Fire Victims Rebuild Greener Homes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As San Diego rebuilds from last October's fires, some victims are turning their opportunity for a new home into an Eco-friendly situation.

    Jacques and Marcene Lord lost the house in which they'd lived for 13 years to the October 2007 firestorms.

    "We knew within four hours of leaving it was gone, that afternoon," Jacques Lord said. "It was a lot of memories and ash."

    While digging through those memories, the Lords and others like them have found a way to improve their lives.

    "Let's turn this into an opportunity. Instead of a tragedy and a pain, let's build green."

    But the question was where to begin? Since the fires, the nonprofit organization California Center for Sustainable Energy said it has received hundreds of inquiries on how to rebuild green.

    "We try to provide them with as much information that they can understand in regular terms," said Lauri Walker. "We're not pushing one particular product; we're giving you the facts. We're giving you the information that is very basic."

    Among the options are more efficient insulation, better roofing and lighting. The Lords estimate building their home certified green will cost an additional 8 to 10 percent. They see the cost as an investment in more than just the environment.

    "Some of the fire survivors are seeing a half full glass where they say, 'Wow, now I can really build the kind of house I want to,'" said Irene Stillings of the California Center for Sustainable Energy.

    The Lords told NBC 7/39 they hope to influence a change in others with their green remodeling choices.

    "I'm not going to change that with one house. But I am going to be an example," Jacques Lord said.