Size Does Matter in Sustainability

I just got done reading a short article on Inhabitat that described the new “home” (read mega-mansion) being built by Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen. Read the article here. This little piece of the American Dream is 22,000 square feet for the couple and their son and appears, from pictures, to more closely resemble a large hotel development than a single family home. To add insult to injury from a responsibility and sustainability perspective, the couple seems to be claiming that their new home in, in fact, eco-friendly. The article outlines their insistance that the solar panels, energy efficient lighting systems, green materials and rainwater collection system make the green.

I’m trying very hard not to be cynical, but the idea that a home that contains over 7,000 square feet of living space per person is in any way sustainable is ludicrous. The entire population of some small cities could be contained in this home. You could tell me that the home was completely off the grid and made entirely out of straw bales and I still wouldn’t be buying it. What happened to our common sense? What happened to the idea that using only what we absolutely need is one of tenants of sustainable design? I hope some of you are as outraged by these claims as I am!

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2 thoughts on “Size Does Matter in Sustainability

  1. LEED isn’t helping with this. Maybe they realize these Mansions are a cash crop for LEED-Homes. I’ve tried thru the public comments of this newest version of LEED to limit the square footage and energy used for any single family home being LEED certified. My response was that my comment address subject matter outside the scope of review. It really frustrating when local zoning codes are being waved because the mansion is seeking LEED certification. As if they’d be asked to tear the building down if it failed to earn certification. I am being cynical and have decided to be vocal if I hope to change things.

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  2. I do certainly agree with you. It’s really an absurd idea to build a huge mansion if there are only three members in your family. Even if they claim they made use of solar panels and other natural construction supplies like rammed earth (http://earthstructures.com.au/), the size of their house is still way too big for their family size.

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