Last weekend . we went window shopping for Washing Machine. These days all Machine have Energy saving rating in the form of stars and more the stars more Environment friendly machine is. Of course when you read the reviews about performance then we realise that at times more stars have resulted in Lower performance. Sometimes -as in the case of washing Machine- it may lead to use of more harmful detergents to get better wash. It's like Drinking Alcohol will reduce your risk of getting Heart Attack, but increase damage to Liver!!.
In USA I am really surprised at this nitpicking. Look at their Homes! All over US the Floor plan is almost the same. You have 1) Living Room,Dining Hall( for Guests), Family room,Dining space for family, Kitchen and it is an Open Floor plan with no doors 2) Bed Rooms on the same floor or on higher floor. Usually total area is divided equally between the two.
In most part of the USA you need Heating for almost 7-8 months if not longer and Designing of the House doesnt provide for heating only some parts of the house. So at night though only one Bedroom is in use entire 4-5K sq.Ft. house is heated to comfortable level. Same goes for Cooling and Air-conditioning. Even the houses constructed in last few years, when we are aware of Global warming and other Environmental issues have same problem. Besides the heating is done by Gas and US is dependent on not so friendly countries for it's need.
Can something be done to reduce Energy usage to heat/ cool homes? I doubt it. Its 'QWERTY' keyboard problem. Homeowners will find it very difficult and exorbitantly costly to make a switch. Only solution is to popularize Room heaters. But what can be done for Open floor plan ? it will need Central Heating as it is too large for Room Heaters.
Our only hope is that Architectural Association insists on changes in Basic Floor Plan of the homes and make it more Environment friendly.