Human World

Fernando Pages: ‘Affordable and green go together in home building’

Fernando Pages: One of the tenets of green building is sparing resources – not using so much lumber, not using so much concrete, not using so many natural resources in the construction of a house.

That’s Fernando Pages, President of Brighton Construction, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Fernando Pages: Of course, when you use less to build a house, it also costs less. If you use less lumber, you don’t have to buy it. So affordable and green go together.

Pages builds low-cost ‘green’ homes designed to be affordable in themselves, without the need for government subsidies. Making that work, he said, takes intelligent design and fastidious quality control – from the nails to two-by-fours, to shingles.

Fernando Pages: And so, we really ‘value-engineer’, or study every single facet of the home construction to see where and how we can deliver a very high-quality product – energy efficient, durable – with, if possible, zero warrant calls. And at the same time, at the very, very best price.

Pages said the green building concept has caught on very quickly, though builders are still learning about how best to use the new green materials.

Fernando Pages: I think you’re going to see a very different construction industry 10-15 years from now than you have now. There’ll be a lot more sophistication, and it requires that the green building is really advanced building. It really is high-performance building.

The U.S. Housing Department contracted with Pages to build a ‘home of the future,’ which he designed to be efficient, affordable, and flexible. Completed in late 2007, it’s called the Omaha Concept House. The outer shell of the house, roof, walls, foundation are designed to last at least 75 years.

The interior, Pages said, is flexible. By taking the load off the inner walls, rooms can be easily expanded or added.

Fernando Pages: Walls can move. Light switches can be changed. Light fixtures can be put in different places, The plumbing, the air-conditioning, all the systems are organized in one location for easy access and easy remodeling. The house can shift from three bedrooms to seven bedrooms, so the interior of the house is sustainable in the sense that it can change. It is flexible.

Pages added that flexibility is important as future families of different sizes and cultures move in and out.

Our thanks to:
Fernando Pages
Brighton Construction Company
Lincoln, NE

January 25, 2009
Human World

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