Big Houses Are Not Green: America's McMansion Problem


Stan Cox of Alternet writes on a subject near to our heart: McMansions. "The recent mansion boom produced millions of energy-wasting homes with thousands of square feet that Americans don't need -- not the behavior of a society that's thinking about a sustainable future.

He notes that efforts to control maximum size of housing is considered a property-rights intrusion, but that "Many neighborhood homeowner associations across the country mandate a minimum size -- often 2,500 to 3,000 square feet – for new houses. Under their rules, property rights are sacrificed for the sake of perceived property values."

He also picks up a point make by Ted Kesik: Houses last a long time. "The long-term impact of titanic houses parallels that of gas-gulping SUVs and pickup trucks. Sales of the big vehicles may be ebbing, but the buying binge of the past decade means they’ll still be out there by the millions, belching pollutants, for years to come. In the same way, even if the mania for big houses fades, Americans will be stuck with heating, cooling and powering the millions of them already littering the landscape – not for years like SUVs, but for decades." ::Alternet