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How big should my custom home be?

D58do9WBjV | Posted in General Questions on

I will be building a custom home. It will be around 6,500 sq ft. I would like to know how big of a house can be built and still be energy efficient?

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Occasionally Ann Landers or Dear Abby will get a question from a reader that sounds like a prank, at which point Ann or Abby usually answers, "You're a college freshman who's trying to be funny, aren't you?"

    Anyway, leaving aside the question of authenticity, I'll jump into the pool. To answer your question directly: if you are comparing the proposed design of a new 6,500-square-foot building with a building of the same size that barely meets the minimum standards of the building code, it's possible to specify materials that result in a building that is more efficient than the code-minimum building.

    However, just because a building is energy-efficient, doesn't mean that it isn't an energy hog. A small, inefficient building can use much less energy than a large, energy-efficient building. That's why most green builders emphasize the importance of making a new building as small as possible.

  2. Expert Member
    ARMANDO COBO | | #2

    You can build a Net-Zero energy efficient and high performing house of any size, it just may not be as resource efficient.

  3. jklingel | | #3

    Leon: The size of your house is, of course, your business and not mine, but we all should try to be a bit more conscious of what resources we utilize, as the world is no longer an infinite supplier of said. Sure, you can afford the place and the subsequent bills, and i'm sure you'll enjoy living there. However, can the world afford it? In the grand scheme of things, is that the best utilization of dwindling resources, including our wealth? It's all your call, and no need to reply and defend your decision; my new house could be smaller, too. It's just food for thought. Glad to hear you are thinking of energy efficiency though.

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