comments 2

Which is the most important when it comes to new housing?

If you can’t see the Twitter poll below, click here:

At the time of writing this post, affordability was number one, followed by design and beauty, and then sustainability.

Some of you were right to point out that these options are not always mutually exclusive. Affordability and sustainability, for instance, can be mutually reinforcing.

Building in walkable and transit-rich neighborhoods where parking is not needed is both good for overall affordability (parking is usually a loss leader) and better for the environment.

But in other cases, sustainability costs more. Triple-glazed windows might perform better than conventional double-glazed, but they’re also more expensive.

Now, as a general rule, I believe in working hard to find the mutually reinforcing opportunities. How can we check all of the boxes and not have to compromise?

But sometimes there’s no other option. So it is interesting to see how people answer the above question. Not surprisingly, affordability is top of mind.

Which would you pick?


  1. doug pollard

    There is no need to choose and in fact one should not. Inherent in the concept of sustainability are both affordability and beauty for instance. As for triple glazing it has often been demonstrated that the cost of the glazing is offset by the reduction or elimination of a mechanical system. If one uses the Integrated design process at the outset all these sorts of things can be determined and often are. Affordability by the way means long-term affordability i.e lower and stable utility costs amongst other things and a healthy interior which does inflict medical cost burdens and so forth and so on


  2. I find that in seeking affordability, modern “minimalist” apartments are really less functional: kitchens and bathrooms with missing walls (well, kitchens mostly) that blend into other rooms, showers with just a glass panel so that it’s really too “intimate” for two people, even those who’ve seen each other naked, to use the bathroom at the same time (bring back the opaque shower curtain!), kitchen islands with no thought to what they’ll look like in the “Great Room” with dirty dishes, appliances with cords all over the place since there are no walls to hide them, etc. Somehow, not having separate rooms has been rebranded as luxury instead of being recognized as cheap and dysfunctional.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s