Last week, I profiled The Sage, the greenest home west of the Rockies by LEED standards. Today, I'm sharing a video tour, via The Wall Street Journal, of a super green home in the Rockies that, well, makes The Sage look like child's play. 

Don't get me wrong — The Sage is a beautiful dwelling with an impressive LEED score. But the "radical" Snowmass, Colo., home of scientist/energy efficiency guru/Rocky Mountain Institute cofounder/noted environmentalist/certified genius Amory Lovins is a whole other creature. Lovings, 61, even calls his just-remodeled 26-year old home "a giant science experiment."

In the video, WSJ environmental columnist Jeffrey Ball joins Lovins for an insider’s tour of the “Banana Farm,” the home’s moniker due in part to the banana trees growing in the structure's central, living room-sized greenhouse.

The tour focuses on a recent green overhaul of the already super-green home — now dubbed "Banana Farm 2.0" — that Lovins hopes will help “demonstrate how much more energy-efficient houses can become.”

Tricked out with green gadgets and gizmos like a Swiss electric stove that can use solar power, new photovoltaic banks, and vacuum-insulated doors, Lovins’ wish is that the high-tech, energy-saving bells and whistles — some that he calls “bleeding edge" — in his own home will eventually find their way to the homes of general consumers, just like the technology in “Banana Farm 1.0” did.

It’s all fascinating stuff, especially since Lovins isn’t trying to one-up his neighbors or win some kind of “greenest house on the block award.” There’s no gloating involved. The “Banana Farm 2.0” — it produces excess energy that’s pumped back into the power grid — is beyond LEED ratings and other merits and appointments given to green building achievements. It’s a showcase of what the future holds; the real deal compared to Disney’s chintzy, energy-guzzling Innoventions Dream Home.

In addition to the video, read the full article on the “Banana Farm 2.0” and check out these nifty interactive graphics to learn more about the home’s recent green upgrade. 


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

Rocky Mountain high-green
Take a video tour of the newly remodeled 'Banana Farm 2.0,' the uber-efficient Colorado home of the cofounder of the Rocky Mountain Institute.