Why Do All the New Houses Look the Same?

Jul 30, 2015

There was a time when you could tell where you were in the country just by looking at the architecture of the homes. Recently, however, there’s been a trend toward building subdivisions that look pretty much the same no matter where you are.

Kevin Nordmeyer, Principal at BNIM Architects in Des Moines, says that shift is partially due to modern technology that allows climate control inside new buildings and homes. 

“Before modern technology and electrical systems, all builders had was insulation. Homes were built to naturally ventilate and stay comfortable without some of those systems like air conditioning,” he says.

“Historically, if you think about some of the old buildings you’re familiar with in Iowa, you’ll notice that the first floor is always elevated, and they also had quite a bit of windows per wall area. That’s for natural ventilation. You could purge the building of heat during the day, close it up in the morning and have a natural system of ventilation.”

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Nordmeyer and home improvement expert Bill McAnally about using building techniques to save energy when it comes to cooling and heating a home.