House Nutrition Labels

As consumers become increasingly interested in knowing the backstory behind the things they buy, it's often suggested that we ought to have nutrition labels on more than just packaged food. What if your computer box told you how many chemical ingredients were contained within its shell and how long you could expect it to last before you'd have to replace it? What if you could read a sticker on the window of a new car that would tell you how much recyclable material it contained and how much energy was required to produce steel for its body?

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The same concept could easily be applied to a house. In a recent white paper, Michelle Kaufmann expounded upon this idea, detailing the process of doing a sustainability audit on one of her Sunset Breezehouse prefab homes, and explaining how this kind of analysis could be synthesized into a readable label containing the basic sustainability facts about a house.

"Sustainability labeling for homes would put an end to the deficient way in which for-sale homes are judged in today's housing market," says Kaufmann, "We must begin holding the houses in which we live to the same standards as the food we consume since our habits concerning both are vital to the wellbeing of the environment as well as our own physical wellbeing."

You can download Michelle Kaufmann's complete white paper here and discover all of the criteria she believes we ought to be using to judge whether a house is fit to be our home.

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