This beauty of a round building is British Columbia's first Energy Star qualified home, meeting standards for energy efficiency. Called the Magnolia 2300, it's the work of Mandala Homes, run by Lars Chose and partner Rachel Ross.
Energy Star qualifications are a topic of debate on TreeHugger. Lloyd argues for Passivhaus instead; Brian says one million Energy Star home owners can't be wrong. To synthesize their arguments, Energy Star's standards are not the world's most rigorous, but it's good to see more of them being built for clients who presumably are considering the size of their carbon footprint.
Asked how they went about obtaining the Energy Star label, Chose says it wasn't an original goal; they were simply working to create an energy efficient building. Mandala builds mostly round structures because, as I noted in a post about a Mandala-built cottage, in March:
The circular form provides structural strength in rough weather, natural thermodynamics that negate the need for extra heating, and panoramic views, as well as something less tangible, the open feeling that comes from being in a space without corners.
There's also what Chose calls the “Inherent beauty of the round," a "very natural shape." On top of that, the Magnolia has some nice energy-saving features, including:
Domestic water heating system approximately three times more efficient than a standard system.
Overall, the Magnolia is gorgeous raises the bar for green building in British Columbia. Hopefully, other architects will aim to do even better, and find plenty of clients who want the benefits of a reduced energy bill and eased environmental conscience, to go with a lovely home.