Preventing Misconceptions In Housing: Sustainable Architecture

2111 words - 8 pages

Currently, misconceptions are present in the home buying industry, which delude buyers into thinking that more expensive homes are better. Although better is a subjective term, the problem remains: People are overextending their budgets on homes that they cannot afford and on homes that they cannot afford to maintain. The inability to properly finance homes stems from the fatigued economy and job market, and foreclosures become prevalent when home buyers can no longer afford payments. Although many may argue that the key to solving the problem of foreclosures stems from the economic means of financing the home, I argue that foreclosures can be solved at the root of the problem, architecturally in the way we design and produce our homes. Sustainable architecture can greatly reduce the amount of money people pay on utility bills and other types of home expenses, making sustainable architecture more economically beneficial to those with modest budgets. Through looking at the precedent of the ecoMOD project, led by John Quale of the University of Virginia Architecture School faculty, and more specifically at the systems used in the ecoMOD OUTin House, the solution to solving foreclosures will extend from the claim that houses can be made to be both affordable and sustainable. Affordable houses that are also sustainable will solve the problem of foreclosures because the buyers will be able to afford the initial price of the home, while also being able afford the costs of utilities and other maintenance associated with home buying.
When buying a home, every homebuyer wants the best house for the amount they are willing to pay. Some homes are innovative and deemed better, but are not well-designed for the budget of the people living in the space. The ecoMOD OUTin House was designed innovatively by a group of UVA students in a way that utilizes sustainable design in a way that saves the homebuyer money, not only upfront but in the long run. It was designed with the user of the space in mind. Since the ecoMOD project strives to make sustainable modular design affordable, the houses are modest in size. However, although the homes are designed to be affordable, the spaces produced are architecturally rich in their design and are also contributing to a better environment. Also, even though the houses may be modest in size, they provide a better quality of life, through the use of natural ventilation and daylighting, than you would find in a typical market rate home. For example architecturally, the house was designed with a very innovative cabinet and storage construction in the kitchen in order to optimize storage in a limited space. As a result the cabinet is beautiful formally but also provides the needed kitchen space for the inhabitant. Since sustainable features are being used in the building, the home is also catering to the inhabitants by lowering utility bills. The ecoMOD project promotes the idea that “people can afford a better...

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