PREMIUM CONTENT

Efficient Dwelling - Small is Beautiful

July/August 2008
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2008 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
SHARE
Click here to read more articles about Remodeling
July 01, 2008
North Americans have quickly become the most-housed people in the history of humanity. The average detached single-family house built today has almost 2,500 square feet of floor area, and fewer than three people live in it. Each of these people has more than three times the space that new homeowners had in 1950.  In 1999 I saw a graph in Environmental Building News that showed what may be obvious to any HVAC professional. Energy use is primarily a function of the size (or more specifically, the volume) of the home. Technology can make houses more efficient per square foot, but what matters is absolute energy use. Reducing per capita living space is the single most effective way to reduce household energy use. We Have Some Options What can an individual builder do? If we work in new construction, especially with custom-built homes, we have an opportunity to influence homeowners to build smaller. There are so many reasons to do this that someone could write a book about it—everything from simple accounting (explain what each 100 square feet of floor area will cost the owner to heat, cool, and maintain over the life of the house) to aesthetic concerns (cut off some ...

To read complete online articles, you need to sign up for an Online Subscription.

Once an order has been placed there is an automatic $10 processing fee that will be deducted with any cancellation.

The Home Energy Online articles are for personal use only and may not be printed for distribution. For permission to reprint, please send an e-mail to contact@homeenergy.org.

Email Newsletter

Home Energy E-Newsletter

Sign up for our free monthly
E-Newsletter!

Harness the power of
HOME PERFORMANCE!

Get the Home Energy
e-newsletter

FREE!

SUBSCRIBE

NOW!