January 27, 2006
by Canadian Architect
The first of its kind to hit television, Building Green is a new home improvement program about building homes that are healthier, more energy-efficient and better for the environment. Created by Kevin Contreras and Michael Mattioli, the new television series, which is coming to PBS this spring, spends the first season following the building of a state-of-the-art straw bale home in Santa Barbara, California. Each phase of sustainable construction is presented by Kevin, as host, who explores green building from all angles; sharing the challenges of getting everyone on board, finding the right materials and sub-contractors, showing the in depth “how-to” of building in this innovative way.
Included in each episode are signature segments: “Green Extreme,” “Inside the Design,” “Saving Green,” “Building Health,” “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” and “Easy Steps,” as well as visits from experts and hands-on how-to to help viewers take immediate action toward greening their own home.
Contreras, a builder and an actor with a long list of commercial and television credits, sees this type of construction as “building for the 21st century” and brings an authentic passion for green architecture to his role of host and producer.
“Being green in our homes, our transportation, and our consumerism is a far cry from hippies in mud huts,” said Contreras. “With our show, consciousness has gone upscale in a way that speaks as much to our sense of style as it does our sense of responsibility. This is a groundbreaking program and we are thrilled to share all we’ve learned about green building with our viewers.”
The show provides a wealth of knowledge in many facets of green building design, construction and decorating. Over the course of the season we see Kevin and his family choose renewable energy like solar, and install energy saving measures and energy efficient appliances that keep their home’s electricity, heating and cooling costs down. Building health is a big priority, and the show explores dozens of techniques for a healthier home, including low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paints, natural earth and gypsum plasters and of course more environmentally sound cleaning supplies. Saving topsoil, choosing drought-tolerant local plants, grey-water recovery systems and the capturing of rainwater in underground tanks called cisterns, for use in the dry season, are just a few of the landscaping techniques demonstrated on the show. At all phases of the process, from materials sourcing to technique to waste reduction and disposal, the Building Green team set a high standard in ecologically sound building techniques. For more information, please visit www.buildinggreentv.com.