Photo: courtesy Richard Byrd
Got three million and change? Get in line. The hottest eco-friendly home on the market is a $3.5 million, LEED Platinum, 1920s Spanish stunner recently renovated by Adrian Grenier's go-to green expert Richard Byrd of "Alter Eco" fame. The guy may be brand new in the eco-development department, but in this, his first sustainable home, he hits all the marks. Think reclaimed materials like 300-year-old Spanish roof tile, CFL bulbs, solar trees, low-flow sinks and toilets, and a carpet made entirely from post-consumer waste recycled plastic water bottles. (Check out more pics after the jump!) And that's not all...
The Pharmaka Connection
We got a behind-the-boards look at the house as part of a benefit for downtown L.A.'s beloved non-profit Pharmaka Gallery, where Byrd recently added low-VOC paint, LED lights and Big Ass Fans (yup, that's the company's real name) in an effort to lower the gallery's carbon footprint.
"At Pharmaka, Richard wanted to set a precedent in downtown L.A. in a place where the public could learn about sustainability and better choices in terms of building and community building," said gallery coordinator Rebecca O'Leary. "For me, in running a gallery, sustainability hadn't always been high on my priority list. But now I see all the difference that it makes and how easy and stylish it can be."
Enter the Eco-Art
As a thank you, O'Leary staged all the art in the home, including gorgeous found wood paintings by up-and-coming eco-artist David Buckingham. Along with existing pieces such as sustainable couches and chairs by Cisco Furnishings and a gigantic vintage sunburst mirror that costs either $65,000 or $75,000 (depending on who you ask), the art in the home may be included in the purchase price.
The Eco's in the Details
But for this kind of money, you want more than art. And Byrd provides with the latest and greatest in green options that somehow never distract from the integrity of a beautiful, historic home.
Like a tricked-out kitchen that saves 90% of the energy used with run-of-the-mill appliances and featuring a composter that can take up to five pounds of food waste per day.
Bath tiles that are 87% recycled and tankless heaters to keep the water hot.
And paint throughout that's zero off-gassing.
"The house looks like a normal Spanish house, it doesn't scream out green at all," Byrd said. "And that's what's going to promote the movement. Something that is exactly what you expect to see in any other home, but the energy bills happen to be $50 a month."
Would you worry about your energy bill when your monthly mortgage rings up at about $25,000? Probably not, but as Byrd and other sustainable developers are proving, environmental costs are a concern for even the highest roller.
Rumor has it, Mr. Alter Eco himself might be reaching for his checkbook.
Like what you see but don't have a trust fund? Check out the first certified LEED house in the Western U.S., Ray Kappe's prefab LEED certified Living Homes and a must-read on how to green your home-buying process.
In this video, Rachel talks with Rebecca O'Leary and Richard Byrd about how his latest project proves you don't have to live like the Jetsons to go green.
Photos courtesy Richard Byrd