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9,800 sf Luxury Home Raises the Green Bar?

Look How Big My Driveway Is!!

I've got a press release on "One of the Greenest Luxury Homes Ever Built," a home that is "sure to raise the bar for building green in the high-end market."  Folks, in our day and age, why spend $2,000 per month on heating and electricity for your 9,800 sf home, when you can trim that bill right down to a paltry $350 per month?  At a time when luxury living is scrutinized for excess energy consumption, why not build a 5 bedroom, 6.5 bath high-end home with a "small environmental footprint"?  Seriously, with smart, energy-efficient design (read: 4 extra solar panels), you can generate enough electricity to run all 6 interior refrigerators.  And by using recycled and reclaimed wood (where possible of course), non-toxic blow-in insulation, and low-VOC finishings, this home is going to surpass Built Green standards.  Designers worked their hearts out to build the greenest home possible without sacrificing precious square footage, and this home could house at least four regular sized families by our calculations.  You'll be glad to know this hulking home, located at 995 Longbow Place in Larkspur, Colorado, is on sale for the very reasonable, and very green, price of $4.5 million. 

Are we confusing the words "green," "sustainable," "energy efficient," and "small footprint"?  You tell me, is this green?

Relevant Links:
++Complete Masterpiece Located at Bear Dance
++995 Longbow Place MLS Information [Legendary Property]


Top non-green items visible just in the photo:

1) Large area of impermeable blacktop increasing runoff.
2) House is built near wilderness area (almost certainly on a greenfield site): sprawl requiring long commutes, as well as destrution of natural habitat.
3)Curved shape of the building and arrangement of overhangs makes this unlikely to be an example of proper orientation and passive solar design (although the back just might face South, and display passive solar architecture.)

Nevertheless, I think this dwelling, clearly designed to comfortably house 5-10 families, will allow them acheive an admirably low per capita carbon footprint in their comfortable and stylish new commune. ;)

@Tom - excellent points.

Lloyd added his thoughts in an article called "Who Cares if it is Green, is it Ethical?" And judging from the first 12 or so comments, many of them believe that green can scale as large as the heart desires. If it's green, the bigger the better (thoughts that are echoed in the comment thread here). But, I think there's a question of whether green scales like that. I mean, a $350 monthly bill is still pretty big in my book. That bill goes towards consumption of something, right?

Boulder County is considering introducing a zoning law that allows large houses, but only if they are zero energy homes, and only if they buy a squar footage allowance from others who use less than their allotment (kind of like carbon trading.) I agree with the comment thread you point to that we shouldn't ban big... but we should hold it to a higher standard. After all, if you can afford a 10,000 sq house, you can afford to make it a zero energy home... even if that means you may only be able to build a 9,000 sq home on the same budget.

Zero-energy for oversize, bigfoot houses certainly makes some sense, though they are still consuming a larger quantity of resources.

I posted an article in partial response to this over at Green Options.

This house is actually built on a golf course. I have been involved in a lot of marketing of huge luxury homes & could never figure out why they didn't do more to conserve. This home the AC turns off when you leave the room & the logs are built from concret. I think if someone needs a huge luxury home they shouldn't be hogging all our recourses to go with it.

that is a realle nice house although I would be scared to bust my ass on that slick driveway

any news coming ?

WOW! I love the photos. Homes in front of the water or pool is so lovely. You can rest fast while you are seeing in front of your windows. What a peaceful mind you've got in here.

Deirdre Gonzales

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