How the American Dream Home Spells Doom

What symbolizes success? A big home and a nice car? They may look good, but they mean bad news for our future.

Sprawling, two-story, conventionally built homes guzzle more energy than the worst cars on the road—but they don’t grab near as much attention. How much energy will our generation waste?

In the book Building Today’s Green Home: Practical, Cost-Effective, and Eco-Responsible Homebuilding, Art Smith says, “I was told, ‘We don’t build homes THAT WAY around here. Curb appeal only is what sells houses.’ I was advised that homes had to be large to be good…But, what is real now? Our global warming and rising costs situation are not just passing, they are the future reality. Building green should not be just the latest fad–it is a wise thing to do…We can choose to be smart or we can choose to leave a mess for our children.”

I want to clean up that mess. Green home building makes sense now and for the earth’s future.

(Read more about Art Smith’s experience with Thermocore SIPs here.)

Urban, Affordable SIPs Homes…Who Knew?

I hate stereotypes. Many people think of SIPs homes as rustic. True, SIPs are used a lot in timber framing. But SIPs add energy efficiency to many other residential and commercial buildings, too. And they’re definitely not expensive, as much of the construction market seems to think.

Architectural designer Brian Burtch is breaking the stereotypes. He’s designing and building an affordable, energy-efficient, modern home in the eclectic Fountain Square neighborhood in downtown Indianapolis.

Guess what he chose for the building envelope? (Thermocore SIPs, in case that wasn’t obvious.) On Brian’s blog, he explained:

The panels are manufactured in the factory and will come to the site and be tilted into place. As a result, they allow for more precise construction practices, quicker on-site construction, and less waste. Finally, the panels allow for a much greater insulation value than traditional 2×4 framing, achieving an R-24 in a 4″ thick panel as opposed to around an R-13 for a traditional wall.

If you live in the area, come see Brian’s design during the Architects’ Home Tour, hosted by the American Institute of Architects Indianapolis, September 22-23. It’ll be one of just seven homes on the biennial tour. See for yourself how wrong stereotypes can be.