How Green Is Your Mansion?

The New York Times

We've had a few discussions on square footage and green mega mansions, and today an article in The New York Times revisited the topic. The question remains: regardless of the LEED rating, is there a point at which the square footage of a home trumps all its other environmental initiatives?As you know, LEED certification relies on a point system and, according to Scot Horst, the Green Building Council's VP for LEED, points are "reallocated" for larger homes, but this reallocation doesn't prevent large homes from receiving LEED certification, so long as they still include enough green features.

This system upsets many environmentalists, who claim that a 10,000-square-foot house requires four times the resources of an average new American house under 2,500 square feet.

The architect of one such mansion, William H. Harrison, says that "it's about socialism, not sustainability." Regarding one of his clients: "He’s a billionaire, and he drives a Prius, for God’s sake... He wants to do the right thing, environmentally. And now he’s being told, 'You’re not good enough, because your house is too big.'"

Read the whole article and then come back and tell us where you stand on this issue. Should there be limits on a home's size if it wants to achieve LEED status? Or is it wrong to insist that the owner reduce the home's square footage, even if they want to make everything else as green as possible?

(Image: Flickr member Cavalier92 licensed under Creative Commons)

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