Size Green Homes
Small Home Is Greener, Green Building, Comfortable Temperature, Energy-Efficient HomesPlease Note:This website explains green building for a climate zone comparable to North Texas or Central Texas, such as the climate of Waco or Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. It is important to hire a green builder who is an expert in energy-efficient building in your climate zone.
Size IS Important in Green Building
A Small Home is Green
The environment is stretched to the breaking point. People marry and have children later, orforego having children at all. Budgets are tight and getting tighter. More andmore people live alone or with one other person.
Yet home size is growing.
In1950, America’s average square footage for new residential building was 293square feet per person. A study in Journal of Industrial Ecology showsthat the average square footage in 2003 was 893 square feet per person, an increaseof three times.
In that same period of time, the averagehousehold shrunk to 2.6 persons.
Why as occupants get fewer and energy costsskyrocket, are homes gettinglarger?
Fear of Smallness
As a nation, we are not only enamored of large,many Americans are actually afraid of small.
Sarah Susanka in her book Creating the Not SoBig House writes, "One of the most important Not So Big concepts iswhat I call fear of ‘too smallness.’ We’re so afraid of feeling cramped thatwe’ve gone to the opposite extreme and made spaces that are too big to find aspot to settle in."
She continues, "Meanwhile, the cozycorners–often unplanned, leftover spaces–are our favorite spots."
Potential homeowners also express another fear–afear that a small home will not be easy to sell. Lenders also think about resalevalue and fear financing what they consider to be too-small single-family homes,townhouses, or condos.
In manymunicipalities, homes under a certain sizeare prohibited, often out of fear that small homes will lower tax values and evenattract "undesirable residents."
Smaller is greener.
One of the best ways to reduce a house’s energyconsumption is to decrease its size.
Large homes consume more resources than small ones. They use moreconcrete, more wood, morecarpet, more drywall, and more paint. They consume more land, generate moreconstruction debris, cause more pollution, and use more energy during thebuilding process.
Green builder Vickie Anderson quips about energy use, "Think of dozens of constructionworkers driving their pick-ups to work for months while that large home is beingbuilt."
The size of a home has a greater impact on energy and resource use than any otherfactor, including the efficiency of the home’s equipment, the R-factor of insulation,and the type of windows used.
A small house built to only moderate energyperformance standards uses substantially less energy for heating and coolingthan a large house built to very high energy performance standards.
And more than anything else, a large home will always require more energyand resources to heat,cool, clean, maintain, and operate than a small home.
Small Ideas for green building.
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Note: The opinions expressedherein are exclusively those of the writers or other participants and do not necessarily reflect theposition of CyberParent,LLC. They are not intended to take the place of advice of ahealth, legal, or other professional whose expertise you might need to seek.This website explains green building and green remodeling for a climate zonecomparable to North Central Texas or Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, It isimportant to hire a green builder and an energy consultant who are experts inenergy-efficient building in your climate zone and who use the most up-to-dategreen building information.