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Burned Homes Should Be Rebuilt Green, Lack Says

Lack Construction president asks Schwarzenegger to promote green elements during renewal phase.

Lack Construction president David Lack took advantage of his participation at the Governors’ Global Climate Summit in Beverly Hills to pitch Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the idea of rebuilding green after the Tea Fire and other Southern California wildfires.

Lack spoke personally with Schwarzenegger on Wednesday and, after thanking him for his support for Santa Barbara during the Tea Fire, urged that destroyed homes be rebuilt with green features and processes. Schwarzenegger indicated his agreement, calling the proposal “a very good idea.”

“These fires are a devastating tragedy for thousands of Californians, but from this devastation we can salvage something positive for our future,” Lack said.

“We can rebuild homes that are less prone to fire, more energy- and water-efficient, and built with materials and procedures that are sensitive to the environment.”

Moreover, based on his experience in tear-down rebuilding and mold remediation, Lack said he believes there may be an opportunity to recycle some materials from the fires rather than add to landfills.

Lack, who attended the summit at Schwarzenegger’s invitation, is a longtime proponent and financial supporter, locally and nationally, of the green building movement. Lack Construction was Santa Barbara’s first construction company to staff professionals accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program. The firm also adheres to a set of Green Best Practices, developed by its associates. Earlier this year, Lack met with President Bush and encouraged him to build his presidential library to the highest (platinum) LEED standards.

“Rebuilding the homes destroyed by the fires with green products and processes, thereby making them energy-efficient and environmentally sound, should receive the utmost consideration by homeowners,” Lack said. “Incorporation of such features should not prevent a homeowner who lost a home in the fire from receiving fast-track permitting by local government.”

Lack urged all architects, contractors, sub-contractors and material suppliers to support the effort to rebuild green by helping displaced homeowners make smart decisions about how to make the rebuilding of their homes more green than the homes they lost in the fires.

“For example, strong consideration should be given to using recycled and regionally manufactured materials, which not only minimizes transportation costs but reduces the carbon footprint of the project,” Lack said.

Jim Gazdecki is Lack Construction’s public relations representative.

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