An average post-war home in 1950 was 983 square feet; in 1970 it was 1500pi²; in 2007 it was 2350pi². And it continues to climb. Encourage smaller houses, such as small cars, would save a lot of energy, but the building code applies the same rules, regardless of size and regardless of the energy consumption. Everything we use in a house requires energy, while leaving a carbon footprint and operating costs; we need to make us aware of the use of these resources to achieve savings of greenhouse gas emissions and energy.
From large families living in small houses in 1950, to the families of 2.5 people living in big mansions with turrets in 2000s, there is a giant step. Is it really better for the planet?
But how? If we continue to increase the size of our homes without meeting the energy savings, they will become very soon “dinosaurs” that only environmentally irresponsible wealthy consumers can afford. Rising energy costs and interest rates will be enough to initiate a turn? Maybe we need a new standard of absolute performance in the building code? Something that could be affordable for a normal family, as well as bigger projects with the same energy performance.
IT has become clear that the current code measure energy consumption relative to the number of square feet of space. Even the new 2.0 Novoclimat® still shy in real savings (20%). Given the growing stock of obese homes on the market in recent years, it becomes urgent to put on the table more stringent standards for measuring ABSOLUTE energy consumption at the end. It should not affect the richest consumers, they can afford a larger insulation, photovoltaic panels, and more efficient windows. That should help the poor; smaller more compact homes will require less energy to be effective.
Thus, the buyer of a monster house of 5000 sq.ft. can boast of not having more carbon impact than its neighbor of 1500pi². This is the absolute consumption that becomes the norm. This is the same standard of environmental responsibility, regardless of the budget.
Automakers around the world for several years now achieve a 180-degree turn. We already know that the future of our cars goes through a reduction in their size and consumption. Gradually, the gasoline engine, through diesel, hybrid and electric, the automotive world turns slowly but surely towards a new generation eco-friendly. Its contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas takes shape.
But what the world does not know is that the housing sector is still one of the stations of the country’s largest energy expenditure.( http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/climate-change/science/energy/energy-conservation-and-efficiency/) and (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/16-002-x/2008004/article/10749-eng.htm). The great movement of the home will also experience a profound transformation. We can already doing our part by choosing a more efficient and comfortable habitat, and changing our personal habits.