Residential Single Family

Red Box house, Eagle Rock, California

Photo: Jeremy Levine Design. License: CC BY 2.0.


Unlike multifamily buildings, detached single-family homes are not inherently green and have an uphill climb to get there. A lot of considerations go into building, renovating, or maintaining a green single-family home:

  • home size
  • energy efficiency and onsite renewables
  • water use and reuse
  • site and location
  • hygrothermal performance
  • products & materials
  • indoor air quality
  • thermal comfort
  • passive design
  • whether to pursue certification

Location and transit access can be particularly important for single-family homes since studies have shown that energy efficiency does not usually make up for transportation energy used for driving.  And hygrothermal performance—how well homes manage moisture relative to energy—is crucial but often neglected.