How to Run a Building Like a Boss

by Cody Farmer

Unlike the government who spends every penny they possibly can on their budget every year in order to increase the budget the very next year; a real boss conserves the budget, stretches the budget, and makes every penny count! This saves the budget because what isn't spent in the budget can surely be invested in growth or put in the bank!  You can control a building’s expenses in a similar fashion. Many of our parents and our grandparents still around today knew how to run their buildings like a boss!

 

What that means is they try to do as much free as passively possible, because a building boss doesn’t want to pay for electricity! They don't want to pay for gas! they do not want to pay for water! That said, undoubtedly, it's vital that every building have these capabilities. So, what's this blog about anyway??

It's about turning off the lights, turning off the water, composting food wastes, opening the windows when it's cool outside in the summer to bring nature in.  We all know technology is slowly making us lazy until it does so many things for us, we get disconnected with our natural common sense. Meaning 40 years ago people understood how their buildings worked in order to be comfortable, especially in summer as they didn’t want to pay for air conditioning.

These days we've stretched the dollar out quite significantly and people are desensitized to paying high utility bills in uncomfortable buildings.  For example, my grandparents bought their house for $500 and they paid it off in 2 years. My parents' 1st house, however, was bought under a 20-year mortgage at a higher interest rate. Because people didn't make a lot of money back then, a larger amount of their budget was consumed by heating and cooling, water and electric bills. They knew how to run their buildings comfortably and with harmony in nature.  Harmony in nature means it's sustainably provided by nature: sun, wind, and rain compared to a lightbulb, fan motor, and chlorinated water. One is free, one is not.

Here are just a few of the many simple ways we can accomplish a good level of conservation at home:

  1. If it's light outside let the light in during the day when we need it. If it's not light outside and we don't need the light inside, turn it off.
  2. Turn off the faucet while brushing our teeth.
  3. Plan our meals and snacks so that we waste less food and then compost whatever bits we DO need to throw out.
  4. Unplug any devices that we don’t use every day.
  5. Keep a reusable water bottle everywhere we go.

In this world of abundance, we will surely lose track of conservation. Abundance is certainly the mirage that hides us. For example, it seems that internet is everywhere and more and more I find my life connected to a screen and what used to be software on that screen is now dependent on the Internet and the Internet is abundant. It is also very fragile because it requires electricity and it also requires the actual connection. So, there are 2 points of failure and my whole life is connected to that Internet! And if it fails, I can’t access my life!  It can be quite paralyzing for my entertainment, my control of assets and my connection to people.

Forgetting to close a window in the morning when the exterior temperature is above 72 degrees and rising can seem just as paralyzing especially when there is no air conditioning.  And if you have an air conditioner, forgetting to shut it off in the evening can be wasteful and costly, too.

In order to establish these healthy habits, we need reminders. Maybe we should put our technology to good use and set some alarms to remind us to perform these small actions. In turn, these small tasks will give us great reward in cost savings and in peace of mind, knowing that we’re doing our part to make our world a better place to live.

If you’re interested in more ways to save money, you can check out how we can apply passive house principles to your current home, or upload your plan sets for a new home so that you can reduce your energy bills to nearly nothing per month! We provide passive house services for Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, or provide passive house consultation for anywhere in the US. We exist for the sole purpose of helping you breathe easy, live comfortably, and save money!