Virtually all the contractors who built the Shugar Ecohome were local, and in some cases even walked to the job site. Having a local team minimized gasoline burned commuting to the site, bolstered the local economy, and facilitated greater local sourcing of materials as the local team knows where to purchase materials that are close to the project. In addition to a basic truck, the general contractor used a Prius hybrid for smaller errands related to the project.
Electric vs Gasoline Powered Tools
Our project has eliminated all gasoline powered “gen-sets” for powering tools and air compressors. This was accomplished by running temporary power to the project site at the outset of construction, and by installing a single, large electric compressor, with hose bibs running around the perimeter of the jobsite, for providing compressed air to the nail guns and other pneumatic tools used in the construction process. Small gasoline gen-sets have no emissions controls and eliminating them from the job site significantly reduces air pollution generated during construction.
Material Sourcing and Reuse
Wherever possible (such as our concrete and wood supply) materials were sourced locally, reducing transportation requirements. We reused whatever materials we can during the construction process. For example, wood forms used for construction were made with screws, and subsequently disassembled, cleaned, sorted, and stacked in outdoor racks for reuse during the project. We completed our detached garage early in the project, and used this space as an inventory control area from which hardware and construction supplies were well-organized. This eliminated redundant purchasing and also sped construction. During the process of building a typical home, dozens of large dumpster runs often occur. Our low waste construction process, reduced the number of trash dumps runs by an order of magnitude compared to typical house construction methods.