A recent study by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) concludes that constructing smaller houses is the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the residential sector. The report, commissioned by DEQ in collaboration with the Oregon Home Builders Association and Earth Advantage Institute examines the environmental impacts of:
- Extracting, producing and transporting building materials.
- Constructing and maintaining the home.
- Using electricity and heating fuels during a home's 70-year occupancy.
- Recycling, landfilling or burning the building materials at the end of the home's life for energy recovery.
With this in mind, it seems the concept of having a smaller house is catching on—even “tiny houses” are becoming quite popular. While a “tiny house” might not be for everyone, there are some financial, as well as carbon benefits to downsizing to a size that makes sense for your family when possible. Something to think about next time you are looking to move, or do a major remodel of your existing home.
For inspiration check out these local examples of tiny homes in a neighborhood near you.
Eli's - Ruth's Garden Cottages
Jeff and Brad Bloom "Tupelo and Sassafras"
Smith Tiny House