Moab Prof Proves It Can Be Done — Energy Efficiency AND Affordability

A stretch of billboard and sign line street looking like anything but a downtown
Downtown Moab, Utah photo by Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Utilitarian Moab, Utah destined to be forever eclipsed by its surroundings.

Climate change is a new reality facing housing. But with heartfelt cries for housing affordability ringing in government ears everywhere, are costly climate-friendly houses forever to be at odds with affordability?

In America and elsewhere, the building industry cries uncle at the cost of land, and also the cost of materials and labour to construct a house. One solution to the problem that the housing industry is grudgingly prepared to offer — corner-cutting construction techniques that can bring down the cost of affordable housing to some degree.

One common reality of ‘corner-cutting’ is shoddy construction, these days an increasing problem with new housing1. ‘Shoddy’ seems a natural adversary of the tightly engineered energy efficiency required if housing is built to support a push back against climate change.

It is.

But energy efficient housing can indeed co-exist with affordability. And Aaron Thompson, a Utah State University instructor, has proved it by building a $100,000 (cost) house to the highest international standards of energy efficiency.

Read in some detail what an energy efficient house requires and how Thompson accomplished the task affordably in The Times-Independent: Local Man Builds New Standard In Moab For Energy-Efficient, Affordable Housing


  1. Try: Three Takes On California’s Housing Crisis: Part 3