10 Eco-Friendly Homes For Those With $$$1
By Aydrea Walden
10 Eco-Friendly Homes For Those With $$$
Everyone is looking to go green and most of us do it in similar ways. Some people bring canvas bags to the grocery store. Some fill up the big blue recycling bin. Some promise that we’re going to take shorter showers. Some turn off lights when they leave the room.
Some folks, however, enjoy a “Conspicuous Conservationist” lifestyle, where they combine going green with having green – as in money. For those flush with cash, there are some super eco-friendly housing options that lower your carbon footprint while raising your social status.
The Orchid House – Cotswold, UK
At $14.2 million, the Orchid House is the most expensive green home that has actually been sold. The house is located on a nature reserve in Cotswold, England and is part of an eco-friendly housing development. A geothermal pump powers the house and allows it to create more energy than it actually needs. The house’s unique shape was inspired by the Bee Orchid – a flower that grows on the reserve.
Athena Marie Plantation – Vero Beach, FL, USA
A 45,760-square foot house with three guest suites and a 400-square-foot exercise room doesn’t sound like a house that would be good for the environment. But the Athena Marie Plantation in Vero Beach, FL. is. There is a wind farm on the roof. The home is run completely on renewable energy. And, it is built to withstand hurricanes.
The Lawrence Residence – Kickapoo Mud Creek Nature Conservancy, IL, USA
Physically, this house doesn’t stand out from its surroundings the way some other green homes do. But what it lacks in ostentatiousness, it more than makes up for with eco-friendly living. The house is equipped with solar panels, a wind turbine and a wall made of trombe – a material that absorbs solar energy during the day and acts as a heater by releasing the stored energy into a home at night. Per square foot, the house cost more than 3x what it would have had it been built as a standard home. The turbine cost more than $37,000 alone.
Acqua Liana – Manalapan Beach, FL, USA
For just $29 million, you could move into this eco-friendly mansion in Palm Beach County, Florida. The house is 15,000 square feet, can dock a 120-foot yacht, sports a 2,000-gallon aquarium wet bar, and has 2 elevators, several pools, a couple of waterfalls and a triple green certification from three agencies. Builders used solar panels, an energy-efficient air conditioning system and eco-friendly lighting to create a mansion that, at times, is energy neutral, and at other times, creates enough power for two (regular-sized) homes.
Burnt Point – East Hampton, NY, USA
Conservation isn’t exactly what comes to mind when you think of the luxurious homes in the Hamptons, but this $45 million house does its part to keep the earth healthy. It uses a geothermic cooling system and solar panels to regulate temperatures inside the 18,000-square-foot home.
995 Longbow Place – Larkspur, CO, USA
The designers of this $4 million Colorado mansion tout that its heating and cooling costs won’t go over $350 a month. Though regular folk might consider that an unpleasantly high electric bill, mansion-dwellers would consider it a steal since heating and cooling costs for homes this size (about 9,500 square feet) tend to run near $2,000. The house uses a wrap-around wall insulation to stop energy-draining drafts, is fitted with solar panels, and was built with recycled and organic material.
7215 Delfield Street – Chevy Chase, MD, USA
A steal at just over $2 million, this charming two-story house promises savings to its owners through its carefully considered system of sealings. Ducts, walls and window have all been specially built so that drafts are eliminated, and residents do not have to spend as much energy and money re-cooling or re-heating escaped air. In addition, there are also energy efficient appliances, eco-friendly building materials, and a geothermal heating and cooling system.
2002 Alpine – Boulder, CO, USA
This house could be called the Porsche of eco-friendly mansions… literally. Engineers from the auto company worked with the home’s architects and designers to build top-notch flow and systems engineering into the house. The house has a grey water system that recycles used water for irrigation, was built with “consciously managed” wood, and has an entirely non-toxic interior. The house also has a Porsche-styled price tag. It is currently being offered at $3.1 million.
The New American Home – Las Vegas, NV, USA
The amenities in this house sound as if they were acquired at Earth’s garage sale. There is a reclaimed teak foyer table, a salvaged elm office floor and counter tops made from scrap rock found at mills and quarries. It also features the usual eco-friendly additions like solar panels and LED light bulbs throughout. Each year, another New American Home is built for the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show. And each year, the houses get a little greener and cost more green. Houses built with the New American Home model start at around $1 million and just go up from there.
Hillside House – Marin, CA, USA
As the name suggests, this four-story, 2,116-square-foot home is built into the cool sandstone side of a hill and uses its placement for much of its green functionality. By being nestled into the cool rock, the interior temperature of the house is usually in the low 70s. Rooms that need light, like the home office, were placed to maximize sun exposure – limiting the need for artificial light. Other green amenities include: soy insulation, low-flow water fixtures, LED lighting, reclaimed wood, and landscaping and building practices that utilized local materials.
Aydrea Walden ten Bosch, a former news reporter, has also written for Nickelodeon, NBC/Universal, Hawaii Film Partners, Highlander Films, the Now Write! Screenwriting book series, Improv Olympic, The Second City Los Angeles and Disney. She regularly performs sketch and improv comedy and runs the satirical blog, The Oreo Experience, about her life and times as a super white black person.