McMansions and Energy Inefficiency. Please proof this new inspection article.

McMansions and Energy Inefficiency.

The worst article FINE HOMEBUILDING ever published a few years back was about a “green” home of 4-5,000 sq ft. HUH???

I hope you live in one of little foam igloos Brian and drive a smart car.


My house was constructed in 1987- 1728 sq ft, 36x24’ rectangular 2 storey with fully insulated basement…I didn’t build it but it’s quite energy efficient: 2"x4" walls with R12 fiberglass + 1" polyurethane panel sheathing -no wood sheathing- (actually better than a 2x6 wall with wood sheathing), R50+ in the attic, R22 in the basement
Total house energy costs per year- average $1,600 Canadian (electricity: 13.2 cents/kWh; 7,500 DD heating; no cooling)

Got to have a bigger car for HI: Volvo V70 Turbo wagon- can get my 24’ JAWS ladder and all needed equipment in it. A very safe vehicle-my wife is a member of the “VOLVO SAVED MY LIFE” club as she was in a total loss accident with an 850 wagon 6 years ago; she was taken to hospital checked over and sent home- the medics told her the VOLVO saved her.

I don’t need a monster truck like I see HI’s standing in front of in some pics here!!

I’m sure they exist…but it wouldn’t need all those green features if it was half the size.

BTW, Michael:

90-95% of my heating is provided by a very efficient cast iron, long life Vermont Castings wood stove. My wood sources are as close as 1/2 mile from my house (scrap softwood trimmings from an arborist that no one else wants since it’s ONLY softwood) to about 40 miles for the better hardwood I buy for overnight burns…so:

  1. The heat source is cheaply renewable…Mother Nature
  2. The original energy source (energy does not come from zip) is free and clean- the sun
  3. I support local entrepreneurs
  4. since I can buy local, transportation costs and fossil CO2 production are low.

Wood burnt cleanly for energy is considered “neutral” in the large scheme!

And what’s your energy footprint like??


Think of all that pollution.

I hope you are buying carbon credits to offset your CO2 production. :wink:

Buy your offsets Here

Here is a handy calculator to help you figure out how many you should be buying.

Carbon Calculator


I thought that you were smarter that that!!!


And again…What’s your energy footprint like?

How many truly energy efficient houses have you been involved in or had an influence on.
From 1985 to 1992, I was a site advisor/inspector/“troubleshooter” for the New Brunswick R2000 program. In 1989 and 1993, 2 builders that I was site advisor to were named Canada’s “R2000 Builder of the Year”…both in a little city with a population of 55-60,000.

Did you know that the R2000 home was the model that the American Lung Association adopted to begin the HEALTH HOUSE program they now offer. (actually began with the Minnesota chapter going north to Winnipeg, Manitoba in the mid-90’s to look at R2000 homes and spread from there to the rest of the association) Joe Lstiburek was a technical co-chair of the Health House committee and help set the standards of the R2000 program while he was in Canada. Of course, now the Building America Program has quite a few of his imprints on it.

Brian, dance as much as you like but burning wood produces CO2 so your claim of a small footprint is bogus.

It takes 25 years to offset the carbon produced from burning “renewable” wood.

If CO2 is the enemy some want us to believe you are a contributor.

And as you well know a number of communities have banned the burning of wood because of the pollution caused to the local environment.

You can tout your credentials all day but I find your use of energy not consistent with your apparent green philosophy.


I purchased a lot of those credits at your site…

I wasn’t sure what I was buying at the time, but felt compelled… can you explain it to me??

ps. I didn’t really buy anything

Sure Tim.

You bought those credits so Al Gore could go on flying in his private fuel guzzling carbon footprint heavy jet around the world to convince you the end is near unless you buy more carbon credits.

It’s the proverbial circle jerk.

Al thanks you.

Brian thanks you.

But some will just laugh at you. :wink:

I need to go turn the air conditioning a bit cooler.:shock:

Did an energy audit for one of these, last winter (funny how people are never concerned about this until a) they get a huge gas bill or b) they start feeling cold>) 8,900 SF that was only 1 1/2 years old. Gas bill was running $12,000 per year.

Didn’t need to run the blower door, just turn on the exhaust fans and the clothes dryer.

Air leaks all over the place. Thermal imaging showed multiple air leaks at sill plates, top plates and from behind the knee walls in the finished attic "bonus room).

2 x 6 studs, but the builder used Kraft paper fiberglass and didn’t install the Kraft paper properly, didn’t tape the house wrap, didn’t properly seal the window and door openings (foam). Measured R value of the walls was only R 10!

Also, 3 cat 4 furnaces with the intake air coming from inside the house (no combustion air vents) and 3 direct vent tankless water heaters that were not directly vented. (No need for a blower door test :mrgreen:)

All in all, pretty poor construction and certainly not in compliance with any energy codes (which we don’t have around here, probably because no one around here knows how to build to those codes).

If I can, I will try to find the pictures.

Hope this helps;

Oh! most knowledgeable god, what should I be doing. According to you I can’t die because I’ll be releasing carbon that’s been sequestered in my body for 60 years, let alone the 25 years you mention about trees!!

That’s it… pay people to have more children and use up carbon from the air. Think of 12, then 24, then 48 billion people on the planet and how much carbon they’ll sequester…sounds like your weak reasoning and challenge to my energy use.

Deflect the question; Deflect the question; Deflect the question!!!

And again…What’s your energy footprint like?

Still nothing forthcoming…sounds like you’re embarrassed or don’t know! I know you don’t care. It is easier to have blinders on about environmental issues.

That is sick, Will!! Gas is usually the cheapest fuel around.

At some point a lot of these McMansions will become “white elephants” when the world economy picks up strongly again and oil goes over $100/bbl.

Thank you for saving the planet Brian.

Al Gore would be proud.

Now about your spokesman’s home

Better attack someone else who can’t respond on these boards, eh Mike??? Your debating skills have faltered!! Are you sick??

I guess I’ll move on now. Come back when you’re better.

BTW, I started making choices for a better planet in 1972 when I changed courses in university to include biology/ecology and then worked for a while with the Canadian Wildlife Services, our counterpart to US Fish and Game. That was long before Al Gore was making a splash.

Oh yeah! Almost forgot…

And again…What’s your energy footprint like?

(Be honest if you can)

ps: Are you still drooling over having the house Will Decker audited and mentions above. $12,000 gas bill…more of those will help get the economy moving!!

Brian it is not up to you to tell everyone else how to live, how much money they can spend and claim moral superiority while relying on junk science to bolster your case.

The planet is not dieing despite all the wackos claims otherwise.

I believe in freedom.

Join me.

Al Gore’s home uses more electricity than most homes. So? It’s interesting that most global warming deniers are quick to make comments about Al Gore’s home. He could live in an igloo or a shopping mall, he could torch the whole rainforest and it would take nothing away from the message he’s trying to preach. Don’t shoot the messenger. And he happens to be an ex-vice president and a gazillionaire who’s doing a lot o high profile stuff, it isn’t surprising that he uses more energy than Johnny Homeowner.

Who says the planet is dying? That’s a terrible exaggeration. Everyone agrees that the world has warmed and cooled in the past, global warming proponents just think that there’s currently a warming trend and it’s caused by humans.

You believe in freedom? And the global warming proponents believe in shackles, yes, it’s true. That’s what divides us.

Just one question in regard to this type article.

How many people that buy Hummers worry about gas mileage ?

Obviously the people with the 8,900 sq ft house and a $12,000 natgas bill will be!!