If you’re going to build, why not build it green? Luxury and environmentally responsible design aren’t concepts that regularly co-exist, but when they do, they are simply amazing. From solar panels on the rooftops to water pipes that heat the floors, these examples demonstrate that it’s possible to live the high-life while being eco-conscious.
1. Villa Belvedere – San Francisco, CA – $45 million
This solar-powered smart house is one of the Bay Area’s most expensive residences. Villa Belvedere is a 15,500 square feet, $45 million designer waterfront home, with multi-million dollar views of San Francisco Bay to match.
The house has a master suite wing with a panoramic view, another six bedrooms and nine more bathrooms. To take advantage of the view, the house boasts 5,000 square feet of multi-level, wrap-around decks and a 50-foot entertaining gallery with 10-foot floor-to-ceiling windows.
Other features include; surround-sound cinema, full-service bar and wine cellar and spa complex.
The home was featured as a contemporary dream home showcase, as 20 top interior designers each adopted a room to decorate in their own personal style. The showcase raised more than $600,000 for charity. Sustainable practices were adhered to in these designs, including re-use methods, energy saving materials, and use of non-toxic paints.
Villa Belvederes green features include the incorporation of integrated technology, which can engage the house remotely by cell phone or online, to efficiently manage energy use.
2. Stone Mansion – Saddle River, NJ – $19 million
This newly constructed $19 Million dollar stone mansion features 25,000 square feet of living space nestled on 4.5 flat, gated acres.
The French manor home, modeled after Versailles, has a Corinthian stone exterior. The luxury features include; banquet sized public rooms and grand scale entertaining spaces, entrance featuring a port-cochere with ample courtyard parking, four car garage and a regulation tennis court with lights. A unique stand-out of the home is the indoor pool with twenty-four foot waterfall, located inside the main living area.
The stone mansion is powered almost exclusively by solar power and geothermic energy (including the lighted outdoor tennis court).
3. Acqua Liana – Manalapan Beach, FL – $15 million
Frank McKinney, known as the real estate “artist,” has built a $15 million dollar, 15,000-square-foot home in Florida that has been touted as “the most luxurious eco-mansion.”
Inspired by trips to Bali, Fiji, Tahiti and Hawaii, the three-story, 7-bedroom, 11-bath mansion features floating sun terraces, a waterfall spa with a fire feature in the water and an arched aquarium wet bar.
Green features inside the one-off mansion include enough solar panels to cover a basketball court generating enough energy for two or three average-size homes. A water system that collects enough run-off water to fill the average swimming pool every 14 days, and energy efficient lighting that reduces electricity consumption by 70 per cent. There is also enough reclaimed wood to save 10.5 acres of Brazilian rain forest. The Green Building Council has approved the property as energy self-sufficient.
4. 109 Flyway Drive – Kiawah Island, SC – $11 million
This $11 million dollar luxury home is the first on Kiawah Island to achieve a silver LEED certification by the U.S Green Building Council.
The home is situated on a very unique, two-acre double homesite in Kiawah’s prestigious Vanderhorst Plantation, offering stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Features include; a spacious gourmet kitchen, fully equipped with top-of-the-line energy star appliances, 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, luxurious master suite, and ocean views. The estate also includes a separate guesthouse incorporating 3 additional and bathrooms.
Sustainable features of the home include; low flow fixtures, spray foam insulation, high efficiency systems and energy star appliances. Outside native landscaping and shade-producing tress minimise heat on the island.
5. Longbow Place – Larkspur, CO – $4.5 million
This 9,500 square-foot. $4.5 million dollar Colorado home is known as “one of the greenest luxury homes ever build”. Despite the extensive space, the designers tout that the heating and cooling costs won’t exceed $350 per month.
Eco-friendly attributes in the home include; solar thermal panels, 90% efficient water heating systems, solar electric panels, and wrap around wall insulation. The environment was also taken into consideration in construction as recycled and organic materials were used through-out.
The high-end log cabin look in this home is created by logs made from formed concrete (ever logs), which is more durable and has energy efficiency benefits.
The luxury features of the home include; hearth room with handmade floor to ceiling gas log fire place, eden kitchen with pizza oven and butlers pantry, large deck with outdoor kitchen, and master suite with coffee bar and steam shower.
These houses demonstrate that solar panels and other alternative energy sources have the capacity to provide for large scale domestic use and additional luxuries. They also illustrate that you don’t have to live on a no-frills lifestyle to be eco-conscious, but you can in fact live on a grand scale and have environmental design incorporated into a sleek, sophisticated home.