Announcing Thick Homes

Thick Homes was created to educate the public about high performance homes. There are numerous benefits including environmental and healthful reasons to aim to make your home of this type. With any luck, one day there will be a distinction in the market for these homes as currently no such distinction exists.

Can educating the public drive demand for high performance homes?

The Time is Now

There are tens of thousands of high performance homes in the US, but until recently the concept has been very niche. Where are these homes and what qualities do they have? Who can build them? What high performance homes are coming on the market?

Very recently we’ve seen discussion of a ban on natural gas stoves due to the health hazard that they present. In one thread on Twitter, several people asked whether an external vented hood is the answer. (No.) Air quality is suddenly an important aspect of people’s homes.

Last year, energy prices also increased substantially. Currently there is no model to help homeowners understand just how much they would save by making more energy efficient upgrades. With the Inflation Reduction Act, this is an even bigger opportunity; however, instead of just upgrading the furnace from gas to a heat pump, there are many more qualifying steps that can be taken. The first step is an energy audit, which can give insight into how leaky a home is and how much thermal loss is occurring throughout the home.

High performance homes are to some extent cropping up without even knowing it: as new homes become more air tight, systems like ERVs become more commonplace. It’s likely we will have a future where homes with these fancy systems aren’t just for those who can cough up the cash, just like many people can afford a 50" TV. It’s an exciting time to see the rise of high performance.