This home is located just outside of Cherbourg, in Normandy, in the Northwest Part of France. I stayed here with my family for a week. It got me thinking about construction and architecture in the USA.
The home is made of concrete. The windows are very energy efficient and have shutters on the outside that can be controlled from inside the home. It has central heating but the radiator in each room has it’s own control. When a room is not being used the heat can be turned down. Instead of natural gas Kerosene is used, to fuel the furnace which is very energy efficient. The garage is located in the basement and the owners drive a subcompact Renault Clio that burns diesel fuel and gets about 50 miles to the gallon.
We don’t build many concrete homes in the U.S., maybe because we have plenty of trees. It is a shame because these homes are more energy efficient and like wood frame homes can be built in many forms. Here in Minnesota, especially during the cold winter months we could all save a lot of many on energy costs if we had homes like the one in the picture.
We don’t drive subcompact cars either, instead we drive larger vehicles and expect the auto makers to make them more energy efficient so that we can keep our fuel costs down. Most in my profession opt for the larger vehicles especially the SUV’s, because of the generous tax deduction for business owners and for those occasions when room is needed to transport several buyers.
I have asked a couple of builders why concrete homes have not caught on in the U.S. and I have gotten several different answers. Each builder indicated that these homes can be made more energy efficient and are cheaper and faster to build.
Why do we still build mostly wood frame homes?