What are we doing here?

Acre is seeking to reinvent the American home and quite possibly revive the American Dream. No small feat, but the task is long overdue.

 

The Problem

For a myriad of reasons, the average American home has remained mostly unchanged in its construction and functionality for over one hundred years.  Homes today are built using the same materials our parents and grandparents used, and technologies that provide power and keep us comfortable are only marginally better than they were 40 years ago.

The only noticeable change is the size of homes, which are now 85% larger than in the 1950’s, yet our families are often smaller.  Since the widespread adoption of air-conditioning, we have also turned a blind eye to the small but impactful design gestures that our predecessors were forced to espouse: careful site selection, thoughtful home orientation, attention to door and window placement. Cheap energy allowed builders to continue down this path, until gradually consumer expectations had completely shifted and the whole country seemed to embrace a “bigger is better” approach.

The Shift

Today, we believe the pendulum is swinging back.  Americans realize that we wouldn’t tolerate this kind of technological stagnation in our cars, our computers, and certainly not our cell phones (is that iPhone 8 available yet?), so why do we expect so little from our largest investment?  We spend about 35% of our working lives paying for our homes, easily investing over a million dollars for the privilege of living in an extremely average house.  As energy costs continue to rise, we realize that home ownership will take an even more significant portion of our income.

There is also a growing sentiment that we no longer own our possessions, but instead our stuff is owning us. There are countless movements aimed at decluttering, simplifying and adopting a minimalist lifestyle.  Couple this with advancements in building science and lower costs for emerging technologies, and the time is ripe for a significant change in the way we build and operate homes.

Home prices and electricity rates are up, the cost of solar technologies are down, mortgage rates are on the rise, new materials are accessible, new technologies are available, and most importantly attitudes have shifted.  Acre offers homes that leverage these changes to benefit homeowners, and quite possibly shift the course of their lives.

What if our homes could be affordable – something you could pay off in 7-10 years or less?  
What if you had no utility bills?
What if homes were more comfortable, and more satisfying to live in?  
What if they were truly a refuge and place of security, instead of an endless financial concern?

 

We think it is possible.  We have reconsidered the home from the ground up, approaching the task with several different modes of thinking; architecture, product design, and manufacturing – to shake up existing patterns and offer something truly better.  From size, functional and aesthetic design, to materials, construction methods, and how all of the systems within the home interact, we have tossed out the hundred-year-old standards that resulted in bloat and inefficiency, and applied new thinking and technologies to make for better, cheaper, faster-built homes.

So, what are we doing here?

Acre homes are 90-100% more efficient than typical homes and can even be maintained “off grid” or utilizing NetZero principles.  They can be built 60% faster. They can cost hundreds of thousands less than the average mortgage.  Finally, because of these improvements, they can allow you to live a different lifestyle, with more money and more time to pursue the life you choose.

Unfettered by mortgage and utility bills, life looks pretty sweet.  Recapturing 35% of your income allows you to take risks, to relax, to travel, to become an entrepreneur or to retire, to donate your time or your extra money, to pursue your creative side or to spend more time learning.  By changing the way we live, we open up a whole new world of options, and this is the new American Dream.

Stay tuned.  We will be telling more of our story, what we are up to, how we are doing it and where we are going.

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