Thursday, September 17, 2009

--From the WSJ: "Turf Wars"

Today's Wall Street Journal reports that a debate is raging between the EPA, state water control authorities, and businesses dependent upon the lawn maintenance industry. Many local municipalities are encouraging their residents to switch to low-water intensive landscaping by offering credits on their water bills for square footage of lawn eliminated. Companies that manufacture landscaping equipment and fertilizer fear this will lead to a label like "Energy Star" that homebuilders use and homebuyers demand. I, for one, certainly hope it does. (Unless people start paving their lawns like in the Bronx, which is just the worst idea ever.)

What interests me principally is why local authorities can make the connection between tailoring a lawn to the area's climate, but not tailoring the house to it as well.

Here's for tax credits and other incentives that reward homebuilders for such logical decisions as property orientation, design, and implementation of passive heating/cooling/lighting techniques appropriate to their region. (You'll save as much on electricity as you do on water...by far!)

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