Monthly Archives: June 2010

Embodied energy in residential construction

This is a very short TED talk given by Catherine Mohr, who discusses the amount of embodied energy in building a new home. I like this talk because it goes beyond the typical rhetoric of “green” construction that promotes ripping out your existing flooring and installing bamboo flooring throughout, and replacing your newly installed plumbing fixtures for ones that are just a little better.

I definitely promote a more simply method for approaching sustainable strategies, but there comes a time when living in a new energy-efficient home instead of continuing to live in an energy inefficient home. Sure, demolishing your existing inefficient home involves sending materials to the local landfill, but designing and building a home that responds to the local climatic conditions and uses a lot less resources to heat and cool will payoff in a short amount of time.