Is green building too narrow in focus, suitable only for people who keep the windows closed and let mechanical systems regulate temperature and humidity? What about people who like fresh air, even in winter, and are looking for minimal intervention from mechanical heating and cooling equipment?
That seems to be at the heart of a question from Maria Hars, a GBA reader who lives in a passive solar house built 30 years ago in northern Massachusetts.
“I keep my bedroom window open 24/7,” she writes in a Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor. “I love the smell of the outdoors and the fresh breezes from the fields. In the winter I have blankets that keep me warm with the window open. I turn down the thermostat to almost off in the winter and off the rest of the year.
“In the winter I sit in front of the southern windows & feel the warmth of the sun on me (I wear short sleeves). At night or cloudy days I wear warmer clothing. In the summer the windows are shaded from decidious trees (no a/c) with 30″ roof overhangs. The house stays cool.”
Her question: with all of the building science and advanced materials at our disposal, how should a house be designed and built for “real people” like her?
That’s the subject of this week’s Q&A Spotlight.
You already have the right house
To GBA senior editor Martin Holladay, Hars already has it figured out. “It doesn’t sound like you have any problems,” he writes. “Keep living in your house and be happy.”
Mike Collignon agrees, but he also wonders whether mass-market home buyers are ready for the connection with nature that Hars…