61 things to ban right now to make better, greener and healthier homes

CC BY 2.0 Paul Sableman on Flickr/ how many things are wrong with this picture?

Allison Bailes has a little list.

Designing and building a good energy-efficient house is hard. Allison Bailes is a physics PhD who teaches building science and designs heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems and has seen just about everything that can go wrong in a building or home. On his Energy Vanguard blog, he complains:

The state of home building isn't good…we still have wild ductopuses, holey air barriers, and insipid insulation installations. And I've finally lost my patience. I think the only way to improve the state of home building in America is to ban these things.

He then goes on to list 61 things that we should ban to improve home building. It is perhaps a bit tongue in cheek, given #61, Occupants: "The number one reason high-performance homes never reach their full potential!" He is absolutely right about this. Occupants are always the biggest problem; without them we wouldn’t have to waste any energy at all. Occupants also cause trouble by using #35, Thermostats: “Too many people set them incorrectly anyway.“ He’s not too crazy about my beloved #55, Passivhaus: “A boutique program for architects who think they can do physics.” He is also probably thinking about me with #56, Know-it-all bloggers.

But among all the jokes there is some very good sense here. Allison dislikes extremes, from #51, McMansions, to #50, Tiny houses: "A fad for millennials who don't know they're just expensive trailers.”

He dislikes #7, smart vents, and #3, bubble wrap, and #13, dormers, and #14, complicated roofs, like in the McMansion in the photo top. And unfortunately, just about everyone is still going to build #12, attached garages, even though Allison is right: “If you like to breathe carbon monoxide and other toxic gases, this is a great way to add those vital nutrients to your lungs.”

There is so much common sense here, mixed with a bit of fun. Read all 61 at Energy Vanguard.

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