That is what author and design writer Allison Arieff asks about the current state of house design. She echoes the suggestion from the AIA Committee on the Environment that perhaps buildings should come with labels like those nutrition labels on food. "If people could see that they might be moving into the architectural equivalent of transfats, would they begin to choose their homes differently?"
Allison's suggestions for lean and healthy housing:
Stop designing for cars."Natural light, floor plans that are conducive to human patterns of use — these sorts of things should be the defining features of homes. Not a garage. There’s almost no viable excuse for failing to create communities with within-walking-distance amenities like playgrounds, cafes and corner markets."
Make Green Normal. "Right now, sustainability feels a bit like something tacked onto new or existing homes as an afterthought — or a savvy marketing tool, as evidenced by the recent spate of green luxury high rises (a term that seems uncomfortable in its own skin). More needs to be done."