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Archive for the Environmentally Conscious Category

Should We Even Be Building Tiny Houses?

Today I came upon this little graphic and it struck me that maybe even Tiny Houses are too high impact.  As you can see from the graphic below, there are so many empty houses in America and so many homeless people.  Now this is certainly an over simplification of our homelessness issue, but it does beg the question: Should we be building new houses at all?

To me there a few reasons that I can think of why we don’t you existing houses and build new ones.  That houses aren’t in the location we want, for many people it is they aren’t big enough, we didn’t know about them, they don’t have the features we want.  These are many of the rationalizations we a society make when it comes to not utilizing an existing home and instead build a new one.  But the worst one of all is the fact that the vast majority of homes made in America today are cheaply made, lack aesthetic appeal, and there is no pride put into them.

One would have hopped that we would have learned our lesson with the market crashing and bad home loans, but in the past few years we have seen the emergence of the 40 year home mortgage.  Couple this with poorly made houses by the 10′s of thousands and I have spoken with several realtors saying people are taking 40 years out and the loan will outlast the house.

The other consideration to be made is are tiny houses that much more efficient to offset the impact you create by building one (however small) when compared to a larger house.  Heating and cooling are two things that I think you could make up the difference possibly.

What do you think, should we be build new houses?

What 7 Billion People Means?

Just in the past few weeks the Earth’s population surpassed 7 Billion people.  While that may seem like a lot, it is hard to comprehend the true meaning of it.  Here is an interesting infographic on just that!

Click image for a larger version

Richard Heinberg On Post Carbon Society

Here is a great video with Richard Heinberg who is a senior fellow of the Post Carbon Institute talks about his home a little and the impact of oil. What I really like about Richard is how he presents things, I have seen him before and he is very good at talk about post carbon society. He states that we aren’t going to run out of oil, but that we will be priced out of oil. Instead of arguing when peak oil will occur he often points out that within a 10-20 year window where it will happen it is pointless really to argue when, it is just a fact that it will occur sometime. So we better start thinking how we are going to tackle the issues that face us.

Y House

Another great solar decathlon house, this time from the China team.  This house comes in at $248,000 for the whole house, including the solar panels etc.

 

Solar Decathlon 2

Continuing in our series, we have two new videos of houses from the solar decathlon.  The first is from Indiana which is a great example of how a very traditional looking home can utilize these approaches. Next up is a house that severs as a contrast to the first, this is a very modern looking home that will be sure to stand out.

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