Josh Salinger

Joshua Salinger, Owner of Birdsmouth Construction

I started Birdsmouth Construction in 2007 with the goal of designing and building beautiful, high-performing homes that transform the built environment. My passion for building goes back to my childhood in northern Wisconsin, where I helped my father improve our house over the course of countless weekends. I became increasingly interested in environmental issues as I grew up, eventually graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in zoology and conservation. With Birdsmouth Construction, I was able to integrate my love of building and craftsmanship with my values of environmental stewardship.

The Emerson Street House, in collaboration with Rooted Investing, is very exciting for Birdsmouth. High-performing buildings that use little or no energy from the grid are more durable, more comfortable to live in, and better for human health. They are an integral part of the future Diane is trying to create. We share the goal of establishing housing systems that promote neighborhoods, increase density, and enhance the overall well being of the people who live in them. Our challenge is to make this kind of building cost-effective, and the Emerson Street House is a fantastic opportunity to roadmap the process.

Specifically, we intend to transform the Emerson Street home from an energy-intensive, leaky, unhealthy building into one of the country’s most energy efficient, healthy, durable, comfortable, and beautiful homes. We will strive for Passive House, Earth Advantage Net Zero, and U.S. Department of Energy Challenge Home metrics and certifications.

In addition, Rooted Investing is providing us with a great opportunity to achieve another key goal: to showcase this transformation and promote “open source” recording of details, processes, and materials. We’ll share what we learn from this experience so that others may learn and be inspired by these practices. To that end, we will partner with suppliers, the community, nonprofit certifying organizations, Earth Advantage, The Small Planet Workshop, videographers and photographers, local media, and others throughout this process.

In the United States, more than 47% of the energy we use goes into our buildings. The Emerson Street House will be an important step toward a new paradigm. We are eager to execute and document this transformation, as well as to provide Rooted Investing with a great template for community-based investment. Together, we hope to create a model that heals the planet while creating healthy neighborhoods and sound investments.