The New York Times reports a welcome change: American home buyers are starting to turn away from the massive "McMansion" dwellings, and are looking for smaller homes with more amenities.
To its credit, the article cites a number of possible reasons for this shift, from simple leveling off (the average desired home size of just over 2,400 square feet is a close match for the average purchased home size of 2,300 square feet) to higher energy costs for heating and cooling to changes in culture and style.
Although nowhere in the article are efficiency improvements and home power generation mentioned, but this is still good news for those of us who want to see smaller environmental footprints as the norm. Solar shingles, super-efficient appliances and the like are increasingly seen as desirable features instead of "eat your vegetables" responsibilities, tying into the emerging market zeitgeist. This, in turn, could lead to greater demand, lower costs, and wider availability for people who otherwise might not be able to afford a greener life.
Naa all that happened is for a time people found more things to do and needed more rooms to do em in and now that phase is over.
In time we will invent something else to add rooms to do it in.
Dont forget the home originaly fidnt have bedrooms or kitchesn or bathrooms or dining rooms or dens or closets.. all those were fairly modern inventions.
Of all the "green" building strategies, efficient use of space is one of the least expensive and most powerful. I work in environmental architecture. I'm astonished by how seldom a client knows why they want a space. They're prepared to spend enormous sums of money for it, but can't tell a simple, clear story to themselves about what they'll do with it. After working with hundreds of clients for the last 20 years, I'd say that most Americans overestimate their need for space by 25 to 50 percent. The excess doesn't make them happier.
There are some simple facts of life.
The toilet is always too close to the bathtub.
The bathtub is always too small and the shower always too narrow and to short.
The hallway is always just narrow enough I crack my nuckles every week or so as I go down it.
Things that SHOULD happen.
The bedroom should have thicker walls so I can block out all the bloody noise. Specialy the noise of uncle bubba and his amazing prostate symphoney.
The utility room should have room for both a small eff set of washer and drier and a super duty set... as well as me my clothes baskets and everyone else who invaraibly decides to wander by as I handle my tighty not so whities!
My movie /entertainment room should be both big enough to sit everyone I know and insulated enough that ms rogala noseysnoot doesnt know what I watch even when its playyed at sound level 11 with bass boost at 3 am.
My puter room/bedroom sould be sound insulated enough that ms rogola doesnt call the cops when I play manslaughter xxxxvi mega turbo elite edition on my 328659653.1 sound system.
Oh and finaly my backyard should be large enough for me to burry all the bodies:/