Some weight to sustainability

Author overcomes skepticism, builds net-zero residential development

Story by Chris Graham

Stu Rose has an interesting authenticity to his musings on sustainability. The author of a recent book on sustainable living admits to being “a little jaundiced” when it comes to the buzz words that people throw around.

“I’m a little jaundiced when it comes to terms like ‘green’ or ‘environmentally friendly’ or ‘ecofriendly’ or ‘energy-efficient,’ because they’re not measurable terms,” said Rose, the author of Sustainability: A Personal Journey to a Built Sustainable Community … and an Amazing Picture of What Life Will Soon Be Like, in an interview for the Monday, Feb. 22 installment of The AFP Show podcast.

Rose, a registered architect with degrees in structural engineering and organizational development, came to sustainable living through observation, you could say. What he saw in work and his readings on what was going on in the world in the 1990s helped him get over his early feelings that “sustainability” was a word that environmentalists were using to avoid having to talk about spotted owls.

“There’s a lot of issues I can’t tackle, not being the king of the world. So I thought, Is there something I could do? And I thought, Well, why not create a house that is totally sustainable?” Rose said, and that’s what he set himself to doing.

And then he got more ambitious. With a business partner, Rose has built a small sustainable community of homes that are designed to provide 100 percent of the heating, cooling, power, water and improved air quality with what comes naturally to the home site.

“My goal in writing this is to provide a real, practical and positive picture of what we can do to make it through the coming transition – and realize a fantastic new way of living,” Rose said.


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