Green America, Future Houses, Megahomes, LEED-EB, and Knowing Green Codes [WIR]

Week in Review

*WIR = Week in Review; a Saturday showcase of excellent links.

  • Anonymous

    The push to limit home sizes should limit home surface area per occupant, not total size. I hope the people pushing for such controls know enough about physics to appreciate this.

    • Preston

      I see what you’re saying DSMatthews, but the push to limit homes is probably equal parts environmental and architectural.

      On the one hand, municipalities want to limit the size of a home and your calculation seems guided to do just that. But on the other hand, municipalities and citizens want to limit the scale of a home so that homes all blend into the neighborhood architecturally. If you check out the image in the article linked to above, two homes suffer from both problems: big footprint and out of scale.

  • Anonymous

    Given that 90% of homes are an eyesore to me I will just address the functional and size issues. The problem with total size limitations is that a cube or sphere that is half buried can look small but actually have a lot of floor space without a large footprint, while minimizing surface area. Therefore any rules need to be sophisticated enough to encourage energy smart designs without limiting a persons freedom of expression.

    Context is also important, with tall deciduous shade trees providing a sense of scale as well as their aesthetic and environmental benefit. Sure they may take more than 20 years to get to a decent height but why think short term, that’s what caused so many problems that we have to deal with now. Which gets to another issue I have with building design, particularly prefab. Why build with only the next 20 to 40 years in mind? Why not look at a structure as having a hard core, with thermal mass, that can last for centuries, covered in a body that lasts many decades, which is sealed in a skin that can be recycled more frequently? The other nutty thing people do is put bedrooms on the top floor, where all the natural light is!! Put them on the ground floor or even lower, you don’t need light when you are sleeping, just ensure a good air supply.

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