Cottage Industry: Small Wood Homes Yield Big Climate Benefits
Maine could get a large economic boost and provide critically needed housing by manufacturing compact, highly-efficient homes.
BY MARINA SCHAUFFLER | SEPTEMBER 13, 2020
A single small home, lifted onto a foundation in Milbridge last month, could signal big housing changes ahead. Confronted with scant affordable housing and mandates to reduce carbon pollution, Maine needs to re-envision how home construction happens – from the constituent elements and the building process to the carbon emissions produced.
A draft strategy proposed by the Maine Climate Council’s buildings, infrastructure, and housing working group recommends highly-efficient homes built primarily with wood that generate as much electricity as they use (for appliances, heating, and cooling) through solar power, either with rooftop panels or participation in a community solar farm.
The innovative spirit needed to navigate this housing transition is embodied in the “Downeast Maine Tiny House” recently transported to Milbridge from Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlborough, MA, where students customized the building for a disabled veteran.