This video is an interesting perspective about how with all of our technology and innovative materials, the house itself has not evolved very much even though the concept is as old as man. Think about the house your great grandparents lived in, now consider your own house, how different is it really? Slightly better insulation, their wood stove is now replaced with your central air, upgraded plumbing. There are homes in 200 year old homes in England that are earthen structures that have a significantly higher R value than our homes. Central air is certainly nice, but only add convenience and older home were smaller, so easier to heat to begin with.
For a 100 years of innovation we haven’t made huge leaps. Consider the first telephone compared to a cell phone. One was expensive, didn’t work well and was a piece of furniture; a cell phone is pocket sized, plays music and movies and currently 82% of US residence have one. In the world of cell phones there has been huge strides, but in houses not so much. Perhaps this is an apples to orange comparison, but I think many would agree, we have made many fine tuning changes, but not nearly what we see in other sectors.