Rightsizing Homes (03-20-20)

What is a sustainable size for a home?  Maurie Cohen, who reports on his work in Housing, Theory & Society,reviewed “more than 75 years of housing history and provides estimates for the optimal spatial dimensions that would align with an ‘environmentally tenable and globally equitable amount of per-person living area’ today. . . . Cohen’s article explores the concept of ‘sufficiency limits’ for the average contemporary home — or, a rough baseline metric of ‘enough’ living space to meet one’s individual needs while considering various environmental and social factors, such as global resource availability and equitable material usage. . . . Based on assessments of global resource availability and so-called total material consumption calculations developed by industrial ecologists and others, Cohen estimates that sustainability and equity considerations require that a home for a single person should be no larger than 215 square feet, and for a four-person family the maximum size should be approximately 860 square feet.”

“Downsizing the McMansion: Study Gauges a Sustainable Size for Future Homes.”  2020. Press release, New Jersey Institute of Technology, https://news.njit.edu/downsizing-mcmansion-study-gauges-sustainable-size...