The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) released a report today on an evaluation of waste prevention practices using life cycle analysis. The report focused on 30 different measures and the impact they could have on our environment over a 70 year span. We thought some of these measures might fare favorably. Such include advanced framing, using salvaged materials, drywall clips, and other such resource efficient methods. Of all the measures focused on though, the winners were smaller homes and multi-family living. This would make sense since the measures we favored would tend to have more of a point of use impact whereas the clear winners would have more of a lifetime impact. You can read the full report on ODEQ's website.
In this case, smaller home means 1149sf, half the size of the national average. Istockhouseplans finds this rather exciting since our average designed house size is tending that direction. We noted last December that average house size has peaked and is on the slide. While not all the chips are falling immediately into the tiny house movement, it's encouraging to see the push this direction. We hope that large home builders will be able to reduce their house sizes by using some of the techniques that the tiny house design community has put forth. We will continue to work on our plans adding more 700sf and smaller plans as time allows.