Is This McMansion Green?

<p>A New York developer is unveiling plans for a fleet of luxury homes that aim to comply with LEED environmental standards. But this article from <em>The New York Times</em> wonders whether that really makes the homes green.</p>
April 12, 2008, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"The house has five bedrooms and four baths, as well as fancy features like a home theater, wine cellar and mirrored exercise room."

"It is the first of 24 homes planned for a development named after an area in the English Lake District, and built in a style meant to evoke 19th-century English country houses."

"Windermere is the first project of NRDC Residential, a new division of the National Realty and Development Corporation of Purchase, N.Y., which wants to develop a niche as a builder of "architecturally driven, planned communities with an environmental consciousness," said Mark Robbins, the division president."

"With the help of the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, known by its acronym, LEED, NRDC Residential hopes to present large luxury homes as environmentally friendly."

"Yet the goals of spare-no-expense luxury (homes at Windermere start at $3.2 million) and environmental awareness seem unlikely when combined. After all, can a four-level house with a three-car garage and a kitchen full of energy-hungry Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances truly qualify as a model of environmental responsibility?"

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Published on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 in The New York Times
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