, and the cost of donated material can be deducted from federal income tax. Everyone does it.

    Those LED can lights he showcased cost about $75 per can more than CF fixtures, and they throw off a lot of heat while using no less energy than a CF (compact fluorescent) fixture for an equivalent amount of light. If I were watching my client’s budget, I’d have waited until the cost came down considerably. The under-cabinet installation of LED lamps makes sense, because LEDs lend themselves to strip configurations. I used them recently in my own kitchen in the same location. (They’re available for cheap on Ebay, by the way.) As far as the other CF and halogen sources go, that’s standard. I’ve been using dimmed halogen lamps in my houses for thirty years.

    John talks about an “expanded hot water recirculation system”, but recirculation systems use more energy, not less, because they require you to heat more water. Some of that heat is lost to the conditioned space, but there’s no energy saving there, depending on the equipment used to heat the water. You might save a little water, but you use more energy in the process. Since water is cheap, I’d argue against the investment in the recirc lines, the pump, the controls, and the wiring.

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