Yesterday, I blogged about the rather troubling case of Quan and Angelina Ha, a couple living in the city of Orange (which isn’t the county seat in case you were wondering) in Orange County, California. The good-intentioned Ha family are at odds with the city over their drought-tolerant lawn that doesn’t comply with city landscaping codes requiring more greenery. Quan and Angelina go to court next week and could face hefty fines and even jail time because of their eco-friendly landscaping choices. Like with uproars over solar panels and clotheslines, this dispute over a dry garden just goes to show that to many folks, eco-friendly equals eyesore.


Well, elsewhere in the OC, in Santa Mesa to be exact, there’s less frustrating news to report: the county has received its first LEED Platinum-certified residence dubbed, fittingly, the Costa Mesa Green Home. And what do you know? It features irrigation-free landscaping filled with native plants.


The home was built by Steve Blanchard in what the Orange County Register describes as a race of sorts between local developers trying to erect the first LEED Platinum home in Orange County. Well, Blanchard, triumphed and built a beautiful home in the process. And not to play into real estate stereotypes but since this is the OC, the David Gangloff-designed Costa Mesa Green Home isn’t exactly modest: at 5,000-square feet, it boasts 6 bedroom, 6.5 baths, and a three-car garage. The asking price? $2.9 million.


It’s not every day that a self-described “luxury” home of this size achieves LEED Platinum certification. After reading about the various green features of the Costa Mesa Green Home — solar power, an internal gray water system, low-flow fixtures, EnergyStar appliances, LED lighting, high-efficiency HVAC equipment, and much more — the rating sounds well-deserved although the square footage is indeed eyebrow raising (follow some excellent debate on the home's size over in the comments section at Jetson Green).

My thoughts? Although small is undeniably where it's at when it comes to sustainable home design and building, there are always going to be large homes so it's encouraging to see LEED applied to the luxury market. It's also worth noting that the home was built on the site of an existing structure that was deconstructed instead of demolished; materials were recycled and donated to Habitat for Humanity.


For more specifics and photos of the project, head on over to the Costa Mesa Green Home website

Via [The Orange County Register] via [Jetson Green]

Photos: Brian Egan

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

LEEDing the way in the OC
The big and beautiful Santa Mesa Green Home is the first home in Orange County, Calif., to snag LEED Platinum certification. But is its size an issue?