How Big is too Big?
There is one factor that needs to be considered, and that is sometimes overlooked, in regards to residential property which is the size and space that we need to live a comfortable existence.
As I am sure most of us know an eco friendly property is one element of leading a more sustainable life but the other, which is equally as important, is how we then live in that house! Using lighting and heating efficiently, considered use of water, shopping locally, recycling and waste reduction are all examples.
This point is in conflict with the needs of a large house which will clearly require more energy to light, heat and power than that of a much smaller property.
There is a common and well accepted concept, in modern day society that success and living comfortably means having the biggest house.
We are not sure why that is and it is a concept that requires challenging! Although it may take time to redress peoples belief in this way it is up to the individual to question what our ‘needs’ are?
Whilst I understand there is a level or amount of space to make our lives comfortable and with the demands of raising a family comes the need for additional space but there must be a limit.
Is that formal dining room that will only get used 3 times a year really necessary?
The embodied energy must also be considered. A larger house will require more materials in construction and hence an increased embodied energy of construction.
These are important design questions for anyone who has the opportunity to design their own home and certainly considerations we will be treating as key when we design our ‘London Eco House’.
John & Leigh Croft’s eco house in the Cotswolds won the 2010 Homebuilding award for best eco house! Whilst I am sure it contains many eco features which are to be commended at a grand size of 1550 square meters (21 times the average UK home) with consideration of the points we have discussed above, can it really be eco friendly?
Here is the property:
We understand the story of the build is one of sheer determination, drive and beating the odds but since an award has been given we must surely question the message that is being sent out to the world? Should a colossal house of this size be awarded such a prize which is surely intended to be an example of sustainable construction and building for the future? We will let you decide…
More pictures and details here: