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Seven Ways Your House Can Be “Good” (vs. Bad): Part 5

July 20, 2012

This is the 5th of a 7-part series. Enjoy!

5.  A “Good” house is organized and designed to minimize the use of natural resources.  A “Bad” house casts a blind eye to where the sun is, which direction the winds blow, and how much money you spend heating and cooling your home.  The “Bad” house operates on the assumption that comfort is manmade and that by throwing dollars at BTU’s you buy the benefit of style at the cost of depleting fossil fuels.  Similarly, when a stock house design is set arbitrarily on a site, the landscape often has to be dramatically altered to provide access to cars and people, often removing trees that have been on this earth longer than you have and changing natural flows of land and groundwater.

The “Good” house has many heat/cool zones, and the minimum air mass to treat. It also is set on its site to limit its impact, rather than assert its dominance. Its size is set by need, versus style or ego. If the sun can help heat, or if shade is needed to help keep it cool, or if air flow can assist the heating or cooling of the house the design takes those aspects into account. Insulating over code, venting roof (and sometimes wall) cavities affects the house design, versus following in its wake.

Rule 4

Rule 3

Rule 2

Rule 1

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