When KB Homes made solar a standard feature in a California subdivision, Lloyd famously described it as "lipstick on a pig". And yet both KB Homes and competitor Lennar have been rolling out solar across the country. Now KB has announced it is adding solar-as-standard to select developments in Florida too, adding another opportunity for solar to gain a foothold in the mainstream marketplace.
While the company's press release does mention overall energy performance and its "Energy Performance Guide" for buyers, no mention is made of walkability or other, more integrated, approaches to green building and sustainable communities that would have pleased our dear Lloyd.Nevertheless, much as the most vehement of pacifists can still celebrate the military's potential to bring solar to the masses, we greenies shouldn't lament something that makes clean energy tangible, accessible and decidedly more mainstream. The more solar gets installed, the cheaper it becomes. And as seen by the rapid proliferation of solar on my parents' street in England, there is a kind of a reverse broken window effect when neighbors see neighbors doing something for energy security.
Sure, we might all hope that Passivhauses and resilient green building will go mainstream soon, but mainstream adoption of solar will help move us toward that goal.
I, for one, am delighted. It might be lipstick on a pig. But putting lipstick on every pig eventually makes for cheaper lipstick for the other farm animals too.