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.