Hope for the future

Here’s to a productive — and calmer — new year
(Photo: Jozef Micic, Dreamstime)

Here we are, staring down the end of 2020, and a lot of us are looking forward to the New Year with even more anticipation than usual. This year has been hard. At best, we’re a little shell-shocked by changing pandemic safety requirements, new workplace norms, future uncertainty and an election that seemed to go on forever. Of course, at worst, we’re dealing with the loss of loved ones on top of all those challenges, as U.S. deaths from COVID-19 keep climbing.

I didn’t think I’d still be writing about the pandemic when I first covered it back in March. I certainly didn’t think that would be the last time I met with any of you in person for the rest of the year. With announcements from Pfizer and Moderna in November that they’ve developed promising vaccines, hopefully we’ll be meeting again before too long.

We’re grateful that Gov. Jared Polis recognized the essential nature of builders’ work earlier this year. As such, builders and contractors were able to continue working with additional safety measures to protect workers and customers from COVID-19.

Related: A county-by-county guide to working through social distancing

This issue’s cover story focuses on indoor air quality and how builders can design homes to protect residents’ health. Even without a public health crisis comprising a respiratory illness and long periods of time stuck in our homes, homes that support improved indoor air quality are a valuable offering for buyers concerned about their health and their families’. Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Meanwhile, asthma rates have been increasing across all demographics since the 1980s.

As building codes get more rigorous, taking the extra steps to address air quality in a new home isn’t even much of a burden, says Paul Kriescher, vice president at PCD Engineering.

Kriescher notes that some builders are trying to optimize comfort and health for their buyers by adopting some passive house principles. We talk to experts in passive building about using this standard in Colorado.

Plus, David McLain and Alan Smith share what builders need to know about changing energy efficiency legislation and tax exemptions.

I hope that as we end this year, you’re able to move forward with optimism and hope for the future. It’s clear that our challenges won’t go away overnight, but challenge can become opportunity for creative, innovative companies.

Happy holidays to everyone, and I wish you all the best in the new year.

Danielle Andrus

Danielle Andrus is the managing editor of Colorado Builder. She can be reached at [email protected].

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