Supersized “Green” Homes

Can a 10,000-square-foot house inhabited by a family of four really be called “green”? After all, a big part of being green is conserving space and resources. An article in The Washington Post tackles this topic, citing a 6,500 square-foot house in Northwest DC that has less energy costs than the builder’s 1,200 square-foot rambler in Silver Spring.

How is this possible? The builder, Jerry Zayets (owner of Nexxt Builders) used low-density foam insulation that takes the shape of whatever space it’s filling to seal air leaks. This so-called “envelope of the house” qualified the home as energy efficient under theEnergy Star program.

Some other ways to make a home greener (from the article) include:

  • Use compact fluorescent lighting.
  • Install a programmable thermostat.
  • Use energy-efficient appliances.
  • Landscape using trees and hedges to naturally shade the house during the summer.
  • Use materials that are renewable, contain recycled products, or that can be easily resused. Bamboo flooring, for example, is a popular option.

One thought on “Supersized “Green” Homes

  1. I think that it would be interesting to see such a home, but I wonder about the energy comparisons. The new dream home from last year is five times larger from the dream home of 1982. (I am comparing the sizes of the homes created by the National Association of Home Builders as an example of what the dream home is in each year). Well, one thing is for certain: there is no standardized version of a “green” home out there. Different groups are trying to have their own ideas put forward as the definition of green (like the new LEEDs standard and the new IRC standard as main examples). I will stop now, this comment is getting to long.

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