Tiffany Anne Dazley, Abby Jayne Ronnow and Kendal Marie Andersen have big plans for the future by thinking small.
The three Weber State University graduates of design graphic engineering, had come up with a sustainable home floor plan that downsizes our notions as to what an appealing house can be.
The goal of their senior project, "Sustainability Through Size," was to design a living space that's affordable, comfortable and environmentally responsible.
All indications are they succeeded. Even homebuilders are impressed.
"Sustainability professionals out in the world always talk about how we should be doing it for the planet or the children ..." said Kirt Merrill, director of production for Nilson Homes in South Ogden, "but they almost never come up with a plan that's affordable enough to build."
The women pointed out that average family size in the U.S. has been decreasing since the 1950s, but home sizes have increased. That means more building materials and energy are needed per person.
There is a lot of unused space in homes, yet only 700 to 1,000 square feet are used. People just want extra space to feel comfortable.
Another reason for homes getting larger has to do with the notion over the years that the resale value of home is dependent on its size.
Now that the bottom has fallen out of the real estate market, the time is ripe for smaller, more affordable homes, which are practical.
The women have created a modular design that can be used to build a one-, two- or three-bedroom home.
The home design also makes use of modern design and enivironmentally-friendly technology to reduce energy use even more from just downsizing.
While building smaller homes is a growing trend because of economics and the environment, what makes their project stand out is the attention to aesthetics, or curb appeal.
"I have been to the International Builders' Show numerous times, and listened to a lot of green approaches to homes," Merrill said. "Their approach, I thought, was one of the very best I've seen."
In this case smaller can be better.