"Americans Are Moving Up To Smaller, Smarter Homes" Says USA Today

house size shrinking again image

Time to update the drawing

That's the title of an article by Wendy Koch in USA Today, where she talks to three architects seen a lot on TreeHugger: Sarah Susanka, Michelle Kaufmann and Marianne Cusato. Koch notes that according to census data, last year, for the first time in at least 10 years, the average square footage of single-family homes under construction fell dramatically, from 2,629 in the second quarter to 2,343 in the fourth quarter.

The new motto: living well with less. She gets some good quotes:

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Sarah Susanka:

"Build what you need. Build what inspires you," Susanka says. "Don't build to impress your neighbors.....Susanka says the push to living smaller "at some point had to happen," because McMansions use more resources and are not environmentally sustainable. "We're in the midst of a pendulum swing," she says. "What will come of this will be a more balanced home."

More on Sarah Susanka:

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image Inhabitat

Michelle Kaufmann:

"It's sad that it took a complete economic meltdown" for people to appreciate smaller homes, but at least something good can come from it, says Michelle Kaufmann, author of Prefab Green, published last month....She says new gadgets, such as the iPhone, have helped consumers see that bigger is not always better. Now, she says, "we want more out of less."

More on Michelle:
Michelle Kaufmann Prefab On Exhibit In Chicago
Putting the Green Back in Community Development
Nutrition Labels For Houses
mkSolaire: New Green PreFab from Michelle Kaufmann
Building the Green Modern Home: Looking at Windows

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Marianne Cusato:

"The key to small homes is connectedness," Cusato says, adding that people don't need as much interior space for entertainment or exercise if they live near parks, shops or other people. "I grew up in Alaska, and we played outside all the time. We could walk everywhere in our neighborhood."

More on Marianne:
Katrina Cottage Wins People's Choice Design Award
Katrina Cottage II: Headed to Congress
Katrina Cottages Available at Lowe's

Christine Brun:

"You're almost unpatriotic to live so large," says Brun, author of Small Space Living, published last month. She says Baby Boomers want to downsize, and young eco-minded adults "don't care if they live in 500 square feet. They just want cool stuff."

Via Jetson Green

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