Green Assessment Potential Score GAPScore for Homes

Welcome! From the Founder and CEO, Steve Pohlman

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Does your house have to be less than 2,000 square feet to be green?

No, it just means that it will take a bit more material and energy to get the building more efficient.  The average home size around the world is less than 2,000 sqft and the United States has the largest square footage of homes in the world.  European and Asian homes are comparatively less square footage because of the age of the structures and populated regions, older homes were built much smaller.  Many Architects that had grown up in the region had designed buildings with the existing buildings as models.  The sizes and shapes may have varied a bit, but the structures still remain visibly similar.  However the 2,000 sqft. house is easier to build and more efficient for family and personal uses.  Close quarters enhance family values and there all kinds of psychological studies on family growth and home sizes.  The amount of energy to heat or cool can be greatly decreased and efficiently handled in a smaller controlled space.  Many green design inhibitors and attributes that can be found in larger homes are virtually absent in smaller home designs. 

The size of the structure determines the amount of material and labor that will be needed to reach efficiency levels needed for lower costs overall.  It does not mean that it cannot become green.  It does mean that it takes a little more to do it and the amount of energy use to occupy the house will be more than an average sized home with the same insulation factors at a 1 to 1 ratio.  The energy used to heat or cool three 2,000 sqft. homes equals the amount of energy costs of a 6,000 sqft home with the same insulation and building techniques..  . 

The truth is that once a larger home of 6,000 square feet reaches Passive House Certification insulation levels, the amount of energy to heat and cool is decreased at a 3 to1 ratio or more because energy is not needed in certain time periods.  Weather patterns can vary your results.  In other words, the larger the structure with the improved insulation energy efficiency steps will cost less energy per square footage as it gets larger   Your larger home will cost the same amount in monthly utility bills as the small home without improved insulation when the square footage of your home is triple or more the size.   So, if a large home is needed for a family of eight and you thought you couldn’t be green, think again.