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Green building wiki
To provide access to the full range of solutions and advice in green building, there is a compelling case for creating an exhaustive green building wiki - either as a stand-alone effort or as part of a larger effort such as Appropedia.
There is no dominant wiki focused specifically on green building, but
History of wiki efforts to date
The main active wikis with a major focus on sustainable building are:
- Appropedia covers many aspects of green building, and alternative building, as well as affordability, renewable energy, household water management including greywater and rainwater systems, and issues for the surroundings of buildings, such as urban agriculture, permaculture, urban planning, and landscaping.
- Greenlivingpedia is focused mainly on urban sustainability in Western countries, including many pages describing green houses and commercial buildings; also covers related issues.
A number of other green building wikis have been set up, but most have been abandoned with little progress made. Still others are ongoing, but most have little content and little attention. Quality of content varies.
What is involved?
See How to make a successful new wiki - note that many efforts have failed, and that having a committed team, willing to work for the long term, has proven to be the most important factor. Even one committed and reasonably knowledgeable person is more important than publicity and initial funding.
Ways to engage editors are key - this is the greatest challenge of building a wiki. Appropedia works with university classes and interns (and the Appropedia Foundation is seeking to engage more). This includes students and academics in the built environment, such as architecture and urban planning, and related areas of design. This has proven to be a very effective way to create content and expose the site to students. Some students (although a small fraction) continue to edit after their studies end, but a larger number stay in touch through social media and personal contacts.
Resources do matter, however. If an organization or donor wished to commit funds to developing such a site (new or existing) then paid employees could make a huge difference, in content development, community management, and technical development. However, a committed team remains essential.