Re: Density, detached vs. attached
From: Eric Hart (harteFree-Net.Mpls-StPaul.MN.US)
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 95 20:31 CST
    Tom Ponessa writes:

> I am interested in the ongoing debate re density esp. Vicky's view about
> living lightly. If I have it right you believe this means row housing and
> your  argument is that it saves on materials, energy etc... To me row 
> almost always means a developer and standard construction practices -
> notwithstanding that you may go solar, high efficiency heating, high
> R-value glazing and so on.
> Now I decide to join you and being the unorthodox contrarian that I am
> I say I am building a single dwelling in post & beam with salvaged
> timbers and using straw bale (the ultimate solar building material)
> for walls. I also plan on using a masonry heater and a radiant floor
> (I want a one storey house for the day I can't navigate stairs) both
> of which store heat and release it slowly. I will be burning softwood
> at better than 90% efficiency. I will have R-40 walls. I might even top
> it with a sod roof and use the snow accumulation as insulation.
> Yes my home takes up more land than yours but yours will be a
> bigger drain on resources both initially in construction and in the
> long term for heating. I, too, claim to be living lightly on the land.
> Life cycle environmental costing would put my detached house
> ahead of any conventional row house.
      At Riverside we want to build with strawbale construction, and 
there is no reason why four attached units can't be built post and beam 
like yours would be and be on one level.  Your assumption that all attached 
housing is row 
housing one reason people never consider it.  People just immediately 
dismiss the possibility of having shared walls because they have a 
stereotypical image of what it is and aren't open minded enough to look 
at alternatives which have been designed and built

Eric Hart    
harte [at]


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