A home destroyed in the Woolsey Wildfire. Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Fire Dept.

Making a Positive Environmental Impact Rebuilding California's Homes After Wildfires

Although the relieving news broke that the fires were 100 percent contained, the devastating impact of the most recent California wildfires—the Camp Fire in Northern California and the Woolsey Fire in Southern California—confirms this years’ outbreak as the most deadly wildfires in California’s history, with at least 91 deaths and around 1,000 missing persons reported.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, plans for rebuilding homes and restoring communities are well on their way and the conversations builders, developers, and policymakers are having focus on what can be done differently to prevent these tragedies from happening again.

Today Build It Green’s mission is more relevant than ever, as we aim for a future where healthy home building is essential to creating positive changes in these times of the climate crisis and public health issues. Build It Green’s vision is for all people to thrive in homes that enhance our well-being, protect our environment, and ensure a stable and prosperous future.

Safe, affordable, and healthy housing is foundational to enabling quality of life for individuals and families. In an effort to work towards building homes that accomplish these goals and help combat climate change here are three key factors that can make a difference in rebuilding California.

A U.S. Forest Service Ranger Evaluates a destroyed neighborhood in the Camp Fire region. Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.
  1. Building Homes that Combat Climate Change

Climate change threatens our safety and prosperity. We must change the way we design, build, and upgrade our homes to decrease carbon emissions dramatically. In doing so we can make a difference in the ever increasing issues we are facing with water, energy, wildlife, agriculture, ecosystems, and human health.

  1. Homes with our Health and Safety in Mind

Millions of people all over California were exposed to dangerous air quality like never before. After the fires, neighborhoods remain plagued by hazardous chemicals, ash and debris. Lead, asbestos and other toxins could leach into water supplies and soil. We must remember that these toxins were once inside people's homes.

Build It Green sees an opportunity through our programs like GreenPoint Rated, to support advanced building practices and to provide these areas in need of rebuilding with homes that are healthy, comfortable, durable, and resource efficient.

  1. Keeping Energy Costs Low for Affordable Housing

California is facing a housing affordability crisis which these fires are exacerbating. We must rebuild homes that are affordable, especially for vulnerable populations. Building high-performance homes that maintain lower utility bills makes housing more affordable for all.

How Can I Help?

Make sure your Home is Energy Efficient:

Make a difference by committing to creating a home that is energy efficient, and healthier, find a GreenPoint Rater here.

Make a Donation:

In an effort to bring relief and make a difference in the lives of those impacted, we encourage making a contribution to these reputable organizations working in Northern and Southern California:

Alex Coba

Communications Associate

As a proud California native from Stockton, Alex brings a wealth of experience and a versatile skill set. He has a solid communication background with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations from California State University, Chico. Alex is adept at strategic communications and media relations, with experience gathering and sharing stories from his local communities that uplift the unique spirit and values of those places. He is excited to join Build It Green, where he can apply his talents to further BIG’s mission to help communities across California thrive.