It’s not unusual for an architect to announce, with great fanfare, that he or she has just designed “the greenest home in America” — nor is it unusual for journalists to rush these stories to print. The phenomenon has been going on for years — so long, in fact, that I decided to do a small survey of the “greenest homes.”
So, what do these 10 homes have in common? At least two things: they are all larger than the average American home, and they are all considerably more expensive than the average American home.
I was unable to get data on the size and cost of all of the homes. However, I did get size information on 9 of the 10 homes, and cost information on 6 of the 10 homes.
The average area of the 9 homes I have data on is 4,186 square feet. The smallest home is 2,500 square feet, and the largest home is 6,500 square feet.
The average cost of the 6 homes I have data on is $2.3 million. The least expensive home cost $1 million, and the most expensive home cost $5 million.
You might be wondering, “Are these green homes Spartan or luxurious?” To answer that question, let’s look into the homes’ amenities:
We all know the moral of this story: if your house is larger than the average American house, and if it costs much more than the average American house, there’s no way that it can be the greenest house in the world — or even the greenest house in Santa Monica.
If it costs several million dollars and measures 3,500 square feet, then you’re not in contention for this prize. Go away.
If we aspire to be green, that means (in theory) that we want to minimize our environmental impact. When it comes to green construction, Americans aren’t in the running.…