The Home as a System
I've been watching a new home go up just down the street. It's fascinating to watch the structure take shape ... from a rectangular hole in the mud to a neat looking 2 story plywood-sided house (they haven't quite finished building). I've always been interested in design and construction - I often wonder whether I should have pursued a career in architecture.
I'm also really excited by the notion that the choices builders make at time of planning and construction can impact energy consumption for years and years down the road. In a future where energy becomes more scarce and hence, more expensive, energy efficient home building is going to become very important.
The home is a system ... a group of interrelated elements that form a complex whole.
During the construction phase, if a home is not properly sealed and insulated that home will become more expensive to heat ... because heat will escape more easily than it might have. Every decision made during the design and build phase of home building will impact energy consumption and cost. Spending more to seal a house properly during construction will prove to be a very high ROI type decision for the owner down the road.
I hope one day to build my own energy efficient home. You can be damn sure it will be south-facing, air tight and renewable powered.