Here's a great way to get my attention: Publish a video tour of a home and rely on the phrases "huge mansion" and "sustainable design" in the title. Sure, the home in question — the Hillside House in Mill Valley, Calif. — is jam-packed with energy and water-saving gadgets and gizmos galore and built with a bevvy of local/recycled content materials. It was also the first home in Marin County to be bestowed with LEED Platinum certification back in 2010. But a question that's come up time and time again, can a "huge mansion," particularly one that's car-dependent, truly be touted as green?
So here's the thing: I'm thinking that "huge mansion" is the result of some old-fashioned (irresponsible?) headline hyperbole on the part of SpacesTV. Because really, the home isn't that big. From what I understand, it's actually in the ballpark of/less than 3,000-square-feet. Still, it's a gorgeous home that got a fair amount of press back in 2010 — Preston over at Jetson Green has a solid overview of all the specs. And, if there's any clear message in the video, it's that these specs were downplayed in the building of the home. Says builder Michael McDonald: "We try to make the sustainability aspect of it disappear."