Monday, October 18, 2010

The Location of Your Low Energy House

Well it's the Denver area, yes, but what makes a low energy location?

According to this article the location is the MOST important factor in low energy homebuilding:  "Households in downtown Chicago produce one-quarter the greenhouse gases of households in nearby suburban Kane County"

What if, all of a sudden, say, like, in 2011, "production" homebuilders stopped concentrating on tearing up farmer's fields and building new infrastructure for new housing, and started concentrating on rebuilding run-down neighborhoods closer to the city center?


Just possibly the biggest single step toward halting global warming. 

As mentioned before, the trend has begun on vacant lots in Philadelphia.  Philly has a strong enough economy to support infill like this.  But we're not seeing much of this anywhere else in US.  In the rust belt, where vacant lots are available, cities like Detroit are on life support.  Job growth is really the only driver of new construction.

Denver has a little bit of job growth, and homebuyers are learning more about these issues everyday.  One day in the near future, a young pregnant couple will contact a neighborhood redevelopment company in a neighborhood like Villa Park and not even think of taking a drive out to the Wheatlands , even though the prices are tempting.

Stay tuned.


  1. What an ironic name, "Wheatlands". Every day when you exit your feeder road you'll be slapped in the face that you are squatting on formerly productive farmland.

    And before that, it was a thriving wildlife habitat.

  2. Interesting point you raise. Density is awesome for the environment. New York is a great case study to illustrate the point.

    It's difficult to replace the image people have of one location with a new one. It's very possible, but it would take a wise investor with patient equity to make this maneuver. Thanks for fanning the flames.