Photo: Zack Frank, Smithsonian American Art Museum. License: CC BY 3.0.
We can debate all day about how to calculate the environmental and health impacts of products, but they all have a footprint. So using less is always a good idea—as long as that doesn’t compromise performance.
Doing more with less takes knowledge and attention: it’s about investing in human resources instead of wasting natural resources. And since our small planet has more humans every day, we’re not likely to run out of them anytime soon.
Key strategies to consider:
exposing the structure rather than layering on finishes
Prefabricated housing offers several potential environmental benefits, including reduced transportation impacts, reduced waste, and quality control for better durability and performance. Aside from a few industry leaders, however, most manufacturers do not take full advantage of those efficiencies to create affordable high-performance houses.