A few years ago, my crew and I sat down for an informal lunch with our friends at Horizon Residential Energy Services, a local energy auditing company we work with frequently here in Portland, Maine. We were brainstorming about how our companies could better collaborate when the subject of frequent challenges came up. The more we talked, the more we realized the issues our two companies face are the same ones that all local companies working on energy efficiency and "green building" face.

So why, we wondered, are we working in isolation? All of us work on the same housing stock, confront the same economic pressures and client expectations, and use the same available technology and techniques. Wouldn't it be more productive to get together as a community of designers, builders, and consultants to share our successes and failures?

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