Can we build it? America’s Greenest Builder

13 01 2008

For those of you without small children, let me introduce you to the greenest builder in America.

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Bob the Builder, on PBSKids, runs a full-service construction shop in Bobsville. Recent projects have used solar panels and daylighting for energy use reduction and straw bales for a high insulation factor. Bob, Wendy and their team of skilled construction machines built a recycling and composting center for the town and assembled a flat-pak modular eco-home for Marjorie who runs the sunflower oil factory. Bob’s own shop is an earth-sheltered garage with a green roof to house the machines.

Recently, Bob and the team won a competition to design a new master plan for Sunflower Valley. After seeing the submissions (the one from the architect showed giant glass skyscrapers planted all over the bucolic valley, and the developer’s idea was to build a big mall with lots of parking), Bob and the team stayed up all night to build a cardboard model showing how the new buildings could work with existing natural landscape, use recycled materials and be powered by wind and sun.

Of course Bob and the team won the competition and they how have the commission to build the entire new town.

While I applaud the use of sustainable practices as if it’s always been standard construction methods, does the only architect ever shown on the show have to be such an environment-destroying doofus. Hey, there are kids watching!

However, as I watch with my 3-1/2 year old, I can fantasize about how the team can renovate an old barn with loose plaster and peeling paint into a completed art-gallery (including hanging the art and arranging the food for the opening) in 1-1/2 days.  Sure, it must be nice that Bob has no payroll, insurance, permit, union or personnel issues to deal with since all the workers are friendly, skilled and colorful machines.

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….and my 3 1/2 year old runs around shouting REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE at the top of his lungs all day. That’s got to be good for something?

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