There’s a new weapon in the fight against climate change: accessory dwelling units (ADUs). ADUs can cut carbon dioxide emissions by up to 40% compared to standard single-family homes, according to a State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality report. For climate activists and cities around the country seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint, ADUs may offer a solution.
This same study from Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality reported that a typical single-family home, which averages about 2,300 square feet, produces 60% more total emissions than a home half its size. Most ADUs measure even less than half the size of a single-family home, with an average size range of 600 to 1,200 square feet. Because of this small square footage, ADUs produce much fewer emissions than most traditional single-family homes. Less space means less energy to heat the home, as well as less water usage.
Smaller square footage also means not as many building materials are needed to construct an ADU. This saves energy and cuts emissions during the entire construction, transportation, and installation process.
Accessory dwelling units can help increase home inventory without the need to build on new lots or clear natural landscapes for more neighborhoods. ADUs give residents an affordable option for housing while also helping to diminish the need for cities to keep expanding.
By using existing land, communities can reduce car emissions, commutes, and the need to build infrastructure connecting a widening city. This could be extremely helpful in states like Washington and California, where their well-documented housing crisis is forcing people out of neighborhoods they have called home for years. Both states have passed legislation to reduce red tape and building restrictions in hopes that ADUs can become more affordable and accessible to residents.
While most ADUs offer more environmentally friendly housing options, they aren’t all created equal. Abodu has a studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom option to help you find the best way to maximize your extra (and greener) space. Abodu ADUs feature a clean, minimalist design and custom options, including optional pre-installed solar panels. To get started on your green living journey, fill out our form—our team will do a remote assessment to see if we’re a good fit.
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