Should We Show More Big Green Houses On TreeHugger?
When I asked Are There Too Many Car Stories on TreeHugger? Cars and Transportation editor Mike responded that "We should cover cars for the same reason we should cover buildings (99.999% not green, biggest polluters on Earth) and much else. Because they're important and they're not going away entirely, so they need to improve a lot....Not covering those things would make us less relevant to many of our readers not more."
But the fact is we don't cover a lot of "green" buildings.
Images Credit Vicinohouse
There are a couple of reasons:
1) Is it too big or too far away to be sustainable?
TreeHugger rarely shows monster green houses in the country any more; It's hard to really call them green, because of both their size and their transportation intensity. As an example, Preston at Jetson Green shows Sustainable Luxury in the Vicino House- LEED Platinum, 5.2 Kw solar, thermal hot water, embodying the "twin goals of sustainable living and luxury design." Yet that eight burner gas range burns enough fossil fuel to run my house all winter. At some point you have to say that FSC Ipe hardwood floors don't cut it if half of the sustainable harvest in Brazil was consumed in the process.
2) Is it "grugly"- green but ugly?
I also tend to ignore what I consider to be ugly green buildings, agreeing with Justin McGuirk in the Guardian that "Sustainability - all matronly browns and little green arrows - has drained the sexiness from design."
On the other hand, there are lessons to be learned from them all, and as editor of Architecture and Design, I sometimes go days without publishing a house because I cannot find anything that is a) small b) green c) urban and d) sexy-unhappy-hipsters-gorgeous. Should I widen the net?