Downsizing for Comfort
Architect Christopher Stafford and his wife decided to downsize, and at the same time, they wanted to live in a low-impact, environmentally conscious building.
They bought an in-town lot in Port Townsend, Wash., whittled their ideal home's floor plan down to 1550 sq. ft. (plus a separate 700-sq.-ft. studio), jettisoned any belongings they weren't using, and invested the money they saved by building smaller into renewable-energy systems. A photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. array keeps electricity bills to a minimum, and a solar hot-water system heats the air and the bathwater. The use of compact-fluorescent bulbs, energy-efficient appliances, polyicynene insulation, and a heat-recovery system reduces overall consumption by 23%, compared with other neighborhood homes.