Agent

Environmental impact of super-sized homes

Architects step up plans to make homes more energy efficient

When parents decide to purchase a new house, they almost always say, "We're doing this for our kids." The new house will be bigger so the children don't have to share bedrooms, they say. It will have a larger yard so there's more room for them to run around. And, it's in a better school district. In truth, most of the features in the new house -- including its size -- are what mom and dad want. Most kids, though, are reluctant to leave their old neighborhood, and they don't care about what a kitchen looks like or what kind of counters it has. Nor do they get excited about the yard size or the number and size of the bedrooms, unless one is smaller or less appealing in some other way. But eventually the kids will care a great deal about the choices that mom and dad are making in the new house that affect the environment they will inherit. Our children do not yet know all the ramifications of global warming, but they will never forgive us if they inherit a vastly diminished planet because...