William Collins, a residential developer in West Hartford, Connecticut, takes a different approach. A community is made up of all of its members, and Collins believes that quality housing should be available to all. It not only benefits residents directly, but it also improves the overall quality of life in the neighborhood.
Cities used to build plain brick cubes and call them housing. The reasoning was that low-income housing only needed to provide the basics, and some believed that if low-income housing provided anything more, people would have no incentive to get jobs and move to better housing.
Anyone in charge of paying the family bills will agree that utilities account for a sizable portion of the monthly budget. That becomes a concern for low-income families, which can be alleviated by constructing energy-efficient housing. West Hartford, according to William Collins, can get very cold in the winters, so even though it isn't in the coldest part of the country, insulating housing to maintain the most heat keeps residents safe and reduces bill spikes when the temperature drops.
Another issue that is influenced by energy efficiency in home design is the environment. Heating a home requires a significant amount of energy, which is typically derived from coal or oil. Building with energy conservation in mind reduces the use of both of these scarce natural resources.